Local author Marcia Laycock, who lives in Blackfalds, has won a World Guild Christian Writing Award for best blog series this year.
“I was really pleased to win,” said Laycock. “It was really stiff competition.”
Usually there are five or six contestants in this category, however this year Laycock had nine other competitors to beat.
To put forth an entry for this award the writers submitted their own work. To qualify each writer had to submit two consecutive blog posts he or she had written.
The two blogs that Laycock submitted were written during a trying time in her life. She wrote while she was struggling with breast cancer.
“I picked two that were at the very beginning of the time. I picked them because it was a time when I was really uncertain,” said Laycock. “I was unsure of what was going to happen and what it was going to be like.”
Laycock was diagnosed with breast cancer in April of 2011 and finished treatments in February of this year. She is feeling better now but she admits that it was a long year having six chemotherapy treatments and 33 doses of radiation.
“It was really gratifying to me that the award that I won was for the writing that I did about the cancer and going through cancer.”
This was pretty much the only writing that she did while she was going through cancer. During that period Laycock wrote about a dozen entries, however, she only submitted the two entries that would later win the award.
She wrote another post, although she did not submit it to the contest, called ‘Hope is a dimension of light’. It was a post that she wrote after coming through a hard time. In this post Laycock recalls moments that inspired through her journey, moments when God showed her that He was near and that there is still beauty in the world.
“It was one of those moments when God does something just for you.” It is gifts from God, like these moments, that kept Laycock holding on, she said.
Her winning entries were not posted on a personal web site or blog. Instead it was posted on the Caring Bridge web site. CaringBridge.org is a nonprofit web site that aims to connect family and friends when health matters most.
Laycock explains that it is a place where patients can set up a blog and post things about their treatments, how things are going and how they are feeling. Then when family and friends want an update the patient can simply point them to the web site.
According to Laycock, going through this experience with cancer has strengthened both her faith and her writing. “Stories of faith inspire me. Stories of how God works in people’s lives, in my own life and in other people’s lives. You hear stories of how people depend on God when they are going through things and you realize that God is there and He is with you through it all.”
Winning awards for her writing is nothing new for Laycock. She published a book titled One Smooth Stone in 2007 and it won the Best New Canadian Christian Author Award. “I have been really blessed and really thrilled to receive awards for my work.”
It was in 1988, when she moved to Alberta, that Laycock wanted to take her writing to the next level. “I decided that I wanted to make writing my career and decided to write seriously.”
Laycock had gone to Carlton University in Ottawa to take journalism in the 1970s and she knew that she wanted to get back into writing.
“It is something I have always done. I think when I was young it was an escape and a release for me.”
Since her 2007 Laycock has written a sequel to One Smooth Stone titled One Tumbled Stone that came out this past March.
For more about Laycock’s titles, visit www.vinemarc.com.