I received the e-mail from West Bow/Thomas Nelson/Women of Faith writing contest while my sister was here visiting from Alabama. My novel, Obedient Heart, had placed in the top 30 entries. Kathy rejoiced with me. The contest would announce the first place winner on March 1, 2011.
I left it in God's capable hands, and returned to Birmingham with my sister, my husband Tom, and his granddaughter Becca for a short visit. While Kathy & I went to a weekend scrap book retreat, Tom stayed in Birmingham to do "guy stuff" with Kathy's husband David. Becca continued on to a friend's home in Tennessee.
With all our giggle fits, with a bit of scrap booking here and there, I forgot all about the contest.
Tom & I drove back to Tampa on February 28th, and I went back to work on March 1st. A posting on Facebook asked, "Are you the Janet Rockey who won in WOF writing contest?" I checked my e-mail to find a message from West Bow Publishing at the same time my phone rang. One of the editors of West Bow called to congratulate me. I had won third place. Okay, so it isn't FIRST place. But to place third in 750 entries is exciting. I checked the web page and found that I had been in fifteenth place before they made the final decision. And almost all my writing friends who critiqued this novel are at the Florida Christian Writers Conference. I'm sure they heard my shout all the way to Leesburg!
The prize is a 50% discount on publishing costs, since West Bow is a self-pub house. That would be great if I had a stash of cash hidden inside the walls of my 1926 bungalow. Alas, but no. I have to make a decision, and soon. I wonder if they'll give the third place accolades to another entrant if I can't come up with the money to pay for my award. If the author who came in behind me can swing the cost, I wouldn't mind giving it to him or her. But let me keep the recognition of being a third-place winner!