My dad reminded me that after I failed to win the 1983 Avon/Flare Young Adult Novel competition, I set my sights on Tiger Beat magazine. They put a call out for teens “who’d done something interesting” or something like that. I pitched my tale: I wrote a novel, it didn’t win, but hey, I wrote something. They called and my dad remembers my phone conversation and then…I sent off a photo and Tiger Beat published my picture along with a blurb about the YA novel that didn’t get published. I remember looking at myself next to a very made-up and much blonder, likely taller, spelling bee WINNER.
Now that I am a teacher and former school counselor, I realize how far ahead of the game Tiger Beat was for their time. To celebrate someone for the journey and not first place? How progressive and how kind they were to recognize that effort and drive, giving me a little glossy space.