Thursday, May 21, 2009

Place Your Bet, And Cross Your Fingers! by DL Larson

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 ~

DL Larson


Ingrid Foster said...

Wow. Congratulations on two levels. For winning second place (outstanding) and for having the strength and determination to ensure the contest maintained their integrity. Well done!

Lisa Logan said...

Congrats on the contest! What a surprise to get the money long after I'm sure you'd written it off.

I'm impressed this actually restored your faith. I find it unconscionable a contest was run--and monies collected--without the prize being held in reserve. I think that paints the pub in a rather poor light, and I'd be very reluctant to submit to a place that did business this way.


Deb Larson said...

I agree - unfortunately I didn't know until the contest was over. And I've been reluctant to enter anything since. But now with the time passing and all - I'm willing to give contests another go.
Thanks for sharing - stop by
again soon!
DL Larson