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QWF Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature

Proud pup

I’m taking a breather from picking up after the puppy to say, wow, it was such an honour to win the Quebec Writers’ Federation 2012 Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature for my middle-grade comedy, 26 Tips for Surviving Grade 6 (James Lorimer & Company, 2011). The book was shortlisted with Monique Polak’s Pyro (Orca Book Publishers) and Lori Weber’s Yellow Mini (Fitzhenry & Whiteside) – lovely company indeed. The awards were announced at the QWF Gala on Tuesday, November 20th – a wonderful party at Lion d’Or in Montreal.

I owe thanks to everyone at James Lorimer & Company for making this book happen, most especially my editor, Carrie Gleason, for her encouragement, insight, hard work, and all-around wonderful temperament. Humour can be a hard sell, and to find an editor who so loved my quirky characters and goofy situations meant the world to me.

I heard someone once say (I forget who, but I suspect it was an editor or publisher), “It’s your manuscript, but it’s not your book. Not just yours, anyway.” So true. Awards go to writers (as they should – no argument there), but there are MANY other people involved in the evolution from promising manuscript to award-winning book – editors, copy-editors, designers, marketers, publishers, granting bodies, supportive literary communities – without whom awards would never be won. So thank you.

The QWF puts on a great party to celebrate English literature in Quebec. It’s a moving experience, attending the Gala and hearing authors speak about how much support they receive from each other. It makes me want to move to Montreal. (And that’s hardly the top attraction.)

(Photo taken just before he snatched the statue and ran.)

You can read more about the Gala and the many other books honoured with awards and nominations on the QWF website and this Montreal Gazette article.

And that’s it from me this week. Ernest has dragged my award off to the living room, with a jaunt in his step as if he’d caught a goose, so I really must go now before he gnaws my name off the engraving.

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4 comments on “QWF Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature

  1. Congratulations to you! And “humour is a hard sell” — you got that right. People love it but they don’t want to pay for it, probably because they think it’s easy. [snorts through nose]

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