The Honor of Being Nominated

Nancy Flynn Apostrophe Blog Archive, Awards, Writing, Writing Contests

The Apostrophe Blog

Musings on Writing and Life.

Over the years, I have had my creative writing work nominated for a Pushcart Prize four times: “Gift Event for Our New Gilded Age” nominated for 2016 by Raven Chronicles. “Up in the Old Hotel” nominated for 2015 by Posit. “The Winter We Lived in the Church & It Snowed Daily & the First Barrel of Crude Oil Traveled Successfully through the Trans Alaska Pipeline” nominated for 2014 by Blood Orange Review. “Cut Off” nominated for 2010 by VoiceCatcher 4.

What is a Pushcart Prize and what does it mean to be nominated? According to its website, The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses series, “published every year since 1976, is the most honored literary project in America – including Highest Honors from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.” Their annual nomination process is pretty straightforward.

Little magazine and small book press editors from all over the world can send in up to six nominations of print or online work published in their pages during the previous year. Poetry, essays, memoirs, short stories, and even stand-along novel excerpts are all welcome along with translations and reprints. Writing can be traditional or experimental. A wide net is cast and so, of course, the competition to be chosen is stiff. I have never won—nor did I ever expect I would. But I guess it still remains something of an honor to even pass muster enough that the editors of the magazine or journal who published your work are willing to single your piece out to be included in the elite group of six they are allowed to submit. I know there are lots of long lists and short lists for every freaking award that is out there these days and that can get annoying. But we creative writers have to take our confidence boosts anywhere we can get them. I remain thrilled that a few of my poetry ditties were selected and then sent to be read by the good folks at the Pushcart Press who have continued for close to fifty years to give their all to keeping the literary word—and world—alive.

The public domain photograph of an unattended pushcart is from the Office for Emergency Management/Office of War Information’s New York Office and was taken between 1942 and 1945.

Nancy Flynn
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