This is my second year of eligibility for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (awarded to writers who are in the first two years of their careers, dating from their first professional sale). I am fairly unlikely to be nominated, since my career to date has been somewhat sparse. I can, however, hope that eligibility in itself will drive a few more people to read the work of mine that is available online, and maybe remember my name next time they see it (likely in Strange Horizons in spring).
I can also goggle at some of the other people who are eligible this year. Rachel Manija Brown, who wrote the wonderful memoir All the Fishes Come Home to Roost. Nicole Kornher-Stace, whose story “The Raccoon’s Daughter” came out a week before mine in Fantasy Magazine and completely overshadowed it, in the best possible way. Amal El-Mohtar, who gave a very lovely and memorable poetry reading while standing on someone’s hotel-room bed at Readercon.
Also, my fellow Viable Paradise students. From my year, Tiffani Angus and Christian Klaver. From other years, George Galuschak, Ferrett Steinmetz, and possibly other people I haven’t happened across yet. Obviously the workshop has been a great jumping-off point for many of our careers.
Looking at my work as a professional activity is not new to me, but looking at myself as part of a group of professionals is very new. Looking at my work as part of a public body of professional writing is also very new. Sometimes it surprises me when I get a reminder that people are actually reading me.
Case in point: I was reading Rich Horton’s annual summaries to see how Ideomancer fared (well, in fact: he liked one of my favourites, Ilan Lerman’s “Saint Stephen Street”). I then discovered that he also mentioned me (the story I had there was “Who in Mortal Chains”).
There you have it: proof positive that I exist! I am not just whispering into a soup can attached to a long string stretching away down a very dark alley!
If you are reading this, or any other word from my hand, know that I love you.