I’m very fortunate to have won a few awards this year, so let’s talk about ’em.

Most recently, I won a Derringer Award for Best Long Story for ‘Negative Tilt,’ which appeared in Rock & A Hard Place Issue 7, all the way back in January 2022. RHP has graciously made the story free for everyone to read. I can’t say enough about the folks at RHP, who loved my weird little story about a newspaper journalist turned repo agent. Huge props to Paul J. Garth, who is an incredibly insightful and kind editor. The story wouldn’t be what it is without him.

In April, my work won two awards. LIVING THE GIMMICK won first place for Books, Short Stories, Verse — Fiction for Adult Readers: Novels in the 2023 Communications Contest for the Alabama Media Professionals. (If your eyes glazed over for that long description, I think “Best Novel” will suffice as a descriptor.

And my story ‘The Ghost of Buxahatchee Creek’ — published in Reckon Review — won first place for short story in the same contest. And while I’m singing the praises of Paul, let me say a few words about Reckon’s editor/publisher, Meagan Lucas: Meagan has been phenomenal to work with, incredibly encouraging, and wonderful about feedback. I’m incredibly proud this story, and Reckon is the perfect home for it.

So three awards within a month of one another. That’s a really nice ego boost. I think it indicates that I’m working — when I’m working — at a fairly high level. Hopefully I can continue that. Keep your fingers crossed.

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