Writing is not a competitive sport. It's for people who like sitting in small rooms talking to imaginary characters. And while most writers would admit to twinges of jealousy when they hear of a fellow writer getting an amazing deal or hitting the heights of the bestseller lists, in my experience we're a fairly generous and supportive lot. Perhaps we're so used to being at the bottom of the publishing pile we learn to look out for each other.
I never won anything at school, not even a runner up badge. I wasn't bad, but neither was I good. I was average, and average means years of sitting on a hard chair in the school hall listening to other people's names being called. Strange, isn't it. If you'd asked me yesterday I'd have said I wasn't particularly fussed about awards and prizes, those years having left minimal expectations. I don't expect I'll be getting the prize this time round, but oh - I am so pleased that for once I'm a contender.