I got some really good news on Sunday.
Which is big for a journalist to say, given I’m the one usually reporting the news.
I got a text from my editor Scott, congratulating me.
I had been on vacation all last week, so I assumed he was chiding me for doing absolutely nothing for the past seven days.
But that wasn’t the case.
Paired with the congratulatory text was a picture of the Texas Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest winners.
And among the select few listed was me.
The Fort Bend Herald & Texas Coaster won third place for columns I wrote in 2020.
I had no idea that The Herald had even been entered into the competition — let alone any of my work.
About my columns entered, the judge wrote, “Nice job sharing the ups and downs of navigating your 20s! Great honesty, especially on the weight issues. These are topics that young readers will see themselves in, and older readers will be reminded that they once struggled with. Nice to see good writing from young writers.”
I must’ve read the judge’s remarks a dozen times before the news sunk in: I’m an award winning column writer.
I rushed to tell my friends, family, Twitter and Instagram followers, hair dresser, nail technician, and basically everyone else who would listen.
I was grinning from ear to ear. Scratch that. I’m still grinning from ear to ear.
It’s incredible because my boss saw potential in my writing. And that makes me want to do better. Be better. Share my unique experiences with the world with the hopes that they’d relate.
Over the last five years, I’ve written about boys, dating, breaking up, friendships, fights, movie and book reviews, self love, self care and more about boys.
My award winning (!!) column was about the time a boy replied to a photo of me on a dating app. The response in question? “Fat.”
The 19-inch column, titled “The F Word,” follows my shock and awe and eventual understanding that it shouldn’t matter what someone thinks of you, as long as you love yourself — no matter how big or small.
Working in an industry where I’m constantly subject to criticism, this random boy’s comment shouldn’t have hurt as much as it did.
But I’m only human — A really talented, award-winning human.
I feel really lucky to have this platform, to be able to write, to be able to connect, to be able to be unapologetically myself on the opinion page of The Fort Bend Herald.
And I can’t wait to write about what I do next.
Contact Averil Gleason at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also send congratulatory flowers, chocolates and cards to our office, located at 1902 Fourth St. in Rosenberg.