Saturday, December 31, 2011

For this Writer, 2011 Has Been a Good Year

It's hard to believe 2011 has come to an end. In my little writing world, 2011 has been a good year, but the year hasn't been so great for some of my writing friends.

My heart goes out to the people from Joplin who were affected by the tornado last May. But out of the tragedy, hope arose. It was gratifying to see how many members of the writing community rolled up their sleeves and uncapped their pens to help.

After the tornado, Claudia Mundell, president of the Joplin Chapter of the Missouri Writers' Guild, came up with the idea for an anthology as a way that writers could help our Joplin neighbors. Thus, the Storm Country Anthology was born, under the leadership of  Deb Marshall and Kelli Allen of the Missouri Writers Guild, published and copyedited by Linda Fisher from Mozark Press, with special guest editor Dianna Graveman from 2 Riverscommunications.

I was fortunate to have my short story "Golden Lilacs Under the Worm Moon" included in Storm Country anthology, and I got to attend the book launch in November, where I was able to read and hear several of my writing friends read their works included in the anthology.

In addition to Storm Country, my work also appeared this year in the following anthologies:

    "Read Away Vacation" in Flashlight Memories  from Silver Boomer Books
    "The Night the Circus Came to Town" in Mysteries of the Ozarks IV from Ozark Writers
    "Look Back, But Don't Stare" in A Shaker of Margaritas: Cougars on the Prowl from Mozark Press
    "Bridie O'Shea's Golden Haired Visitor" in Cactus Country from High Hill Press
    "Under Grandma's Bottle Tree" in Voices IV from High Hill Press

In 2011, my work was recognized for some awards:

   * Short story  "Criminal Minds" received First Place in the MWG President's Award for Short Stories
   * Limerick "Summer Help Wanted" awarded Honorable Mention in the Summer Poetry Contest by the Missouri State Poetry Society
    * Personal essay "Sweet Memories" received First Place in the Dan Saults Awards Category from the Ozarks Writers League
    *Short story "The Window Washer" received Third Place in the Dr. Doris Mueller Poetry and Fiction Contest

Two of my short stories have been nominated for awards:

    * My short story "Bridie O'Shea's Golden Haired Visitor" has been nominated for a Spur Award
    * My short story "Under Grandma's Bottle Tree" has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize

In 2011 I reviewed almost 40 books and wrote interview questions for more than half-a-dozen writers for the Bookreporter network.

In addition to my acceptances and wins, I received my share of rejections and non-responses to submissions, and I didn't win anything in several contests I entered. But rejections and near misses are part of being a writer.

This year I've had several new followers on my blog, had numerous giveaways, and a few special guests. Those feats are something I hope will continue in 2012.

All-in-all, 2011 was a good year, and I'm hoping 2012 will be good for me --- and for you!

Happy writing and reading--and I hope to hear from you next year!


  1. You have had a good year! Here is to another to follow! Happy New Year!

  2. Hi Claudia,
    wishing you and yours a blessed new year.


  3. Wow, Donna! That list is impressive. Congratulations.

  4. Hi Linda,
    Thanks. I bet yours is at least that long. You've had a good year too.

  5. Wishing you as much success (or more) in 2012!

    I found your blog in 2011 by reading your review of Celia Rivenbark's book, You Can't Drink All Day if You Don't Start in the Morning. Not that I'm a drinker, of course. I'm just a Celia Rivenbark fan. For Christmas, I got her latest book, You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat Girl. Not that I'm a fat non-sweater or anything.

  6. Hi Val,


    Celia Rivenbark is a hoot. I love her writing. I'll have to check out her new book.

    Wishing you a wonderful new year with lots of laughs and surprises.


  7. Donna--Your story that was nominated for a Pushcart prize has such an intriguing title. I hope sometime you will share it with some of your groupies?

    I am going to have to check out Celia Rivenbark's books, now that I see that both you and Val recommend them. Have you ever read anything by Lewis Grizzard? He's now dead, but wrote wonderful stuff--he was one of those fabulous southern writers...

  8. Hi Sioux,

    I'll bring a copy with me to the next Saturday Writers meeting.

    I haven't read anything from Lewis Grizzard. Great name for a writer.


  9. Wow, Donna, congratulations. You deserve each and every award. You are a hard working writer and I am happy to know you. May your list at the end of 2012 be even more notable. Three cheers for Donna!!!!!

  10. Hi Barb,
    Thanks. You are so kind. I hope to see you at Saturday Writers in January, and I wish you much success and many blessings in 2012.

  11. Wow, congratulations Donna! Much deserved.

  12. Wishing you as productive a 2012 as your 2011 was. Happy New Year!

  13. Congratulations on a productive and successful 2011! You're on a roll, and 2012 will undoubtedly bring you more rousing successes. Thanks for sharing your insights with us throughout the year.

  14. Happy New Year, Donna! You are an inspiration with all that you've accomplished in the past year. Write on . . .

  15. Hi Lynn,
    Thanks. You've had a good year too.

    Hi Sally,
    Thanks, and thanks for being such a faithful visitor.

    Hi Lisa,
    You are welcome, and thanks for having such a great blog with uplifting posts.

    Hi Clara,
    Thanks for your kind word. Wishing you the best in 2012.


  16. Congratulations, you have had a very good year. You are an inspiration to all of us writers and I am sure very deserving of all of your accomplishments.

  17. Congratulations on a very successful year, Donna! May 2012 be equally happy and productive for you!

    Critter Alley

  18. Hi Janet,
    Thanks for your kind words.

    Hi Pat,
    Thanks so much. I hope you have a wonderful year too.

  19. Well done, Donna! I love when people look back and see all the good that happened and that they accomplished. Not that the negative things shouldn't get a good going over, too, just to at least recognize them and learn from them but I always remember a quote I read here on your blog - "It's okay to look in the rear view mirror, just don't stare." :)

  20. Hi Madeline,
    Thanks. I know you've had a good year too. And I'm happy you remember my "look back but don't stare" quote. I used it as a title of one of my short stories.

    Hope 2012 is another great year for you.


  21. Wow, Donna, congratulations on a great year! May the new year be at least as productive and rewarding.

  22. Sounds like you had ad great 2011, Donna! I did not submit much this year (unless you consider my regular assignments), and you inspire me to try harder to get some things out there this year. Thanks for your warm and wonderful friendship, and I look forwards to continued friendship for many years! (Also, thanks for the shout-out here.)

  23. Hi Tammy,
    Thanks. I hope 2012 is a good one!

    Hi Dianna,
    You are so busy, no wonder you don't have time to enter contests. But you're a great role model for freelancers who write each day and bring home regular paychecks.



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