That time I made a shortlist and completely neglected to mention it

So, a few weeks ago (a month? something?) I had the totally surprising honor of becoming a finalist in the Australian Shadows Awards, in the category of Best Short Story for my most recently published piece ‘The Dead Way‘. I discovered this rather exciting news in the wee hours of the morning when my littlest woke me. I couldn’t quite believe it really and thought there had to have been some mistake.

I’m still not sure how it happened. I mean, I know it’s a good story – I LOVE that story – but there is so much amazing talent out there and they picked my story to be in the top 5, alongside some other really amazing writers whose work I admire!

It was a little mind blowing, and also felt a bit like a milestone for me. I’ve experienced the pure buzz that is getting nominated for something, and winning an award (SJV Best Collected Work), but that was for something I’d edited – this is the first time I’ve ever made a list for a story of my own.

And that’s pretty awesome.

I didn’t win, but the lovely Debbie Cowens (whose story also appeared in Baby Teeth – which took out the award for Best Edited Publication!) did, and I didn’t feel at all upset by that. It was an honor just to make the short list.

Being a finalist made me a little more confident in my writing, made me feel a little like actually, I must be kind of good at this thing, and that’s more valuable than any award.

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