Breasts In Youth and Age
A Few Short Notes on Friday

Announcement: Elder Storytelling Award

[EDITORIAL NOTE: The TGB Retirement Survey is open and waiting for more participants. Get information and links here.]

Yes, you are on Time Goes By, but today’s post is about its companion blog, The Elder Storytelling Place. Because there are so many smart, funny, sad, ironic, heartfelt and compellingly well-told stories on ESP and they seem to get better with each passing week, I want us to be able to honor them in some manner.

So today, I am announcing The Elder Storytelling Place “Story Excellence Award”. Here is how it works:

At the end of each month, I will select five standout stories from that month and post a poll for readers to vote for their favorite from among them. It seems unfair that I select the nominees, but all 21 or 22 stories each month are too many and it would delay each month’s award to carry out a reader-nomination process. Yes, nomination is a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it - and it shall be moi.

The poll will be open for voting from the first through the seventh day of each month. The winner will then be announced the following day – or within a couple of days depending on my available time.

Since I am not in a financial position to offer a monetary award – or anything else that costs me money – what I have created instead is a nifty Award Badge for the winner to place on his or her blog and link to the winning story. Here is a prototype which will be tweaked and refined a bit before the first award is made:

There will also be a smaller badge I'll post to the winning story itself. I wish I could come up with a nickname for the award like Oscar, Emmy, Tony, etc., but ESPy is already taken and I ran out of steam after that idea.

Since a number of regular story contributors do not keep blogs, there will be an Excellence in Storytelling Winners page at The Elder Storytelling Place where the names of the storytellers with links to their winning stories will be permanently listed.

Then, in January, we will vote on the annual winner from the previous 12 monthly winners.

Even though we’re past the first week of July, we’ll start with the June 2008 award today to get us going. Because the poll service does not allow links in the choices, you can read or re-read the nominated stories at The Elder Storytelling Place by selecting June 2008 in the Date Archive dropdown menu in the right sidebar which will take you to a page with links to all June stories.

I'm working on finding a polling service with more useful options (and fewer glitches like that huge empty space at the bottom of the poll) and one that doesn't show the voting results so the winner will be a surprise. But this should be adequate for now.

The poll also appears on what will become its usual place each month, near the top of the right sidebar of The Elder Storytelling Place. You may vote there or here:

The voting will be open until midnight Eastern U.S. time on 16 July. {voting has closed}

Now, with this award, perhaps there is an additional incentive to send in more stories. Frequently, when a story is submitted, I am asked to “consider it for publication.” Let me be clear that with minor exceptions all stories are published. In the year and several months that The Elder Storytelling Place has existed, I’ve rejected only two or three (for objectionable material).

During each month, you are welcome to lobby me for including a story in the nominations. However, the decision of the judge, as they say, is final.

[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Ronni Prior has a story that any mother of a toddler will appreciate, titled The Mouth of the Babe.]


An excellent idea, Ronni, and further incentive for submissions. Any chance you will go back into the archives? My stories are all back there......LOL

You know, kenju, I was thinking about that - there are so many good stories in the archive.

I want each current month to be the main focus, but I'll put some thought to how we might honor older stories too. Suggestions are welcome.

This is exciting and certainly gives an incentive to submit something each month. You continue to be clever Ronni.

Do you have to be an elderblogger to be allowed to vote?

These are tough choices - I went back over the 5 posts and they are excellent pieces of writing!


No one assigns the designation "elderblogger" to anyone. You can call yourself that or not. And anyone who visits this page or The Elder Storytelling Place during the voting period may vote.

And yes, you're right - REALLY tough choice to pick just one.

Since I've only just turned 30, I think I'll hold off on using the description "elderblogger" just yet! :)

I'll leave that one up to my mum, Grannymar (think she's submitted a few stories over the past months).

Decision made and vote cast!

Here I go...not sharing in what seems to be exciting to many. I appreciate the privilege of writing and, more importantly, reading the wonderfully told stories here. The comments made are most times as wonderful to read as the stories themselves. I want to continue to write and read without thinking of the word contest. So please continue to count me in as before; count me out for this...

Claire Jean

You really know how to make a girl's (already horribly frustrating) day.

I'm sorry you're offended with what is intended to highlight a few stories some may have missed and be no more than a nice, little monthly event for readers and writers.

Sorry Ronni...You've given me so much pleasure by allowing me to write and comment on your blog and opening up the world of blogging in general. No matter the age, some of us (me) still have not learned when to say what we think and when to be silent. I could have just not voted.

I love the idea! I'm with Judy -- my submissions are in the archives so I guess I'd best get off my backside and submit something new! I wonder if I can compete with dear Nancy Leitz whose stories are simply wonderful and the many others whose talents aew me.

Good idea Ronni. This contest idea will probably increase interest and participation in Elder Story Telling.

I am always surprised at how you come up with new ideas. What fun! This is not so much a competition as a means of accenting all the wonderful stories that are submitted to the story telling site. Those of us who submit stories and those of us who so enjoy reading the stories, now have a way of celebrating this effort.

Thank you, Ronni, for giving me the excuse to catch up on my long-neglected Elder Storytelling reading!

There are so many wonderful stories there. Each is like a little picture window into the person's past, each a privileged view of another's life.

I feel honored that these people have shared with us.

Why not call it a Ronni?

Thank You Ronni!!

Fun idea! In lieu of the ESPy, I'd like to suggest that the award be named "The Tigby" -- for TIme Goes BY.

I teach adult ed writing classes and many of my students are fine elder storytellers. I'm encouraging them to submit stories to your blog. A prize will be motivating!

You sure know how to create fun and build interest, Ronni. I'm reading so much these days that I've not looked at The Elder Storytelling Place, but I'll definitely read the selections in the poll.

The Tigby sounds like a great idea, Cynthia!

Ronnie this is my first visit to your blog. I found your blog through your essay put it in writing. I'll be sure to share your contest with my reading community at

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