An Update on the West Virginia Fiction Award, queue up “I’m a loser, baby….”


I received word that I did not win the West Virginia Fiction Award. This was a disappointment, but it was an honor to have been included among the finalists.

It was mostly difficult because chief among the criticisms I received from the final judge were formatting issues that could have only been altered after the story was sent in (electronically).

I was asked to paste the story in the body of an e-mail (as well as attaching it in a Word document) and I can only assume that it was then copied and pasted again where the original formatting was lost.

So it was a bummer to read a detailed critique mostly about formatting issues (“Never, never, never, ever send in a story without page numbers!”) when almost all of those were in the original story.

Oh well. Such is life. Next time I’ll be sure to ask if that kind of thing is being done. And I’ll ask for UN observers. Hopefully this won’t affect my Heisman campaign.


One wonders what would have happened if the judge would have seen the story as originally formatted. But I really do still think I would have lost.

As a wise man once said, “Somebody call the waaaaambulance.”

Next week at this blog: Even more whiney action! Don’t miss it!


  1. It’s a wonderful achievement to be among the finalists! But formatting issues as criteria in judging a fiction contest? That’s bizarre and unjust and frustrating, especially when something must have been wonky in the process that was out of your control. 🙁

  2. Maybe the judge had a brother in the contest…

    I’m with GrammaMack on the format issues, should be a non-issue.

    But seriously, this just gives us a bit of ammunition when you are wildly successful. If you get a little big for your britches, we can always say “Hey pal, you DO remember the WV Fiction award? You didn’t win that, so you’re mortal just like the rest of us.”

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