Awards to a writer are like gold. And while some may even be made of gold which you can cash in at any one of those “Cash-for-Gold” shops, most are far more valuable.
While writing awards come in all varieties, the ones that hold the most value are those given with minimal input from you, the writer, and usually from a group of other writers. After winning such an award, especially one given by a group of writers or editors, your credibility soars–at least for a while.
Soon after you’re presented with an award, everyone rushes to congratulate you. But not unlike when a loved one dies and the sympathies fade away after a few weeks, so it is with an award. How soon they forget!
So it’s up to you to make sure they don’t. Whatever type of award you win, you need to milk it for all the promotion it’s worth. Prominently display it on the Home Page of your Web site. Post it on your Facebook Page, tweet all those Web birdies out there. But most of all, let your editors and publishers know about it.
First and foremost, use your award to get more work. Make sure you update your resume, especially on your Web site. Don’t be shy. And mention it in your query letters. The more prestigious the award, the longer its residual effects will last.
And be sure to display your award(s) where you can see them every day, so that they’ll inspire you to write more. Remember, the fact that you received an award in the first place means someone thought you were better than the rest. The award just proves what you knew all along.