Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Call That Changes Everything - or Does It?

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In 12 days, on January 28th, one author and one illustrator will receive a call that will change their lives, or maybe not. For one illustrator, that call will come from the Caldecott committee and for an author, the Newberry.

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.

13 comments:

Kyra Lennon said...

I never think about anything like this - maybe I should lol! For me, it's all about writing, and I like to think if I was lucky enough to win something awesome, I'd still just be the way I always was. :D

Yvonne Lewis said...

I have had two poetry books published, though they sold well no award. But I felt so proud just holding them knowing it was all my own work.

Yvonne.

S.P. Bowers said...

I've never even dreamt of winning an award. I'm still dreaming of landing that agent. I think that winning something would put me in shock for a while then it would return to normal. Because the quote was right. Your new characters don't know about the award, and unless you want to be a one book wonder you have to focus on the current project.

Scribbles From Jenn said...

@ Kyra, of course you would stay the same since you are already practically perfect in every way.

@ Yvonne, congratulations on the two books. You should be proud! I

@ S. P., I'm having the same agent dream myself. :D

Julie Luek said...

An award? For lil ol' me? Honestly, I've never even imagined an award. I feel like I've won a prize every time I get something published. To be able to write and see it in print is all the prize I need. But maybe...

Elise Fallson said...

I love the quote you put up. I've never thought about getting an award, at this stage in my life, but what I am concentrating on is getting my ms published. If I can achieve that, then I'd be happy. It won't change my life, but I think it'd give me a sense of accomplishment...at least for a few days, then it's back to the drawing board, lol!

Christine Rains said...

I've never given any thought to winning any of those awards. Maybe winning an Oscar for the movie version of my book! *LOL* I would like to think I would be the same, but I'd likely feel I'd have to work harder to stay worthy.

Damyanti said...

Never thought of awards..am too green a writer for them :)

Nice to see the AZ badge on your sidebar already...look forward to your posts!

Sherry Ellis said...

I think I would have a heart attack if I ever won a Newberry!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I have no delusions I'll ever win a literary award.
Becoming an author changed my life, but when my books became Amazon best sellers, it didn't change much. I can understand how the award wouldn't change a lot either.

Magical Mystical MiMi said...

The satisfaction of creating something I loved and seeing it come to fruition in the publishing world would seem like the dream of dreams and one of those awards would be a great honor but I don't think it would top that feeling of "this is it" while writing a novel. - If any of that made sense. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

I guess I don't think about stuff like that . . .odd, because I've spent a lot of time daydreaming about what it would be like to be a published novelist. However, the closer I get (next month!), and the more poems and stories I've had published (even for free or cheap), I begin to doubt that even being a published novelist is going to change my daily routine very much, or even my confidence level.
Love that you follow book awards and not the other award shows!

Scribbles From Jenn said...

@ Julie, getting published is a prize in itself.

@ Elise, going back to the drawing board, keeps us moving forward.

@ Christine, Oscars!?! I like the way you think!

@Damyanti, I'm looking forward to the A to Z Challenge. I hope you enjoy my posts.

@ Sherry, you and me both.

@ Alex, I like the idea of being an Amazon best seller almost as much as an award (or maybe more).

@ Mimi, there is great satisfaction in creating. I think that is why so many of us push on, award or no award.

@Tyrean,congratulations on your upcoming publication! That in itself is it's own reward.

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