I am proud to announce that my book, The Songwriters Survival Guide, is a Forward Review Independent book award finalist.

This is the first time in recent memory where I’ve felt my competitive spirit reignite. When I was a child, my father, by way of his natural spirit for competition, cultivated within me a desire to win. He always wanted to be the first place finisher, the right one in a heated debate, or the one who pulled off some extraordinary feat! Winning gave him an undeniable sense of joy and he surely enjoyed the ego boost from all the attention.

I am indebted to him for a victor’s lesson I’ve carried with me my whole life: hard work is the catalyst for reward. This first became apparent to me when I was swimming competitively in high school. I practiced day-in and day-out for hours at a time. Although it wasn’t always easy, come time for competition, those laps I pushed myself to complete in practice gave me the winning edge.


When I got the news I was a Forward Review finalist in 2 categories early in March, I felt like a twelve year old girl again: body tensed and focused on the pool podium, ready to propel myself through the water at breakneck speed as soon as that starting gun goes off.

However, at this point, all the work that I could have done to win this award is on the pages of my book. Now, it is up to a community of my peers, 120 librarians and booksellers from around the country, to name a winner. There is no lobbying to be done, posters to make, or campaigning of any kind. My work will have to speak for itself and that is both exciting and unnerving. Trust me, the competitor inside of me wishers she could be in that judge’s room trying to win over everybody and get there votes.

That said, no matter what happens, it feels phenomenal to be noticed for all the work that I have put into The Songwriter’s Survival Guide.  As a music publisher by trade, most of what I’ve accomplished is behind the scenes, never getting applause, let alone a prize!  So, for now, I’ll take a moment to relish in this accomplishment and thank those who voted for me.

My dad would disagree, but just being nominated feels like a win in-and-of itself.