Before I began my writing career, those golden seals were something to be admired as an added promise that the book will be good. I never wondered why these books were picked, who picked them or what the names of the runners up were. But now all that has changed. Each year I wait with anticipation to see which books will be graced with the golden seal. Who will be crowned literary king or queen? I don't watch the Golden Globes, the Emmy's or any of those televised award ceremonies, but I do anxiously wait to see which books will be deemed the best ones of the year.
Recently I read an article in Publisher's Weekly where the winners shared how winning had or had not changed their lives. I was surprised to see how many stated that, excluding their new found notoriety and obligations, their lives had not changed much. Of course they had to travel more and literary peeps knew their names and faces, but they still walked to their studios, put their butts in the chair and continued to fill blank pages with words and images. I think Michelle Poploff, editor for Clare Vanderpool, author of Moon Over Manifest (Random House), best summed up life after an award,
"Regardless of what you've written before or what awards you have won, it’s always about those new characters in that new book. Those characters don’t know anything about your other books or awards."
I'm not sure how I would feel after winning such a coveted award. Would I write more or less? Would I have more confidence in my writing or feel like I had hit my peak, and it was all down hill from here? Would I believe, like Laura Amy Schlitz, author of Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village, that anything is possible, or that by winning I was at the end of my possibilities?
At this point in my life winning one of these, or any award, is a pipe dream, since I'm not even in the query process, but it is fun to dream. Right now, I need to stop dreaming and get back to revising. Of course it is the dreams that make all this revising worthwhile. Isn't it?
How about you? have you given any thought to winning the Newberry or the Caldecott ? Have you already won an award for your craft? Did it change you? Or are you still the lovable blogger you always were, only now you have a gold seal on the cover of your book telling the world how awesome you are.