Awards Context

I won’t lie, I like getting awards.  Sometimes it’s simply nice to get recognition from your peers or your fans.  Sometimes you just need that little boost to feed the self-confidence machine.  Sometimes they’re just fun.  For example, when I was in college and still deciding if I wanted to give writing a shot, I entered a short story contest through my school and received an honorable mention (it also came with a shirt, but I may or may not have slept in it every night until it was nothing but threads.  Then gave the threads a viking funeral).

A few years later, at the very first horror convention I attended, the World Horror Convention, I came in fourth place in their short story contest (the true award being receiving my certificate from Neil Gaiman).

The following year, I took first place in that contest.  In a side note, apparently we were going for a POC sweep of that year’s awards:  I took first place in the short story contest; Chesya Burke took first place in the flash fiction contest; however, Wrath James White let the team down by taking second place in the Gross Out Contest (losing to one, Mr. Cullen Bunn).  Also, WHC 2011 is holding a short story contest again, which has just opened for submissions.

I have gone a few years without any recognition.  Well, that changed this past weekend at Context when I received Shroud Publishing’s Hiram award for “The Smasher of Sterotypes.”  To wit:  “He’s charming, a minister of the Christian word, African-American, and snappily dressed – an impossible convergence in a horror writer.”

The Smasher of Stereotypes

And it came with a trophy.

Because sometimes awards are just fun.

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Context 2009 Report (Much Belated Due to Deadline Constraints)

I make no bones about it: I love ConText. It’s one of my favorite cons to go to, not just because it’s a convenient drive for me to go to, but because they have great guests of honor such as Chris Golden, Jason Sizemore (you’ll note that Geoff Girard considers himself a Guest of Honor wherever he goes), and Steve Gilberts

which draw some great folks (Gene O’Neil, Gord Rollo, and the Brothers Grin aka Doug Warrick and Kyle Johnson).

and it’s a great atmosphere. This year they changed hotels and this new one was AMAZING (of course, the free breakfast buffet helps. Open Letter to All Con Organizers: you want to keep writers happy, it’s pretty easy. Supply free food and drink. We’ll always consider it a successful con after that).

Plus, this is one of those cons (read: affordable) where I can take the family. Now, teh wife gets that cons—despite the pics of schmoozing and the occasional drink—are still work for me, but as she’s not much of a reader has felt left out of this part of my life. Because of Mo*Con she now knows a lot of the folks who also make it a point to make it out to ConText. So I can do my thing, she and the boys can do their thing, and we can do our thing. At least that’s how it’s supposed to work on paper. The reality woks out more like the tale of two cons.

While I’m hard at work being interviewed by the Funky Werepig crew (who I was previously interviewed by)

Let’s check in on teh family

While I’m hard at work networking
let’s check in on teh wife, who had teamed up with her friend/co-conspirator/fellow author’s widow, Jill Gordon (wife of my co-editor of Dark Faith).

The advantage to family is that Sally could do her own networking (though I told them I’d quit referring to them as the “Artist Widows”), Reese could help out at my author’s signing, and I’m not above pimping out my sons in the name of marketing.

In short, this was the best ConText ever (which is doubly surprising considering how great the previous ones have been). But be warned, those not built for con life: it takes out even the best of us and leaves us spent.

Context 2008 – This is how I Roll

This pretty much sums up my con experience. Friends, family, networking, parties, and laughs. And as Alethea said “if this picture was a sitcom, you’d watch it.”

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