I have some exciting news to share: I have been chosen by the Atlanta Writers Club as the 2015 recipient of the Rick Bragg Prize for Nonfiction.
The piece that I submitted, “Greetings from the Nursing Home,” was an essay that I have kicked around for a long time. I began the piece after my first visit with Dad at the nursing home. That was back in 2011.
Since then, the essay has gone through countless revisions, and has been critiqued multiple times. I have submitted the piece numerous times to contests and literary journals for publication.
Each time, it was rejected.
As any writer knows, rejection is part of the process. I kept plugging away. I’ve written other pieces that have been published, I’ve self-published essays on various online platforms, but this one essay was special to me. While finishing my book is my number one writing goal, close behind was getting this essay recognized.
I learned of the honor as I was standing in the middle of what was my parents’ condo. The living room furniture had just been removed, and donated to charity. I was standing in the empty room, considering the new possibilities, when my phone buzzed and I literally jumped for joy after opening the email with the “Congratulations” subject line.
I hope this will inspire all of you, that however you express your caregiving story, whether it is through the arts, sports, spiritually or any other form of expression, don’t give up hope. Your message is being heard, and it will find a proper home.