Winning–or Not Quite Winning


I'm cold, I smell terrible, I'm in constant peril, but I can still celebrate.

I’m cold, I smell terrible, I’m in constant peril, but I can still celebrate.

Do you know what it means to be “short listed?” (Hint: it’s better than being short sheeted. Or short sighted.) In the literary world, to be short listed is to be named a finalist for a writing award. For example, every year, writers and readers wait to hear who has been short listed for the Man Booker Award. It’s an honor to be short listed. It’s such a big deal that even if writers do not win the prize, being short listed for it is something that appears on their bios and even on gold stickers affixed to their books.

Last week I was notified that I was short listed for the International Rubery Book Award in Fiction. Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate didn’t win the over-all fiction award—that went to Float by JoeAnn Hart–but I am among the top seven fiction writers who were in contention for the prize.

From the Rubery International Book Award website:

Kiss me Over the Garden Gate – Alexis Rankin Popik
An extremely well written novel about bi-polar disorder, told from the point of view of both the man and his wife as they come to terms with his condition. The author has a good grasp of the subject and it’s a convincing portrayal of both the manic episodes and the depressed periods. It ends realistically – without easy answers.

We celebrate occasions of all kinds—birthdays, graduations, World Cup victories—so why not celebrate almost winning? With approximately 100,000 new novels published in English each year, the odds of winning anything at are nearly impossible, so falling only a little short is worth celebrating. Besides, my celebration of being on the short list has a certain symmetry to it—“it ends realistically – without easy answers.”



About Alexis

Alexis Rankin Popik, author of Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate, is an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in The Berkshire Review and Potpourri Magazine. She has penned numerous articles about local history that have been published in Connecticut Explored and the University of Connecticut School of Law and The Hartford Seminary publications. A former union organizer, Popik traveled the country educating shipyard workers about health and safety and founded a labor-management health plan before turning to writing fiction full-time. She lives with her husband in New England.
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