Sunday, April 10, 2011

Embarrasing Moment Contest

Writer's Digest is hosting a fun contest where you write about your most embarrassing moment as a writer. Here are the details:

Whether your story is funny, humbling or an important lesson learned the hard way, Writer's Digest wants to hear from you. Share your experience in 150 words or fewer and e-mail it—along with your name, city and state—to with “Lessons Learned” in the subject line.

Your story could appear in a future issue of Writer’s Digest. (All submissions will be considered for publication and may be edited for clarity or space.)

I just happen to have the perfect story! If you submit anything, I'd love for you to post it in the comments so we can all have a good laugh. If you don't submit anything but you have a good story anyway, we'd still like to hear it!

Here's mine:

When I was a naïve college freshman, I went to a reading by a Pulitzer Prize winner. I was curious about the process of becoming so successful, and of winning the Pulitzer in general. When she opened up for questioning, this is what I asked:

“You’ve won some very prestigious awards, including the Pulitzer, and I was wondering if that was a goal you had and what steps you took in achieving that goal.”

I thought it was a legitimate question.

For a moment, she only stared at me. Then, with a little more hostility than I thought was necessary, she said, “A writer would have to be a complete idiot to actually plan on winning the Pulitzer.”

I was so embarrassed; I hid my head in my hands and didn’t hear anything that was said for the rest of the reading.


  1. Oh, I've done a multitude of embarrassing things. My last head-slapping moment was probably my last trip to Aruba. There was a huge power outage that left our hotel without airconditioning for the better part of three hours. My husband and I found one of the few restaurants with a functioning kitchen, and as we at our dinner outdoors, a van drove by with the door wide open.
    My husband said, "I wonder why they're driving with the door open?" To which my answer was, "It must be hot in there with no airconditioning." Um, yeah, except cars don't need electricity for their airconditioning to work.
    I realized my mistake as soon as I said it, but my husband has never let me live it down!

  2. As a writer you should be able to get up in front of people and speak, well I can't!

    Every time I have to make a speech, talk to people or open my mouth I break out in a cold sweat. My words get twisted, my thoughts jumble. I just can't do it!

    I joined a writer's group at my local library and we had to read one of our pieces. I stumbled through the words as if I'd never seen them before. I just couldn't speak. Well, let's just say that was my most embarrassing moment as a writer.

  3. Sorry, but I think the writer was the one who should have been embarrassed. That was amazingly ungracious behavior to do that to a stranger, especially since she was a guest in your college. She could have smiled demurely and said something along the lines of, "A writer doesn't plan for the Pulitzer. But one can always hope."

  4. Kris,

    Totally. While I agree with what she said, I didn't know any better! I think she embarrassed me more than I embarrassed myself.


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