When my phone registers an unknown number, I never answer. But when the same number rang twice without leaving a message recently, I became intrigued. I Googled the area code: Cincinnati. I don’t know anyone in Cincinnati. Ignore. Ten minutes later, another call. This time I answered, revved up to tell the caller–whom I assumed to be a telemarketer–to stop pestering me and to take my number off their call list!
The fact that I’d even entered the contest had almost entirely slipped my radar. A few months earlier, I’d excerpted a story from my as-yet unpublished novel and adapted it to stand on its own as a short story. My agent has been shopping the novel for a while and had garnered me several glowing rejection letters. I’d hoped placing in the contest–even an honorable mention–might pique an editor’s interest in the book. I hadn’t considered I might win the whole shebang, so when the lovely Chelsea from Writer’s Digest began listing the various prizes that came along with the award–including an article about me in their Nov/Dec 2015 issue–I was beyond flabbergasted.