You may recall my Facebook status a few months back indicating I had some great news to share but couldn’t at the time because it hadn’t been officially announced. Well, on May 11th, it was official…I took 3rd Place in Category 5 (unpublished work by published author) of the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE) Writing Competition.
The awards were announced on May 11th at the annual ISFHWE banquet in conjunction with the NGS conference. Unfortunately I was unable to be there in person. A list of all the winners is available in Dick Eastman’s blog post ISFHWE Excellence in Writing Competition Winners Announced.
The article I submitted was entitled “With One Mystery Solved, Others Surface,” and is about my Miller clan. I had previously posted various research and conclusions on this blog, but the article took all the pieces and expanded on all the elements with a focus on the immigrant ancestor. The last post, Slowly Breaking Through Emil’s Brick Wall discusses the research up to that point (links to the previous posts are included); the article I submitted was essentially the next part in the research story.'
To be honest, I really didn’t anticipate placing at all. This is the first writing competition (of any kind) that I have entered, and to place third in my category is an honor. I can’t wait to expand on this accomplishment.
I want to take a moment to thank a few people who inspired me and “pushed” me into entering the competition. First, I want to thank Oriene Springstroh, fellow writer and ISGS Board Member, for her inspiration. Through discussions with Oriene, I learned more about myself and the direction I want to take in terms of genealogy…essentially, the writing aspect. Her words of encouragement stick with me all the time.
I also want to thank Sheri Beffort Fenley, who
pushed encouraged me into entering the competition in December. At the end of the year, I had written up my 2010 Achievements & 2011 Resolutions post. In that post I talked about the fact that I had an entry written for the competition, but wasn’t sure if I was going to enter at that time or wait until this year (the entry deadline was December 31st, so I didn’t have much time to decide). Sheri left the following comment: “Submit that article to ISFHWE! The feedback you will get is the best part about the whole contest!” So I did just that! Mind you, I still had to edit the article and finish the sourcing, but all the major writing was done.
The feedback is really why I decided to bite the bullet and enter. I do hope that I get some valuable feedback and continue to learn and grow. And as for a third place finish…not to shabby!