Win a Major Award! (Maybe!)

As I mentioned back in February, during my way-too-long blog absence I was swamped with a lot of work.

But that’s not the whole story; I was also swamped with a bit of fun. One such bit of fun was creating The Sully Award, an honor to recognize “Excellence In Writerishness.”

The first and (so far, only) recipient of The Sully Award was Mary Gillilan, the publisher of Clover, a superb literary magazine. You should  buy a copy of Clover, by the way—not only because my stuff was published in issues 11 and 12, but also because my Clover essay, “Short Fuse,” got me a Pushcart Prize nomination. If you need a more convincing reason to buy Clover, here it is: Each issue is chock full of stories by writers who write better than I do.

Mary got her Sully in September. She found it nifty.

You may be wondering why I named the award “Sully.” I’ll explain:

Once upon a time, Laurel Leigh, a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad person from Whatcom County, Washington, mercilessly launched a long and brutal cross-country, online smear campaign against me. The reason? She wanted me to draw her a doodle of a salamander.

As many of you know, I sometimes doodle on this blog. I sometimes even run contests where the winner can get a doodle of anything he or she wants. But this… This was extortion. I could not abide by it. To do so would be unseemly.

I tried to resist Laurel — I really did — but the forces against me were too great. She enlisted her many minions to assault me at all hours of the day and night. She forced innocent children to do her bidding. She shed tears of woe. And then she threatened me with a doll that is possessed by the devil.

And then—worst of all—Laurel got me to like her.

Laurel really is a lovely person. Persistent, single-minded, and sometimes unseemly, yes, but lovely.

So I drew her a salamander.

This guy.

I named him Sully and the name stuck. By the way, if you want to get Laurel’s gleeful take on these salamander shenanigans, click here.

The reason I bring up Sully and the honor in his name, is because I was thinking of turning The Sully Award for Excellence in Writerishness into an annual writing competition.

I don’t know the particulars of the competition yet, but if you folks are interested, I’ll put together the rules, get some prizes, and assemble a team of judges.

So! Let me know what you think in the comments!

If there’s enough enthusiasm for this thing, I’ll do it. And then, who knows? A coveted Sully may soon find a place of honor in your very own home.

86 Replies to “Win a Major Award! (Maybe!)”

    1. No doodle of your choice this time around; that is for the twice annual doodle contest. And, besides, you already have an Allegra original, so don’t get greedy.

      The prize for this competition will be an official Sully Award certificate (suitable for framing) and a couple of other prizes to sweeten the deal.

  1. Lol. Lord knows I was just waiting for a post from you. i was even checking yesterday ( I don’t know why). You made me laugh again. Well that award sounds nice. I love the doodle. No wonder she pestered you, I’d have done the same. You should really consider the award thingy.

  2. ME want Sully. ME write very hard. In other news, I have just managed to write 124,000 words of Supergirl fanfiction in 27 days, to fix the mistakes the writers are making this season. Somebody asked me if I’m part typewriter, which is probably the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me. Good to have you back!

    1. Good God, Sue! 124,000?! You are a dynamo!

      Now if you’d only write about Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman — but still wearing her glasses. There really should be more kickass women superheroes who wear glasses while fighting crime.

      Ahem. Perhaps I am revealing a bit too much.

  3. Best idea ever! If I would be so bold as to make a suggestion, it would be to include excerpts from longer works of fiction. So many contests want only flash fiction or short stories.

    On the other hand, I’m not bold at all…

  4. Hmmmmm….not sure I like having you salamander my friend, Laurel. As far as contests are concerned….not sure I’m up for it unless it’s confined to picture book manuscripts. And I don’t think that’s what you’re looking for at the moment. I’m supposed to be writing a nonfiction essay for an anthology being produced by a writing group I belong to, and it was painful just to spew a first draft last week. I am soooo scattered. I think it’s because I do crazy things like offer to take care of a friend’s dog (even if it’s only for one day!) while she’s gone. It means I have to drive across town and back three times! And feed and walk my own dog. And take care of my son with the sprained ankle. And….My life is not my own!! OK. Done whinging. What are the rules? And what is the deadline? 😀

    1. No one has said you cannot submit a PB manuscript, my friend. But I also recall an incredible nonfiction essay you presented recently.

      I think you’d be quite the contender in this contest — provided you don’t waste valuable writing time looking after other people’s pets.

      1. I am so busted! I owe you and that Wes guy some kind of manuscript, don’t I? I’m having such a hard time making the rough draft sound like anything more than an info dump….must get inspired!

      2. Yes, yes, yes, you must write and write and now you apparently also owe Writer Fellow a couple hundred words. No rest for the majorly talented!

      1. It behooves me to try and remain outstanding in the field of bovine humor. I shall endeavor to send only the cream of the crop for your inspection.

  5. Hahahaha! I knew it! I knew that deep, deep, deep like below the ocean, you had a soft spot for me and my pals out here in Whatcom County. Aren’t you glad we stalked you?

      1. That’s what I think, exactly! Although I have to admit to some internal conflict about this so-called contest award. I mean, he will still be ours, right? We are just sharing him with the world, not giving him away.

  6. I think it is a wonderful idea for those who have a talent for entertaining writing. I think you should do it because I think you’d have a lot of participants. I can write a PB MS, or a public affairs piece, but not so sure I have that creative streak. But who knows….

  7. Are there any specific criteria for the writing? If writing about wine is included, I’d love to enter. 🙂
    And I love the doodle. To be bestowed with the Sully award would be a tremendous honour.

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