Wednesday, May 26, 2010

SLF Older Writers Grant Winner Chosen

Many of you probably don't know this, but I am the Grant Administrator for the Speculative Literature Foundation's Older Writers Grant.

Each year, SLF awards $750 to a writer who is fifty years or older and at the start of his or her professional writing career.

A few days ago, I chose the winner for the grant. I won't reveal the winner here (yet), since SLF hasn't officially made the announcement, but the winner and all applicants for the grant have been notified. I sent my last email to the 95th applicant a few hours ago.

Notifying the applicants took about two days. This is my third year as Grant Administrator, so I have a good system in place now. And you definitely need a system when you have 90-plus personalized emails to send out.

Yeah, you read that right. I give each applicant a personalized response based on their submitted piece. As a writer, I'd want the same. It's a time-consuming process--I make sure to take notes as I read each piece, since the application period is three months--but I think it's worth it.

Which brings me to what I get out of all of this. The best part about being Grant Administrator, other than giving a deserving writer $750, is when an applicant thanks me for the personalized response and tells me they will apply again next year.

Sure, I get a few emails of frustration and anger. But it's good to know I'm doing something right when people thank me for not giving them money.

So, you're welcome. And, by the way, thank you all for applying, and for your kind words as well.

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