Not actually for the WHOLE last two weeks, but I have been holding it, off and on, in a gut busting, nerve wracking way for about that long. That’s because I’ve been waiting to hear whether the people at the Fabri Literary Prize actually want to read more than the first fifty pages of my novel, which is what they do with about five of the many manuscripts that are submitted to them. This Prize is pretty fabulous — if lightning strikes and they choose your novel, they’ll actually hand you $10,000, publish your book, and give you $5,000 to gallivant around the country and read from it at any bookstore you can charm into having you. You could probably use some of that $5,000 to take people out to dinner, and see if they’ll maybe interview you on their radio show. I’ve heard that works with Terry Gross.
And “No,” is the answer to the question you are probably asking — I haven’t been chosen to be a finalist — they don’t let that cat out of the bag for a few more days. I do know that the chances of that happening are about as good as my boys all sitting around beading me a matching necklace, bracelet and tiara for Christmas. Still, it’s inspiring to have things like this around, and small publishers willing to do it are like gold.
They run this prize twice a year. If you have a manuscript and you’re not sure where to send it, you should send it to them. And I’ll let you know what happens. I spent five years writingThe Secret War, and I figure I should at least try to recoup the cost of all those printer ribbons.