By Kathy Crowley
As many of you may know, a year ago Beyond the Margins accepted nominations for our first ever Above and Beyond Award. We were thrilled when the first nomination arrived. “Look–someone reads our blog!” we said. And we were even more thrilled when another arrived, and another, until we had over twenty nominations. These weren’t mothers begging us to give their little Jane or Johnny some much-needed validation. No, these were published authors, editors, agents, teachers, students, mentors (and maybe one or two barristas), all wanting to nominate someone they felt had displayed extraordinary generosity toward them and toward other writers.
So when we opened the nomination process for the 2013 award, we wondered if we would get the same kind of response. What if the novelty had worn off? What if word had gotten out that our prize is only slightly less gaudy than Princess Beatrice’s “toilet hat?” What if the last decent person in the entire writing universe decided she was broke as heck and not going to take it anymore, and took a job writing ads for Facebook?
To our surprise, none of these disasters occurred. To our even greater surprise and delight, we received over 50 nominations this year! That’s right: in one year, BTM’s Above and Beyond Award managed to double the rate of altruism in the writing world. Just call us “The little blog that could–and did.”
More importantly, we now have the names of fifty of the most generous souls in the writing world: writers who have taught, mentored, published, connected, fostered, championed, edited, soft-shouldered – even paid bills — for other writers. It’s like finding a Map of the Mensches.
We have reviewed all the nominations and are in the process of deciding on a winner now. In the meantime, we want to make sure the word gets out about all these outstanding nominees. So here they are….
A big round of applause for all of you.