Writer’s Digest is Great! (Why I didn’t win 5th place)

 

I woke up this morning, still thrilled that I had won 5th place in the Mainstream/Literary Category of Writer’s Digest 82nd Annual Competition for my short story. But a memory that they had rules about simultaneous submissions sent me to their website.  I checked and emailed the staff to tell them that the story had been published this year in the California Writers Club Literary Review. I realized that probably disqualified my 5th place win.

 The staff, especially Cris, took a thorough look at the dates of the two submissions to see if I still could be eligible. For a while, it seemed possible. After several emails back and forth, we concluded that yes, I would have to be disqualified.

 I appreciated and was pleasantly surprised at how personable Cris is in these situations. It isn’t the first time they’ve had to disqualify people after announcing their win. I was told that they appreciated my honesty, that it was refreshing. I sensed they really wanted me to be able to keep the award. Cris encouraged me to submit again in the future.

 In my mind, I feel rewarded to know that I placed 5th out of 1000 entries even if, in the end, I couldn’t reap the awards.

 I caution you all to be better at record keeping than I am. To keep track of which stories you send where, what date, and the date of the result, whether it’s acceptance or rejection. In the end, it all comes down to dates.

I also encourage you to submit to Writer’s Digest’s competitions. My experience with them today increases my appreciation for all they do in our writing community.

(Special thanks to Cris.)

www.writersdigest.com/competitions/writersdigestannualcompetition

8 Comments

Filed under Contests

8 responses to “Writer’s Digest is Great! (Why I didn’t win 5th place)

  1. blakeheitzman

    It’s more about being appreciated than about the award for the prize. My record keeping is terrible, too. I don’t think it will change. Too many things to do and not enough time. Congratulations anyway. 5th is excellent, prize or not.

    Like

  2. Congratulations – you moved up to 1st place in my estimation. You didn’t have to own up to the previous publication and might have been able to slide. You are indeed a champion Julaina.

    Like

  3. Gary Lea

    Bummer.

    Like

  4. Julaina, this is one of the classiest things I’ve ever heard of in regards to a writing contest — you and Cris both behaved like total professionals. Congratulations on coming in so high!

    Like

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