I did not win. I did not even make it into the top 25. But I pushed the boulder farther up the mountain than I ever have, and I’m going to hang out on this mid-level cliff for a little longer. My very short fiction piece, “Dirty Girl,” received an honorable mention in the Glimmertrain Very Short Fiction Awards for January.
So what? This is what: I’ve been writing YA for a while now, and I love it. I want to keep doing it for a long time. But I’ve also been taking every opportunity to explain to no one in particular – to no one who asked – that YA is LITERATURE. It’s meaningful. It has things to say. It is worthy of the same intellectual consideration as works for and about adults. To deny that is to deny that the readers consuming these works are capable of the same deep analysis of what they read. So to know that I can still write to adults and have it make at least the tiniest splash is to know that maybe, just maybe, I’m flexing that same muscle when I write my novels.
So good work, “Dirty Girl.” You did what I hoped you would. And maybe we’ll get to see this puppy in print someday soon. For now, I’m honored by my Honorable Mention, and I’m going to enjoy the view from this perch.