I'm A Loser, Baby

Sometimes winning seems like the only goal worth pursuing. Everyone has their own definition of the big win - getting a new contract, receiving an award, winning the lottery - but we're all heading for the same finish line. We're all in it for the win.

I therefore take perverse pleasure in announcing my failure to win the New Works Competition at Seattle's Richard Hugo House. Okay, so I'd have preferred to be a winner (wouldn't we all?), but there's some consolation in knowing that you did a good job despite your loser status. My short story 'Bud' made it to the final four of the contest this year, and of that I am unduly proud. I like to think that if the judges had drunk just a few more mojitos before reading it then I might have come out on top.

Which also leads me neatly on to the winner, Jeff Bender's 'The Guard'. Jeff gave a fantastic class on story structure at Write-O-Rama last year, so I've no doubt that the story is a winner in every respect. The guy knows how to write. As for the story, you'll have to go along to the final event in the 2011-2012 Hugo Literary Series to hear it, where Jeff will debut the story alongside readings from Suzanne Morrison, Sam Lipsyte and Ben Lerner, as well as music by Tomo Nakayama of Grand Hallway. Tickets are still available online here, or by calling (206) 322-7030.

As for the fact that it might have been me standing up on that podium, I'll get over it after a beer or two. Maybe being a winner isn't everything after all.

(Note to editors: 'Bud' is still up for grabs, for the right literary journal. Just sayin'...)