You know, that was the last thing, on my mind.” Tom Paxton
Before you skip down to find our winner, I would like to get a few things off my chest,(in addition to the white hairs that belie my age!) The mission of A Word with You Press is to provide a forum for you to find a readership, test and improve your skills, get some feedback for your work, meet kindred spirits, and continue a path of self-discovery that only writing can offer. In my ideal world, AWwYP would operate on auto-pilot, but it requires constant attention, which I am not always able to give it. Thankfully, I have wonderful volunteers (Stefanie, Kristine, Derek, Morgan, Alexis, Ben, and Tiffany), for whom running this site is an act of love, and motivated by a passion for writing and writers.
We (I) charge $10 or donations for each entry, not as a money-making proposition, but to offset some of our costs. We had a scant nine entries (the fewest of any contest). T-shirts and cash prizes and the cost of engraving for this particular contest ran about $300, and does not factor in fees to WordPress or hosting, or the cat food I pay the SatiKushes (my two cats) to keep the Towers rodent-free. While it is true that I get some paid editorial work as a result of this website, the vast majority of the work I get is from referrals from other clients.
I had promised to announce the winner two weeks ago. I am only announcing the winner now. “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Life has happened to me these last few months, making it the best of times and the worst of times. Please, consider that it might be unfair to judge my tardiness by the same standard as if you had hired me for some task. We are co-equals on this ocean; I just get to drive the boat.
To prevent me in the future from creating a timeline that I might not meet as life intrudes, I am structuring our next contest differently; the contest will be over when we have reached a pre-determined number of entries. I apologize to everyone for creating expectations that I did not satisfy (“I’ve been running from these promises to you that I made and I could not keep.” Leonard Cohen.)
Now, regarding More Good. Recall the inspiration for this contest. Mary Latham is crisscrossing the country, collecting stories to publish at the conclusion of her two-year quest that share kind or good acts that people witness or bestow upon others.(https://www.moregood.today/) She made a pit stop at the Towers that are A Word with You Press, and graciously agreed to link our contest to her project. The prompt for “One-of-a-Kindness” invited you to create a fictional story, relate an episode of kindness, or simply comment on the meaning of kindness in your life. While we had only nine entries, each entry was sincere, and understood that an act of kindness did not have to be dramatic or heroic or fortified with self sacrifice to qualify. Indeed, most of the entries drew attention to the simple events that occur, often unnoticed, in everyone’s day. I figured that my punishment for keeping you all waiting was to pick the winner myself, possibly incurring the wrath of the rest of our community who might have chosen differently. Will each of you who entered the contest send your shirt size to me at email@example.com (as Mike Casper has already done) and your mailing address: everyone who entered will receive a “More Good” t-shirt, and will our winner kindly let us know in the comment box which charity AWwYP will donate $50 to?
Here is the line, of many from all our entries, that resonated most with me:
We can always talk about a big good deed like writing a fat check to a charity or participating in a rescue mission in a flooded area, but we generally forget about small things that people do on a daily basis.
I hope I don’t forget about the small things that people do on a daily basis. Lidia Chikhareva, our contest winner, does not forget, either. (https://awordwithyoupress.com/2018/09/09/lidia-chikharevas-entry-6-makes-us-international/)