And it has nothing to do with the election!
Back last summer, my friend and fellow author Wendy Corsi Staub invited me to like a page on Facebook. Wendy doesn’t waste a lot of time on social media foolishness, so I knew if she was inviting me, then it must be something worthwhile.
(Seriously, if you want to know how to maintain an effective social media presence without losing readers, follow her. She’s just awesome!)
The page was for the Leon B. Burstein/MWA-NY Scholarship for Mystery Writing,whose purpose “is to inspire aspiring mystery writers by offering financial support to writers who want to take a specific class, attend a conference, or to do specific research as demonstrably necessary to a mystery work they are creating. It was named for Leon B. Burstein, an avid mystery fan, that more work in his favorite genre might be created.”
Filling Out the Application
After reading the FAQ’s I hastily filled out my application. Here are some of the highlights:
- PERSONAL STATEMENT – I explained that attending Bouchercon 2015 was a life-changing event, saying, “It defined the art of mystery writing for me in ways that books or websites alone couldn’t achieve.” I shared how attending the conference affected my writing and how I rushed to register for the 2016 event a full 13 months in advance…only to learn at the last minute that I’d be unable to attend, after all.
- TWIST AND SHOUT – I promised that, if selected, I’d share here on my webpage and my Facebook author page. I also promised to lavish words of thanks to MWA-NY and the Scholarship Committee in the acknowledgements section of anything I publish as a result of winning the award.
- CHECK OUT THIS T-SHIRT – This was a fun addition to the list. My family owns a small business. It’s mostly woodworking, but we also apply vinyl to t-shirts using a heat press. I promised I’d make a special shirt if selected.
And I was selected! My proposal requested funds that I would apply toward attending Bouchercon 2017 and you can see me wearing this shirt at the event.
The Writing Sample – Oh Boy!
My writing sample was a short story titled FAMILY IS A PAIN IN THE ASS. It’s about a young man who lives with the grandparents who raised him and his sister. When his grandfather dies, he must take drastic action to prevent another family member going to jail.
Although the story isn’t included in this blog post, I can tell you it includes fast food breakfast, a vintage photograph, and a lumpy hemorrhoid pillow. How mysterious, right?
As a 1,000 word tale for a Gotham Writers contest, the story didn’t move on to the next round. With the help of my writing group, The Mountain Scribes, I was able to polish it into something better.
I’d Like to Thank…
Thank you so much again to everyone who helped make this possible.
I’m really looking forward to Bouchercon 2017 and counting the days until October 12th (It’ s 337 at the time of this writing!) and you can bet this has served as inspiration to use NaNoWriMo to make a big push to finish my cozy mystery, THE POSTMAN ALWAYS DIES TWICE.
Are you going to Bouchercon? Let me know in the comments!