I’ve just come back from a celebratory brunch at the lovely Sunnyside Cafe in my new neighbourhood of Esquimalt, British Columbia. They have the best egg dishes. Their hollandaise is gloriously decadent. I usually go for something with smoked salmon, but today I had their house special with chorizo sausage. It was divine. Almost as divine as how I was feeling.

With a little preamble, I will tell you why.

Yesterday, I received a lovely rejection email from Craft Magazine (I get the best rejections!) In part, the email read:

“…While we enjoyed reading your work, I’m sorry to say it isn’t a good fit for us at this time. We really appreciate your support.
As writers ourselves, we know that the process of sending out work can be a long one. We are grateful that you chose to share your writing with us. Your piece was read with great admiration and care. We wish you the best of luck with it, and we hope that you will keep us in mind for future submissions.”

Sigh. I do appreciate the encouragement – don’t get me wrong. It means a lot coming from reputable literary sources. Prism Magazine has often responded to my submissions with praise and encouragement, which is always uplifting. But as any writer who dares to submit and/or enter writing contests knows, getting one’s work accepted or placing in contests takes multiple shots at the basket.

So today. Yes, today. I received the news that a short non-fiction piece landed a win in WOW-Women on Writing’s contest.

This is what they had to say to me:

Hi Susan!
Congratulations on winning 1st Place!! We all adored your story. It’s masterfully written, you have such a distinct narrative voice, and your prose is gorgeous. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. 🙂
I just sent you your cash prize along with a note. You also should receive a gift code today via email good for one item from CreateWriteNow’s store. And one of our writers will contact you with interview questions for the blog. 🙂

Congratulations again! Keep up the excellent writing, and we hope to read more of your work.

Angela & WOW


I love the xo! Maybe that little xo was the thing to tip some tears over the edge.

You can read the story here: http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/85-FE1-Q32018EssayContest.htm

I want with all my beating heart to share all of this with everyone, but the slap down voice that tells me not to brag or blow my own horn is almost winning. Almost. (I found the following word while looking for an apt expression for boastfulness: rodomontade. So, just for fun, here’s a sentence to illustrate its possible use: “Except for this exhibition of rodomontade his address was a wonderful display of reasoning and erudition.”)


So here is my exhibition of rodomontade.
Attached to the prize money deposit was this note:
Dear Susan, Congratulations on winning 1st Place in the WOW! Women On Writing Q3 2018 Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest! “Once We Were Sad” is the most gorgeous piece of writing I’ve read in a long time. Your narrative voice is strong! Heartbreak, separation, grief, trust–you captured these images beautifully and in an interesting way. The short beats “The deal was. What the deal was. Was.” LOVE that! Not being able to be with the one you love, and being able to trust, to share, to show someone who you really are. It’s never an easy thing. There is so much depth and beauty to your essay. Thank you so much for sharing it with us! It is in my heart now. Keep up the excellent writing! We can’t wait to read more from you! Write on!

So I shall. Currently, I’m stumbling along memory lane in the hopes I will end up with a cohesive memoir of a troubled and troubling part of my life. This gives me a bit of wind in my sails or a ball in my basket or some other hackneyed analogy.
The point is to keep writing, keep submitting, and relish those glistening celebratory eggs in their buttery sauce when the email begins with “Congratulations!”