On the audio recording of my short story collection, I can be heard intoning, “Cain’t Do Nothing with Love, an award-winning short story collection written and read by Ellen Morris Prewitt.”
I did write the stories; I did read them. They are a short story collection, but they’re not an award-winning short story collection. That’s a misplaced modifier.
Cain’t Do Nothing with Love is a collection of short stories some of which have won awards (“Lucky Critters”); won well-established (and really nice paying!) contests (“Just Now”); and been nominated for awards (“Gift of the Elephant” for a Pushcart Prize).
I suppose everyone is well aware the collection hasn’t won any major awards (what award did Alice Munro just win?) or else I wouldn’t have self-published. So there’s not much risk of misleading people. Still, it bugs me that the recording is out there and being listened to over and over again. Correcting it, my sound engineer tells me, would be quite an undertaking.
So, in doing what I can, I put a disclaimer on the website in the Q&A section of the About page:
In the audio, the collection is sometimes identified as an “award-winning short story collection.” Is that true?
No. That’s a misplaced modifier. It’s actually a collection of short stories, a few of which have won contests or been nominated for awards. I am, however, open to any and all nominations for the collection. Please note: this is a self-published collection using the word “cain’t.” Awards should not tend toward pretentiousness.
I also included on the About page a link to Memphis Magazine’s “Five that Grabbed the Gold” A Kindle offering of five grand-prize winning stories, one of which was “Just Now.”
On podiobooks.com, in describing the stories I’ve indicated “several have won regional or national contests.”
Finally, taking a totally different route, I’m submitting the collection to contests so that it might, indeed, win an award. This is not easy—you can imagine how few contests there are for (1) self-published (2) short story collections (3) recorded in audio. A friend also informed me of an audio contest for single stories, and I’m submitting to that as well.
So, in my constant search to find something good in everything that drives me crazy, if nothing else this error on the recording has prompted me to submit to some contests. And who knows—I might even win.
Remember: You Cain’t Do Nothing with Love