You may remember that, for me, January was the month from hell.
The climax of this month occurred on January 30, when I found myself at Simmons College at 11 pm, trying to print off an application for an award due two days later that I was certain I wouldn’t win, only to find that the printer I was printing on had no ink in it. I sat down in a chair with the intention of sending the document to a different printer, at which point the chair tipped over backwards. And suddenly I was flat on my back, feet straight up in the air, all the breath knocked out of me by my three tote bags landing on my stomach, half strangled by the strap of my book bag, and my laptop’s fall broken by my face.
And after a few choice four-letter words, I started to laugh/cry. It was so ridiculous I wasn’t sure which. And alone at Simmons at 11 pm on a Thursday night, I said to the empty room1, “Why am I even entering? I’m not going to win this award.”
Then last week, I was waiting for the T when I got a phone call.
“Hello?” I said.
“Hello,” said the voice on the other end. “I’m calling from the Pen New England Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award committee. Do you have a minute to talk?”
Yes. Yes I did have a minute to talk.
And that is the story of how I won the 2014 Pen New England Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award for my YA post-modern revisionist steampunk Frankenstein novel2.
You may not know what this award is, but it is awesome and I am wildly excited about it. Ecstatic, actually, might be the better word. Past winners have gone on to publish a variety of excellent children’s novels, many of which I have read and loved. Also Lois Lowry was a judge3. Lois Lowry. Like The Giver. That Lois Lowry.
So I guess I am now an emerging voice in children’s and young adult literature? Or something? Whatever the case, I’m so pleased. Thank you to the committee who chose me! And thanks to everyone who has listened to me vent about this book or brainstormed with me or sat there while I brainstormed at them or gave me chocolate when I was unhappy about it or gave me chocolate when I was happy about it or who nodded when I spouted random Frankenstein facts at them or looked at my Pinterest board for the novel4.
Guys. I am SO excited.
- Like a crazy person.
- The name of which is now out in the world, as is my actual last name.
- LOIS FREAKING LOWRY read something I wrote! And apparently liked it!
- The Pinterest board may be better than the actual novel.