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Robyn M. Speed

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Merit Award for 'Dimension's Doorway'
Wednesday, August 24, 2005  4:54:00 PM

by Robyn M. Speed

So pleased I made the decision to attend the awards function.

On Friday 19th August 2005 I attended the Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Unpublished Manuscript and Published Book Awards (held in Auckland, New Zealand).

As much as I wanted to win the Unpublished Manuscript Award, I did not actually expect to.

All finalists were presented with a certificate, which was a delightful surprise. If nothing else I would have something to put on the wall in front of my desk to inspire and motivate me.

When the winner was announced I was a tad disappointed that it was not me (I would be lying if I said otherwise), but I had talked to the winner, Andrew Crowe, earlier and he was such a terrific guy that I was genuinely pleased for him--honestly, you should have seen the huge smile on his face afterwards!

There were 53 manuscripts submitted, and the judges narrowed it down to nine and from there they had to narrow it down to five. The standard of submissions had been very high, so high in fact that the Trust decided to issue two merit awards.

As they were about to announce the merit award winners I had a terrible thought running through my head: to be a finalist was a huge success, and made me feel like a winner already, but having missed out on the big Award and the prize money, if I missed out on the Merit Award as well I would feel like a loser. How terrible to go to the Awards function feeling like a winner and leave feeling like a looser.

The two winners of the merit award were announced "...Brian Broom and Robyn Speed."

Oh thank God! I thought!

I walked up, shook Brian's hand on the way and gratefully accepted the award certificate and an envelope which I assumed contained a letter of congratulations.<br><br>
I will point out that the publisher whom I was attempting to win over was at the awards and to have him witness me receive a merit award for the manuscript I am hoping he will publish, was a huge joy!

As they announced the Merit Award winner for the published book award I had a peek in my envelope to read the letter. I found not only a letter, but a check for $1000. I was even happier!

Within five minutes of the awards presentations a publisher rushed up to me and asked if I had a publisher yet, and when I said, not yet, he asked me to send him my manuscript.


Being a finalist got my foot in the door with two major New Zealand publishers, and now another had rushed up.

The publisher I had worked on all evening told me he could not promise anything (he has not had an opportunity to read the proposal I submitted yet), but did ask how soon he could have the rest of the chapters if he wanted to read them. I promised that I could have them printed off and on their way the same day he asked for them.

To be a finalist was a thrill, but to be a merit award winner, just put me on cloud 99.

One of the members of the Trust came up to tell me she really liked my manuscript and she had total faith that it would be published. She said it needed work to tie up loose threads, but she was certain it would be published. She absolutely made my evening!

To Ashton Wylie, wherever you are, thank you for asking, in your Will, that this trust be set up. I never met you, but you are my hero!

My dream is in my hand, but my fingers are not yet curled around it. Everything lies with the publisher...he may like the work, he may not. 

 More News about Robyn M. Speed
Winner of the Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Unpublished Manuscript Award - 8/26/2006 6:56:00 PM

Finalist! Again! - 7/24/2006 4:25:00 PM

Finalist - 7/28/2005 6:36:00 PM

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