As a writer, I don't always know if my words are reaching people. There's not instant feedback. I get fan mail and reviews sometimes, which are both greatly appreciated, but I'm still always questioning if my work really matters. Because usually it's just me in a bathrobe on the couch with my laptop. And sometimes I wonder if I should spend my time doing something more concrete. Like cleaning the garage. (Which I promise WILL get done today.)
All that to say entering contests is a great way to receive feedback. Not that you have to win a writing contest to make a difference in someone's life. But it's a pat on the back. A nod of approval. Confirmation that your words are being heard.
So today I want to add my nod of approval to my friends who won Cascade Awards last night. I wasn't able to cheer them on in person at the Oregon Christian Writer's Conference, but from where I was (eating cotton candy at the zoo), I logged into facebook to watch for the winners.
Congrats to Heather Love Fitzgerald for her win with The Flaming Sword in the speculative fiction category! I got to meet Heather in Oregon last month. We write for the same publisher, and it's exciting to see Mountain Brook Ink making its mark in the world.
Also, congrats to Sara Davison for The Morning Star Rises in the contemporary fiction category! I'll be cheering for her during The Carol Awards, as well. If you haven't heard of her yet, check out The Seven Trilogy published by Ashberry Lane.