End of an era–will the contest(s) continue?

St. Martin’s Press editor Ruth Cavin has stepped into the next world at the age of 92. My condolences to her family, friends, and authors. I especially feel for her daughter (Nora) who often accompanied her to meetings, because she’ll be going through what my cousin Pat is now going through after the loss of my aunt Jean. It’s very tough for those of us left behind. Remember (as my husband’s grandmother’s preacher said at her memorial service) that they do not suffer the pain of this long separation as we do, for they have stepped into Eternity and a better world–where we will join them all too soon (because we are still so in love with and attached to this beautiful world).

I had no contact with her, but to those of you who had her for an editor, here’s a hug. It’s tough to change editors that way.

I can’t help but wonder what will happen to the St. Martin’s contests now, because she served as head judge. Probably they will continue, at least for a while, under the direction of other editors.

The old guard is almost gone. Are the new gatekeepers doing the same great job? Can the conglomerates hang on to their stranglehold with the proliferation of e-books from the Great Unwashed that are now flooding the market? We’ll see what happens.

Still, it’s proper for us to take a moment to mourn the passing of the Good Old Days. Many great and lasting works came out of the heyday of publishing.


Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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