I was very proud of myself yesterday. I actually did some editing on my WIP and some university study. So proud of myself that of course I am giving myself the day off today :)
Tomorrow the finalists for this years NZ Post Children's Book Awards are announced. This year they went back to the previous format of advising the finalists a few days before the list is made public. Last year the format was a subtle and ingenious form of torture whereby finalists were advised around six weeks before the public announcement but sworn to CIA-like secrecy. My picture book The Were-Nana was a finalist and I couldn't even tell my SO. It was really HARD as I was busting to share my GOOD NEWS the entire time but I felt very proud of myself that I said nothing. Yes ladies and gentlemen I can keep a secret (but get me to sign a form first). So this time last year everything was very bubbly and exciting. This year I am not on the list as I had no books published in the preceding year. Award finalist lists are powerful things (check out Fifi Colston's blog post on the topic here). Being a finalist makes a difference, and winning adds a whole other dimension of different on top. But its important to note that the difference it makes is different for different finalists and winners. It can affect book sales, author profile, author recognition, publisher interest, international interest and probably a few other things besides but it affects each of these things in different ways for different people. It is also important to note that there are plenty of really good books published that didn't make the list - lists by their very nature are limited to a certain number of titles and tastes and opinions will always vary. This is not a criticism of the awards so much as a request that folk don't dismiss the non-finalists. This year, from a distance, the awards (both last years and this years) are still having a profound affect on me, both good and bad. Those award lists can mess with your head, whether you are inside amongst it all or on the outside looking in.
PS - Now this is not to say that I think the awards are a bad idea. I was very proud and honoured to be shortlisted and a winner last year. The NZ Post awards are huge with lots of positive repercussions. They are an essential part of the writing/publishing industry and to make the list again one day is one of my goals. But this means I also have to have strategies for what happens when I don't make the cut. Not making the list has repercussions as well, and the more invested I become in this business the more it matters to me.
Educational Resource: A Winter's Day in 1939
- Educational Resource: The Were-Nana
- Educational Resource: The Half Life of Ryan Davis
- Educational Resource: Made With Love
- Educational Resource: The House That Went to Sea
- Educational Resource: A Winter's Day in 1939
- Educational Resource: While You Are Sleeping
- Educational Resource: The Song of Kauri
- Educational Resource: Fuzzy Doodle
- Book List - Complete List of my Publications