Writer for yourself. I hate that phrase. If i wanted to communicate to myself, I'd talk to myself. It's a lot easier. I write because I want people to read my work. I write to entertain and inform. I love being read. To me, then, the purpose of winning prizes is to get more people to read me! I've won a few and it's a wonderful thing. The biggest was a $10.000 Astrea grant whose judge was Dorothy Allison. I loved meeting her, I loved the ceremony in NYC, I loved the glory and the applause. Most of all, I loved that my work was out there. Make no mistake, I have thin skin and an ego that vacillates in its bloats and deflations. I want to be loved, like Sally Field at the Oscars. But it's all in the package that I am.