Sunday, May 18, 2008

Good News on the Writing Front!

Yesterday I attended the Illinois Woman's Press Association's annual awards luncheon at the Union League Club in Chicago. Again I was pleased to receive two first-place awards, this time for my second book, Seniorwriting: A Guide for Seniors Who Want to Write and for one of my eGenerations columns, "Sharing your Experiences, Memories, and Stories."

I also received a second place award and an honorable mention, respectively, for two of my "Never too Late!" blog posts: a book review, "Retirement Planning: Looking Beyond the Money" and my post, "On Laundry and 'Going Green.'"

Here are the judges' comments on the first-place winners:

On Seniorwriting: "A very fine step by step guide for any senior who has a story to tell and who wants to write it down. Practical, interesting, engaging."

On "Sharing you Experiences, Memories, and Stories": "This is a terrific guide to self-publishing that sets out to answer the question 'What should I do with my writing? How can I preserve and share it?' In a crisply organized, smoothly written column, Styne takes her readers on a quick tour of publishing options ranging from blogging and participating in online communities, to personal printing and distribution of written pieces, to Web sites that manufacture books on order and a company that makes an audio kit for recording one's life story. Filled with good advice, this highly readable column offers writers a variety of ways to publish their writing."

The judges had good things to say about my other winners, too. About the book review, they said, "This review of the book "Your Retirement, Your Way," by Alan Bernstein and John Trauth (McGraw-Hill, 2007) raises a number of important issues that should be considered by people planning to reitre. It's not only about whether one has saved enough money, says Styne, noting the book's subtitle: 'Why it takes more than money to live your dream.' Savings and financial issues aside, Styne reflects on chapters about the importance of setting new life goals and planning the next phase of one's life, 'Preparing Psychologically for Change,' and 'Determining How You Want to be Remembered.' The soon-to-be-retired reader will find a number of helpful ideas on how to make the transition smoother and more rewarding."

On the blog post "On Laundry and 'Going Green'": "Mulling the inconveniences of being green, the author considers the suggestion to hang laundry outside to dry in order to save the energy used by clothes driers. In her humorous, unsentimental voice, this Chicago retiree draws a line in the sand. 'Those who grew up on farms (as I did) or in small towns,' she says, 'often remember sweet-smelling, right-off-the-clothesline garments fondly, but not me. To me, hanging clothes out on the line was a chore, just another of my mother's tedious responsibilities.'"

Thank you, judges, for your kind comments. Now the first-place winners go on to the National Federation of Press Women's national contest. I doubt that I'll win at that level (I did win one first there for my blog, "Never too Late!" last year and a third for my book Reinventing Myself).

These may strike some among you as minor awards, but to me they represent welcome recognition of my writing in 2007. I've never expected to become a famous, best-selling author, but I delight in these small triumphs. They support my basic belief that seniors should follow their passions, whatever they are. Mine is writing.

To read my winning entries:

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne

Photo by Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas: Seniorwriter at the luncheon, with fellow Chicago Cultural Center volunteer Joyce Dunn (left).


Lydia said...

Congratulations to you! What a role model and teacher you are. You amaze me.

seniorwriter said...

Thanks, Lydia. Kind words are always appreciated!