If you read last Friday's post, you know that I spent the weekend in Wichita at the Kansas Authors state convention. The Youth Award Ceremony on Friday night was awesome. I was so impressed with the many young winners, enough so, that I will write a separate post re same later.
Saturday was a full day of workshops, every one I selected was a winner. I had to choose one of three running at the same time and it wasn't always easy to narrow it down to only one. There were four sessions so I ended the day with my head swimming with information. We all relaxed at the banquet that evening.
Sunday morning, I was a panelist of one for a discussion session on the past, present and future of our 109 year old organization for writers in Kansas. The convention concluded with the Awards Luncheon at noon.
After we ate, contest awards were announced. Kansas Authors runs an annual state contest for both members and nonmembers, offering several categories in both Poetry and Prose. The two people who manage the contests usually stand at a podium and read the names of the winners. This year, it was upgraded a notch or more. The man and woman who were contest managers entered on a red carpet wearing evening dress clothes. Suddenly, everyone sat up and paid even closer attention.
A large screen showed the names and titles of the winning entries in each category. As the names were called, the people walked the red carpet and gathered at the front of the room. At that point, the Poetry Manager, Ronda Miller, announced the Honorable Mentions and third, second and first place.
For me, it turned out to be an amazing day. Four of my five entries in the Prose contest placed. I received 2 First Honorable Mention, a third place and a first place. So, I had to walk that red carpet four times. But when all the certificates and checks had been distributed, a new award was announced. They had selected the Prose Writer of the Year and the Poetry Writer of the year.
I was in a state of shock as I walked that red carpet once more after my name had been announced as Prose Writer of the Year. Roy Beckemeyer, a truly fine poet, won for Poetry. Ronda handed each of us a sparkly crown to wear and then she reached into a large plastic bag and showered us with glitter. Again and again! I was covered with tiny turquoise stars from head to toe. I felt truly honored to receive this award and very grateful.
But the amazing day was not finished yet. I won a drawing for a $50 Target gift card.
It was a day filled with surprises and one that left me feeling very, very happy. On the drive home, I couldn't help but think that I must get some new stories written just to live up to being selected as Kansas Authors Prose Writer of the Year. I finally got all the glitter out of my hair in the shower this morning, but I'm still glowing inside from my amazing, glittery day.