So I went by my mailbox this afternoon and found an envelope from Writers of the Future. It was my Honorable Mention certificate! Cool!
Now, I have no idea what percentage of entrants get Honorable Mentions, Silver Honorables, and the rest. But I know there are only three winners each quarter out of…eight?…finalists. And I suspect they get several thousand submissions. So I’m going to go out on a limb and think that Honorable Mention ain’t half bad, especially for my first entry. Hey, it’s not a flat-out rejection, so I’ll take it. 🙂
Anyway, here’s the certificate:
Pretty nice, huh? That was my first thought, too. Then I looked at it more closely, and I had to do a facepalm. Let’s read, shall we?
The L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest does hereby certify that Michael Kingswood is awarded the certificate of Honorable Mention for their story Passing in the Night
Did you catch that? Michael Kingswood is awarded…for their story…
Oy. Ok, I realize there are no gender neutral pronouns in English, and it would be a lot more pricey to do gender-specific printing for each person who gets an Honorable Mention or better. But really? This is a prestigious writing contest, and they screwed up singular and plural on the award certificate. If it was me, I’d have said <insert name here> is awarded the certificate of <insert level here> for the story <insert story name here>, and saved the trouble. I know, this really doesn’t matter, and I don’t have much standing to get all nit-picky and anal about this. But hang it all, I’m an Engineer and a Navy nuke. I am nit-picky and anal. I tend to notice these sorts of things, and they irk me.
Now don’t get me wrong. I have the utmost respect for this contest, the people who run it, and the people who judge it. Getting even a bit of recognition from them is very flattering. This certificate’s getting framed and hung on my “I Love Me Wall” alongside my other cherished records of earlier accomplishments. It just struck me as a bit odd, that’s all.
But like I said, it doesn’t matter.