Awhile back I mentioned how nerve wracking entering writing contests can be, plus being expensive and always a big gamble. I shared how in the summer of 2007, I entered my unpubbed work, Promises My Love, in a literary contest, a whole manuscript type of thing. I was informed that fall I was a finalist and the winners would be announced January 1, 2008.
I won Second Place, a $250 award. But I never received the money. I waited months, wondering if I should bring this to the publishing house's attention. By May 2008, I wrote and asked for my prize. What I received shocked me. They didn't have the money to pay me. I would have to wait.
Months passed and I noticed they were calling for entries for their next upcoming contest. How could they do that when they hadn't paid me for the previous year? So I wrote again that fall. Again, I was taken by surprise. They still did not have the funds to pay me, but promised to do so - as soon as possible.
Well, another contest came and went - other winners were announced January 1, 2009 and I wondered what would happen to their faith in contests. I'd become cautious and had decided many contests were merely a means to make money at the expense of the foolish writers trying to get recognition.
Then the oddest thing happen this week, Monday, May 18, 2009; I received a check for $250 and a letter of apology for waiting so long for payment.
I was dumbfounded! I cashed the check. My belief in this crazy business has been restored. I had never truly believed I would see that money. Writing such a letter must have been difficult, but I am tickled to receive it. I value the letter as much as the money. I know it will be around long after the cash has been spent.
The salutation at the end of the letter said, Cheers! And so I will, cheer for this company who certainly had financial trouble, but rode it out and maintained their integrity. They kept their promise.
And I'm wearing a smile, and doing the happy dance.
Til next time ~