(with added cats, because Internet)
An especially special moment, as this is the first time I've seen my name in print. True, there is a (very small) collection of other anthologies and journals that also carry my name... but they are all waiting at home in Ireland, several thousand miles away.
This - this is the first I've held in my own hot little hands. I may have squealed aloud in delight.
(The cats, in case you were wondering, remained supremely unimpressed.)
My copies of the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology couldn't have arrived at a better time. Today I received another rejection - polite and faultlessly generous, but a rejection nonetheless - from someone who had been in touch as a result of this same prize. Writing can be a long and lonely old business, so it's good to be reminded of the rare moments of success.
Enormous thanks due to Joe at the Bristol Prize for braving the South African postal service (twice!) to get these to me.