There is something special about receiving a letter in the post. From the sound of the postman’s footsteps on the drive to the gentle tap of the mail as it lands in the hallway. Then there is the sense of anticipation that follows as you open the envelope.
A letter arrived for me this morning and I could not help wondering who it was from. I didn’t recognise the handwriting, although that didn’t mean anything. I wouldn’t know what my closest friend’s handwriting looked like anymore as I correspond with her via e-mail or text message. So I checked the postmark instead. It was posted in Ireland.
I have to admit I felt a glimmer of excitement when I saw the stamp as it depicted a nativity scene. Perhaps it is a Christmas card I thought, although it is November and still too early for even my most festive friends. When I couldn’t resist the suspense for one moment longer I opened the envelope. There was a letter inside with a compliments slip attached. The letter read as follows:-
It gives me great pleasure to let you know that your short story has been shortlisted in the Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Award.
Any writer will tell you that the sight of their name followed by the words short-listed are enough to get the pulse racing. But it did not end there. The letter continued:-
There will be a prize giving ceremony. We would like to see you there to enjoy what promises to be a great and relaxed couple of hours.
Sincere congratulations on being shortlisted. Light refreshments will be served.
Needless to say I am delighted to have my work shortlisted for this prestigious award. I adore Jonathan Swift’s work and have facilitated Gulliver’s Travels inspired creative writing workshops in the past. It is also a wonderful opportunity to meet up with other writers in a nice relaxed setting.
Letters like this don’t arrive everyday. However, when they do it is important to take a moment to savour the delight that they bring.