This, combined with the very favorable write-up my novel How I’m Spending My Afterlife received for the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Contest (which it did not win, alas), has made for a very affirming and confidence-building week for me.
Of course, it is just a nomination. I haven’t actually won anything yet. And as John Fox points out in a pretty divisive blog post, a lot of people get these nominations every year. That’s because every small literary magazine is eligible to submit up to six pieces they published during the previous calendar year. There is, therefore, a school of thought that says the nomination itself is pretty meaningless unless it’s followed by a win, or at least a Special Mention, and that boasting about it is unseemly.
My take: Nah.
Nobody says we shouldn’t brag about getting our stories published. In fact, that’s just good self-promotion, and it’s pretty much required these days (hell, self-promotion is the reason I wrote this post in the first place). So why wouldn’t I be proud of it when an editor tells me that he thinks my story was one of the best things his journal published this year?
So yes, I’m gonna brag about it, and I hope I win. I got a Pushcart nomination! Hooray! Go me! But even if I don’t win, it really is an honor just to be nominated.
I’ll definitely mention it when I start sending the short story collection out to agents and editors, though. Way up high in the query letter. They are gonna hear about it, boy howdy.