Five Side-Effects of Winning the Sid Fleischman Humor Award

So yes, OPENLY STRAIGHT has won the prestigious Sid Fleischman Humor Award!

That was quite the news to receive. I was in a coffee shop when I got the call, and I went airborne. For a 43-year-old balding man with limited jumping ability, this is not a great look.

I called my mother to tell her.


“Humor,” I said.



“Humor award?”



I then told my husband that I had gotten the call about the award. He was thrilled. Two days later, my SCBWI membership renewed, and I put it on our accounting software. Chuck saw the charge and came in to the kitchen.

“Bill, are you sure you won and it wasn’t just a call to get you to re-up your membership?”

I imagined me as the father from Nebraska, walking East along the highway from Billings with a Publisher’s Clearinghouse letter that says “You may be a winner” in my pocket.

These flattering reactions aside, I am utterly ecstatic to win this award. Thank you SO MUCH to the fine folks at SCBWI for choosing Openly Straight. I am struggling to find the words to show my gratitude, so I will simply repeat, “Thank you.”

Here are five things in my life that will change right away, now that I am an “Award-winning humorist.”

1. When jokes fall flat from now on, I will follow-up by saying, “…Said the award-winning humorist.”

2. I will have tons of in-jokes with myself, like “The elevator man’s shoes,” and “Sarah wore it best.”

3. I will wax philosophical about humor over interminable dinners with friends, using terms like “oeuvre” and “assonance.” 

4. I will lose a lot of friends.

5. People will expect me to be funny in person, and they will be, 85% of the time, sorely disappointed.