Sunday, January 17, 2010

Award Season

The award season is upon us, and I'm not talking about the Golden Globes (although I will be rooting for Inglourious Basterds and Modern Family to win big). Tomorrow morning some lucky authors will get "The Call." The ALA awards are the pot of gold at the end of that rainbow of writing for children. And although most children's book authors will tell you how lucky and proud they are to be riding the rainbow at all, I think, secretly, we all dream of someday reaching that pot of gold. At least I do. Nothing wrong with admitting that, I hope!

I fully understand that winning the Newbery, just like getting published, is out of my control. So I focus on what I can control... writing the very best manuscript I am capable of creating at this point in time. I can't aim to win the Newbery. But I can aim to write a Newbery-quality novel. I mean, why wouldn't I? I used to work in advertising at Leo Burnett. And Leo Burnett was famous for saying, "When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get one, but you won't come up with a handful of mud either."

I'm not rooting for any books in particular to win tomorrow. Chances are, the books that win will be books I haven't read yet. That seems to be the way it goes for me. But you can bet I will read them. And that's why these awards are so golden. It's not the medal, or the sticker, or the money authors make in sales and speaking engagements... it's the readers. The thousands and thousands and thousands of new readers! Gold, for sure.

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