James Jones First Novel Fellowship
Posted on 09 September 2010
My novel Opal (submitted under the title Finding Opal) was named a runner up in the 2010 James Jones First Novel Fellowship.
This is absolutely fantastic news and, to be honest, I never imagined this result when I submitted the opening chapters of the novel back in February. The novel was just so new. I recognized it needed time to grow (and it still does) but decided to give this fellowship a shot anyway. Then, in May, I learned I made it to the second round and had to send in the next 50 pages. I was about to leave town for a business trip, my printer was on the fritz, and the post office was closed. I ended up frantically proofreading the next 50 pages and running to Kinko’s just before closing time to print and ship the manuscript. And then it was out of my hands.
To be named a runner up is both encouraging and humbling, especially as I review my beta reader reports. Several generous writers read Opal recently and offered invaluable suggestions. I’m starting another round of revisions based on their feedback and am already overwhelmed by how much work I have ahead of me. Being recognized in this fellowship is a nice boost and a reminder that someone out there sees promise in my manuscript. In the long and lonely process of writing a novel, that can sometimes be enough.
Heartfelt congratulations to the winner, Gina Ventre, for her novel Moon’s Extra Mile. I’ll admit that I totally stalked her story on Storyglossia and loved it! And apparently she is/was a Clevelander. How cool is that?