My short story "The Ballpark in my Backyard" took third place in the Chattanooga Writers' Guild Spring Writing Contest in the creative non-fiction category. I'm really excited because it's my first award, and because it's from such a prestigious organization. Some of the winners in the other categories of fiction and poetry were from as far away as New York and California. So to be included in that list with those great writers is truly an honor. All of the winning stories will soon be published on the Guild's website, chattanoogawritersguild.org, and will also be included in a paperback anthology to be available later this year.
And . . . I finally heard some very positive news from an agent in New York City. She asked to see a partial manuscript of my Civil War drama "Burning Cotton". The title used to be "Strength and Survival", but in tweaking the story I decided that the new title was a better fit. The new opening scenes are also much more dramatic, and since she responded to the old title and another version of the manuscript we shall see how she likes the new pages. Fingers crossed that she asks for the complete story. If not, well, I've sent out more queries and there's always the possibility that someone else will also be impressed.
In the meantime, I'm enjoying being able to describe myself as an award-winning author.