LitMag: This will be your first publication. What was it like when you heard the news that you won the contest?
O’Toole: To be honest, I was shocked. I had just been rejected from all the M.F.A. programs I applied to, and I was feeling stuck. The news that I was accepted for publication validated me as a writer, and when I found out about winning the award, I thought I was going to pass out. It was the best news that came at just the right time in my life because I was questioning my decision to pursue writing. I am looking forward to applying to more graduate programs with a better resume in a year or two. This award and publication will help with that, which was my first thought when I received the news. (more…)