I always figured the winners of contests are usually notified before the losers. So, as I watched the tweets for the Chicago North RWA chapter's Fire & Ice contest, I cheered along the others and prepared to offer congratulations to the winners. You can't imagine my complete and utter shock when I read this tweet:
Winner of 2016 Fire & Ice contest FF&P category: Once Bitten by Heather McCorkle. Congratulations!!! #CNSF16
— Chicago-North RWA (@ChicagoNorthRWA) May 22, 2016
I'm so honored, and so grateful to the judges of the Chicago North chapter. The other contestants were so talented, which is part of why this came as such a huge shock. That, combined with the history of never winning contests, left me floored! This great news comes after a rather difficult year in which the publisher I signed my debut with closed (meaning it wouldn't be published), I lost two family members, the beloved head of the agency who represents me passed away, and I had a health scare on top of it. So this news is so much more than welcome. I just... don't even have the words.