A Bittersweet Celebration

The highlight of the GCLS Conference is the announcement of the winners of the Goldie Awards and Bedazzled Ink had several Finalists this year.

Ann Bannon Popular Choice

Dramatic/General Fiction

Debut Author

Creative Non-fiction

Tee Corinne Outstanding Cover Design

Congratulations to Doreen Perrine, CD Cain, Pat Deihl, and Sandra Moran for their outstanding work.

 

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We’re delighted that Wishbone by Elaine Burnes won the Goldie Award for Dramatic/General Fiction. We’d been fans of Elaine Burnes’ short stories for years and we jumped at the opportunity to publish her first amazing novel. If you haven’t yet read this “beautifully written and poignantly powerful” work, there’s still plenty of summer left for a summer read.

This year’s Goldie Awards is also bittersweet for us. While GCLS honored Sandra Moran and her book, All We Lack, we feel an emptiness that we can’t celebrate her second Ann Bannon award with her and the added honor of the Tee Corinne Outstanding Cover Design by Ann McMan.

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We miss Sandra’s Moran’s presence as an author and as a person and these awards feel like an end to an all-too-brief era in Bedazzled Ink history. It’s true, we were slated to publish her last book, State of Grace, but we never had the chance to go through the editorial process with Sandra on this, our favorite of all her books. State of Grace will always be a bittersweet memory for me because one of our last conversations was about getting ready to embark on what was always a delightful undertaking with Sandra, the editing process, this time with State of Grace. This brief conversation says everything that needs to be said about Sandra the author and her desire to make sure a book was the best it could be. She wrote: “Fingers crossed that it ticked the boxes.” And I responded with: “Thanks! I’m sure it’s great.” To which she replied, “If it’s not, we will make it great together. I am always eager to make whatever changes are necessary.” I still feel an ache that we never got that chance to work together on State of Grace and that I’ll never have the privilege of working with her again.

In the end, we gave up State of Grace because of editorial and artistic differences with Sandra’s wife Cheryl Pletcher and we respect her choices in how she wants to handle Sandra’s legacy. After Cheryl tried to interest the major publishers in taking on State of Grace, another publisher agreed to put out an edition of Sandra’s last manuscript version of it. As Cheryl wrote in this edition’s Foreword: “I did not want it edited again. Perhaps the story could have been improved by editing. To me, that is irrelevant.”

With all of Sandra’s literary works now published and that chapter of her life closed, her work with Marianne K. Martin on the Legacies of Lesbian Literature Project lives on, with the goal of turning it into a video. All the royalties from the sale of Sandra’s books will go to funding this project. If you haven’t yet discovered the work of Sandra Moran, this is a great time to not only read a wonderful author but to support a worthwhile project. If you’ve already purchased her books, buy one for your local public and college library or recommend her titles to them. Keep passing on the word about this remarkable author who left us too soon so she can live on through her books–Letters Never Sent, Nudge, and All We Lack.

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You can also make a contribution to the project by going to https://www.crowdrise.com/legacies-of-lesbian-literature-project and you can friend the project on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LegLesLit.

The Goldies always mark the end of awards “season” and as we celebrate Wishbone‘s win, we also pause to remember Sandra’s legacy and to celebrate her last Goldie Award.

Casey