Cheering on the Finalists

Ewbank HeadshotBy Guest Blogger and 2016 ONSTAGE Finalist, Melanie Ewbank

I just saw the LBDI Facebook post announcing the final-finalist reading at Sam French Bookshop. I clicked the LIKE button. I am pretty excited to “see who wins.” If you were to ask my friend, Tony, I am “just a friggin’ ‘LIKE’ clicker.” I will share the posts, but I struggle with commenting, even though I am atwitter with excitement. I am not yet on Twitter, but I plan to make giant leaps forward into the gram of insta and the tweets before my friend’s 94 year old grandmother mocks me (again) for lagging behind in all the cool stuff. (Ten years ago she shamed me into joining Facebook.)

My submission has made the finals. But this is not why I am pretty excited to “see who wins.” I mean, c’mon, I’m not completely without ego, and I am hoping that my play makes the final-finals, but I have enormously talented friends whose plays did not make the semi-finals. I have enormously talented friends whose plays did not make the finals. My play may not make the final-finals.

I have heard that women are sniping and cruel to other women, and, having been an actor in Hollywood, I know this can sometimes be true. However, within the community of female writers (and in my particular case, the community of female playwrights) I have found this to be always untrue. In fact, my peers are openly kind, generous, supportive, and celebratory for the successes of other women.

And shouldn’t it be this way? Really? I mean, when one succeeds we all succeed. Together, if we keep writing, and keep supporting, and keep publicly celebrating the successes of other female writers, we will change the industry in powerful ways. Ways which will more accurately reflect our world. Or, rather, a female perspective of our world. A world of diversity. Of passion. Of humor. Of tragedy. Of love. Of life.

So, while it is very rewarding to get recognized, particularly in a peer setting, I want to encourage all, each, and every one of us to keep writing. Keep writing, and keep submitting. Keep submitting and start producing.

And stay kind, generous and supportive, and celebrate the successes of your…WTF?! What is the female equivalent of “fellow”? Do you see how important our writing can be? Some woman somewhere must have invented the female equivalent for “fellow” and if she hasn’t, can one of us please do so?

When it happens, be sure to post it on social media. By then I may even be using the Instagram and/or the Twitter. If not, I promise to share it on Facebook…and maybe even comment.

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