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Shameless Self-Promotion

Let’s cut to the chase. If I don’t do this who will? I can now call myself an “award winning writer”. I recently attended the Garden Writers Association’s annual meeting in Dallas, Texas (more about the actual event later, Jimmy Turner). This meeting is where Garden Writers gives out its Gold Awards. And the good news is….. I won. I won the 2010 Gold Award Best Electronic Media Writing for my posts on this IMA blog you are reading right now. To say the least, it was quite a thrill.

Now, this here ain’t no dog and pony show. It’s the real deal for us garden writers. The Garden Writers Association (GWA) is a highly respected organization of more than 1,800 professionals communicating about gardening, horticulture and the environment. I’ve been a member of GWA about two years now, joining some months after I started writing my IMA blog entries. Every year the GWA gives out awards covering different types of media for all forms of writing, from on-air personalities to photography. In the spring, GWA announces its Silver Award of Merit winners for the various categories. The Gold Awards are not announced until the night of the banquet at the annual meeting. You have to win the Silver in order to be in the running for the Gold.

When I got the Silver back in April I told myself to be happy with that. If I didn’t win gold I would be fine. And I was. But to be honest, I wanted that gold. Wanted it bad. And I was willing to do anything to get it. Anything. Beyond that, I can’t really say much about the selection process for the Gold Award. Except there are judges involved. A lot of judges. Judges located all over the US and Canada. Judges I was willing to “work” with in order to assure my entry would be thoroughly considered.

I had fellow Indianapolis GWA members there to celebrate with me. Here’s the “G-4” posing after the banquet. From left to right they are Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, Peggy Ammerman Sailors, Carol Michel, and me.

Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, Peggy Ammerman Sailors, Carol Michel, and me

We have a very busy year ahead for us (along with some other folks). In August 2011, GWA will hold its annual meeting in Indianapolis with the IMA as the host institution. As many as 600 members can be expected to attend. We have a website and you can find us on facebook and twitter. Here’s the video created by Indianapolis GWA member Karen Kennedy for our booth at the Texas meeting.

My award was based on three blog posts I submitted: Me and Barbie, Bzzz. Bzzz., and Echinacea Nation. I would be most appreciative if you check them out when you get the chance.

Does winning this award change anything? Oh, not really. I still get up in the morning, make some coffee, go to work. I still weed and water and design. I still come home and garden some more. Still fix some supper when I come in for the evening. Still get to bed later than I should.

And yet, everything has changed.

I don’t always have that first cup of coffee by myself.

As I design my gardens for 2011 I’ve got somebody right beside me to bounce ideas off of.

Somebody can help pick the eggplant for supper.

Somebody shares the meal made with the eggplant.

And the other pillow isn’t empty every night.

Yes, it’s all changed since Mr. Media Award has come into my life. The sun’s a little brighter. The moon a little fuller. The sky a little bluer. The clouds a little fluffier. But it ain’t love, not real love. This is real love.

So don’t go expecting any changes in what you see or hear from me. Because really……. I’m still just a simple farmboy that likes shiny sparkly things.

Filed under: Horticulture

14 Responses to “Shameless Self-Promotion”

  • avatar
    Emily Says:

    Congrats, Irvin!!!!

  • avatar
    Deb Says:

    Irvin RULES!

  • avatar
    Irvin Says:

    Ooops! We have a mistake. Carol’s blog is linked to Peggy’s name! We’ll get that fixes as soon as possible. Carol’s blog is at
    Thank you Emily.
    Aw, pshaw, Deb. I don’t rule. But I could make the world a better place…….

  • avatar
    Carol Says:

    Congratulations! I was proud to be there to see your big moment in person. That Gold Award is as talented as you are. Look how it picks eggplant!

  • avatar
    Tricia Says:

    Congratulations! and If you loose your day job you could probably be a comedian.

  • avatar

    Irvin, may you two always be as happy as the day you met! I look forward to renewing our acquaintance in Indy next year.

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  • avatar
    irvin Says:

    Thanks Carol. I think you still have a couple photos I have not seen. Mr. Media award helped witht the eggplant but I was on my own with the emergency harvest of ‘Mammoth’ basil.
    Tricia, thank you. You gotta keep a sense of humor in my opinion or you will go stark raving mad – and not in a good way.
    Cindy! From Katy, Texas no less. I look forward to see you again next year as well. Thanks so much. You know, Mr. Media Award could be covered in dust on the back shelf by next year.
    Thanks Ryan. Appreciate it.

  • avatar
    Megan Says:

    Brilliant. I appreciate your humor and glad to see it has been noticed by a large audience. Congratulations and thanks for making me laugh.

  • avatar
    Barbara Says:

    This was a delightful read! I can say that I knew you when…

  • avatar

    You crack me up. Looking forward to meeting you in Indianapolis. You could turn your award into jewelry – wear it around your neck, or perhaps has a tiara.

  • avatar
    sr Says:

    Oh, great. Your cranium barely fit through standard-sized doors already, now you expect me to put in custom doors for you to be able to enter through?!? sheeeeeeeeeesh.
    I can picture the exact sequence of events, too:


  • avatar
    sr Says:

    In case you’re wondering, that’s you getting your award. Use your powers for good, and not evil.

  • avatar
    irvin Says:

    Megan – thanks so much. I am glad it makes you laugh as that is certainly my attempt. It’s not that I can’t be serious but, what the hell, life is serious enough already.
    Barbara, thanks for reading the blog. Good to hear from you. The me in the when is the same as the me in the now.
    Patsy – I look forward to meeting you too. Thanks for checking out the blog and I’m very glad it cracked you up. I’ll be checking your blog too. By the way, I love, I mean love, your name – Patsy Bell. How delightful.
    sr – are you telling me eventually sharp knives are going to come out of my award? I am so psyched!!! When does it happen? Do I have to hide it in a cave or something? I’m liking this. I always use my powers for good. I reject evil. Wait…. what you mean I have a big head? I’m gonna….

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