My Campbell Year

Ever since I heard of the Campbell Awards I have loved them. The Campbell Award, given every year during WorldCon, recognises new emerging writers. Once you have received your first ok pay cheque for writing sf/f a clock starts to tick and you have two calendar years to prove yourself worthy of nomination. Carving out a life as a writer is a long marathon and it’s nice to see relatively close goals that you can aim for towards the start of the journey.

I’ve enjoyed thinking about how in 2010 and 2011 would be my years to chase the Campbell dream, to prove myself worthy, to aim high. In a strange twist of fate my first Campbell Award eligible work came out in December 2009, starting the clock a year earlier than I had dreamed (my Campbell bio is now up). I am delighted that Cracked Leather found a place to be published and has been so warmly received. I wouldn’t change it for the world (well maybe the world). It just means my tidy little fantasy of 2010 and 2011 to prove my worthiness for voting in 2012 has been truncated by a year.

The challenge is significant and I am not sure if I will prove my worthiness in time, but it is still worth striving for. I will throw myself as much as I can. This is a challenge to myself and not in competition. I plan to soar with my fellow nominees – we are in this crazy dream together. I will write, I will edit, I will send work to publishers, I will read, I will learn from my peers – as I do every year. But this year I will have an extra spur to my sides that I plan to use. This year will never come again.

2010 is my Campbell year. I’m going to enjoy the challenge.

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