At five on the dot today, after sitting through an oral exam for over an hour, I spontaneously decided to go to the end of the year party the English department held for majors and minors. I decided on this last minute, and only since I was on campus for a final and I would also get free dinner (I’m a college student) haha. However, the two-hour party was full of surprises and greatness.
I was not expecting anything, and I was not dressed like I was expecting anything. I was in a jacket and shirt, with the tired eyes and backpack of a girl who just finished a final exam. And I ended up on the stage twice.
I first ended up getting a certificate and a pin for being accepted into Sigma Tau Delta (the English honor society). And when they said they were giving certificates for new members, a former professor of mine was smiling at me like she knew, but I did not know. They did not mention any of this in the email. But, I went on the stage and got my certificate and pin.
Then the night got even better. My submission to the writing contest won! I WON SECOND PLACE in the fiction category of the department writing contest for my short story, “Live Inside the Prison with Mad Max.” The new chair of the department, who handed the winners their awards, tried to read all of the citations the judges made for the sorties, but glossing over terms and ideas to keep from giving away who the winner was before announcing it. When it came time to announce second place, I heard the word journey, laugh, joke, and measuring cup. I said, my story has those things! My heart was throbbing with anxiety. Then she said the first word of the winning title, live. I said oh my god, my story begins with that word. Then she said, Live inside the prison with mad max and my heart jumped with joy.
Impartial publishers and established writers, not affiliated with our school or the students, read and judge our stories, and the fiction judge loved mine! And the comments she made about my story, especially her praise of the penis metaphor/joke in my story, made my entire week. It might have made my whole semester actually…
The judge of my story, Lydia Conklin, said my short story “was the first story in a long time to make me laugh out loud. I was captivated from beginning to end by Max’s odd journey from breaking up an infidelity to stalking his former band. I’ll remember that 3/4 cup joke for the rest of my life.”
I can’t believe I won! I am so happy! Usually seniors (who are more advanced and have taken all the workshop classes) win. But I won, as a junior, and I have not even taken the fiction workshop class yet. This win was the clarity I needed. Now I know my writing is going somewhere and that I must always keep writing and to keep loving writing, and it will all pay off. This is only the beginning of how far I will go as a writer.
The chair of the English department was like, aren’t you glad you decided to come? Haha. I was like, sure did! And I ended up being the last to leave. Literally. Ha. Great way to end junior year. And another GOOD FRIDAY!
If you have not had the chance to read this winning short story of mine, and want to know what that 3/4 joke means, click here! Hope you enjoy it!
And be sure to comment below about your favorite moments during awards ceremonies, stories about contests you won ( not limited to just writing, or something you did that you did not look forward to doing but really enjoyed! Happy Friday! Or, Friyay!