Imagine my unbridled excitement and shock when I got this email today, informing me that I have been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize:
ATTN: I write to acknowledge the above attachment to us of your inclusion as a norminated finalist for the Pulitzer Prize,2009. I forward you same, to enable you contact us and get the requisite details germane to your participation without further delay.
It came attached with an impressive letter written on Pulitzer letterhead that read, in part:
As a distinguished example nominated in your specific
category and recognized as finalist by the Pulitzer Office sitting in the United Kingdom, please forward all
entry matters pertaining to this nomination to: Paul Tash [co-chair member of the Pulitzer Prize
Who cares that nowhere in the letter did it mention what piece of writing I was nominated for or what category I was nominated in? Who cares that an award granted by Columbia University in New York is being administered by Paul Tash in the UK? Who cares that the Paul Tash on the Pulitzer committee is the editor of the St. Petersburg Times and yet is writing to me from the UK?
It must be real. And I am honored to have been chosen for my great work.
I've emailed Mr. Tash for more details about my exciting nomination and will let you know what happens. This should be fun.
UPDATE 9-6-08 – I am so excited. I just heard back from "Paul Tash."
I am sending you these important details as above that are Important to your participation for The PulitzerPrize,2009.Please endeavour to expedite action on what we require of you without delay to avoid the rush and fierce lobbying for last minute registration by nominees. I humbly await your response and cooperation in this regard.
Just because the Pulitzer recognizes excellence in writing, and "Paul Tash" is the editor of the St. Petersburg Times, I don't see any reason to be worried by sentences that don't make sense, capitalization errors, spelling mistakes and the like, because he was probably in a hurry writing the email. It must be authentic because he used important words like "endeavour" and he is an important man. I realize now that I didn't win a Pulitzer, but I am being offered a fast track to nomination. I am so lucky!
I eagerly opened the attached letter, which was on Columbia University Letterhead, so I know it is absolutely authentic. It said, in part:
I thank you for your mail, and I direct you to look at the
top captioned heading of our initial mail to you, initiative That is the operative word. This is an introduction by the Pulitzer Foundation to give equal opportunity to all citizen of the world to fairly compete without citizenship
barrier requirements. Your nomination was made possible by far reaching search
by our in-house team. We are undertaking a quiet campaign in enlightening all stakeholders. It means we
want you and two others only among many, to enter for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize
as distinguished finalists using any of your past work.
[…]Your two page entry submission should state what difficulties if any, where appropriate, what was accomplished by its publication and what you had to overcome to get the work done. The final draft should be emailed to me as an attachment as soon as possible. Also do not fail to give a small biography, and the final draft to me in summary format, should reach me via email attachments as soon as possible because time is not our friend.
I guess that's why some of the sentences in the letter don't make sense because he wrote it in a big hurry, because time is not our friend. I am so lucky to have him rooting for me. I have to hurry up and write that letter and before I know it, I'll be a Pulitzer Prize nominee!