Monday, January 18, 2010

Author Awards = Awesomeness!

Well, it has been an eventful week in my world, and fortunately in very good ways! One piece of great news came in last week, and a second just this morning. I'm so excited that I can't help but wallow in some shameless self-promotion. Please bear with me!!

Last week, I learned that my novel THE ROCK AND THE RIVER was nominated for an NAACP Image Award, in the category of "Outstanding Literary Work for Youth/Teens." As if that wasn't cool enough on its own, apparently this means I will get to go to a fancy awards event in L.A. next month, with live TV coverage and a red carpet and everything! (Well, I'm not sure about the red carpet, but just roll with me...) Awesome. And in the coming weeks, NAACP members will be voting on the winners! Drumroll, please.....

Then this morning, the American Library Association announced their annual youth media awards, which is a really huge deal in the children's literary community. Under the umbrella of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards (for literature by and about African-Americans), I've been honored with the John Steptoe Award for New Talent. Very exciting!!! And how awesome that it's announced on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, too!

For now, I'm happily basking in the warm glow of recognition, but amid all this hoopla, I've also learned something important about myself, at least in relation to my work: I actually feel confident in myself! When I got the news, I felt excited/flattered/thrilled/etc. first, but shortly after that, I thought "Hmm, okay." As in, "Yeah, this is a special opportunity, but you can totally rise to meet it." And I will!

If there had never been any awards, I would be okay, too. But let me not lie: it feels great!

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