I'm still speechless, but thrilled and humbled that my manuscript, HOVER OVER ME, was selected to receive the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (scbwi.org) Sue Alexander Award for 2011. This award represents a wonderful opportunity for writers of children's literature to be recognized for their hard work and their courage to submit manuscripts for critique at the annual SCBWI national conference in Los Angeles. Many thanks go to the award committee and those who nominated finalists, and many congratulations go to runners-up Pati Hailey and Karen Bonner, and all the nominees!
This past year has been one of amazing growth for my career as a children's writer. Shortly before the 2010 SCBWI conference in LA, I received word that I'd been accepted into the Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program for 2010-2011 and that I'd be working on my manuscript, EVERYTHING THAT BREATHES, with the wise and wonderful Emma Dryden of drydenbks.com. If you are a "pre-pubbed or lightly pubbed" writer of children's literature and would like to be part of an intensive mentoring program that will improve your writing and bring you into an intimate and supportive community of children's writers (and grant you status as an honorary Nevadan), I encourage you to apply to this program. The Mentor Program is accepting applications now for its 2012 session.
Shortly after finishing the program, I signed with Josh Adams, agent extraordinare at Adams Literary. This agency specializes in children's literature and represents authors whose books were already on my shelves. I'm so happy to be part of this agency.
And then the astounding news of the Sue Alexander Award came earlier this week. When my husband called my cell to tell me there was a message from a member of the committee on our home phone, I knew there would be some kind of news, but until I spoke with her later that evening, I had no idea how wonderful the news would be.
Do you see a common thread here? Each one of these events happened through SCBWI and the service of its members, who are all dedicated to the writing, illustrating, publishing, and promotion of literature for children. If you write for children, if you want to write for children, if you have a dream of writing for children, fulfilling that dream is well worth the modest annual membership fee. Its many regional chapters are all very active in teaching, supporting, and promoting its members.
So, maybe I'm not so speechless, after all.