In The Running — Again

For three years, the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award competition has been a regular feature of my writing life, and I’m honored and proud to announce that I am once again in the running.

Each time I’ve entered, I’ve been a finalist, which I am rather proud of. The competition is judged by Baen Books editors Hank Davis, Jim Minz, Tony Daniel, David Afsharirad, and best selling Baen author David Drake. Four years ago, I’d have been ecstatic just to have my work on these folks’ radar. Well, it’s still pretty awesome, but four years ago, I’d have been counting the seconds till the big reveal, praying that I win, readying myself for disappointment. No more. This year, I’m happy to be listed alongside these talented authors:

Stewart C Baker
S.B. Divya
Susan Forest
Bart Kemper
Philip A. Kramer
Harry Lang
Stephen Lawson
Angus McIntyre
M. T. Reiten

I can already tell you, we’ve all written top flight, professional grade stories, and whoever wins will win–but we are all truly winners having made this far.

I hope I win, but I’m not holding my breath or even pausing for much of a bow. I’ve always said writing is a marathon, not a sprint, and that contests and such should be considered for what that can really provide, not for the pipe dream of “what if.” I entered Writers of the Future just hoping to get some feedback. I never imagined that I’d win, but win I did and that was all kinds of awesome. And it will be awesome if I win this time. I have a friend who got to eat dinner with Buzz Aldrin on account of this contest. But that’s the “what if”, here’s the “what is:”

My first sale to Analog Science Fiction was written for the Jim Baen. My second Analog sale was conceived for the Jim Baen, then morphed into an alternate history unsuitable for the contest. If I don’t win this year, I still have a top notch story that I’m proud of and that I can sell–that I probably wouldn’t have though of without this contest.

So thanks, Bill, and Jim (wherever you are) and congrats to all the finalists. May it be a winning year.