Do you remember in that movie Christmas Story the scene where the dad wins the Major Award? This giant wooden crate gets shipped to the house. The family gathers around as he pries it open, speculating as to what on earth could be inside. He called it a Major Award and reveled in the prize he won. He gestures to the word “Fragile” stenciled across the lid “Fra-GEE-lay! It must be Italian!” The mom then reminds him that it just says “Fragile.”

Beside the Music by BJ Knapp Winner of the Human Relations Indie Book Award

This month I too have been honored with a Major Award. They mailed a certificate to the house. It wasn’t in a giant crate, like the Major Award in Christmas Story. However, it was in a large envelope, so my certificates wouldn’t have to be folded, or assembled like that lamp. I am proud to have been selected by the Human Relations Indie Book Award this year.

I was surprised when I opened the envelope; there were two certificates inside. One was the Director’s Choice for the Outstanding Human Relations Life Experience category. The other was a Bronze in the Realistic Human Relations Fiction category. Now I get to do cool things like place a sticker bearing the name of my award on the cover of Beside the Music.

The day I won, I texted my brothers and sisters about it. The conversation continued as I stood in line at Subway. I snapped a photo and sent it to them with the caption “The sad reality of where award winning novelists eat dinner.” I’ve since been joking about simultaneously calling myself an award winning novelist while wearing my marathon finisher medal—though I don’t think even that combination will allow me to do cool things like take more than 10 items in the express lane at the supermarket, or cut to the head of the line at the DMV.

But maybe I’ll give it a shot. After all my mom used to say: you never know until you try.

BJ Knapp is the author of Beside the Music, available for purchase here. Please sign up for the Backstage with BJ Knapp mailing list to get updates on events, signings, dog pictures and so much more.