News broke at the crack of dawn this morning: my book, STAND ON THE SKY, has won a Governor General's award -- the oldest and highest profile award in Canada. This is a huge deal. I'm so excited -- I hardly know what to say.
So the Canada Council sent me a set of GG Finalist Stickers, and I hooked up with my friend Ishta Mercurio took them down my local Indie, Worrds Worth books, and put them on stock copies. See the delitght.
So this morning the list of books nominated for the GG -- the Governor General's Award -- came out. I saw it in my e-mail, and really just scanned it briefly. I didn't see my name or my book cover, so I sighed and went to the basement to help clean up the sewage leak. (UGGGH don't ask.)
Then my Twitter notifications started rolling in.
And I'm up for it. STAND ON THE SKY has been nominated for a GG. And I'm on the actual air. I am standing on the sky. As writers we are not allowed to admit that we want these things, but I wanted this thing. A lot. For this book, which is truly the book of my heart.
The Governor General's awards are Canada's big national awards -- like the National Book Awards in the States. They're given in seven categories, including the one I'm up for, literature for young people. They are worth $25K, a big shiney seal, and of course ALL THE GLORY. Even being nominated is a huge, life-changing, caree...
Margaret Atwood was very nice. I sent her a book a while back and she brought it along so I could sign it.
The stage was very big
Poets normally read to six people, one of whom is nappign and two of whom are waiting for the mic.
And I was, frankly, a rock star. I read three poems, one framed around Fritz Haber (written for the occasion), one about Pavlovsk Station (the one from Best Canadian Poetry) and one about General Relativity (always a barn burner poetry topic). And I very nearly got a standing ovation.
This was. A thing.
Many people asked me afterward to post the Fritz Haber poem, so I will, soon.
(Actually it's a delightful list for many reasons, not least that it's chockfull of kid's lit, poetry, plays, spoken word, and other forms, and features queer authors, indigenous authors, and authors of colour. Canlit can sometimes be a bit "the usual suspects who are all white guys plus also Margaret Atwood" so this is so great!)
To narrow that down a little.... Last night was THE big night for kids' lit in Canada tomorrow: The TDs! Swanky party, $140K in prizes, and the chance to see what kids book people look like when all dressed up. I spent it the evening trying not to nibble off my nail polish, as THE SCORPION RULES was shortlisted in both the categories for which it was eligible: The Amy Mathers award for teen novels, and the Monica Hughes award for science fiction and fantasy.
And it WON, guys. It took the Monica Hughes -- which makes me the first two-time winner of the award. (It's five years old.) I'm so thrilled! I read the whole list this year and it was amazing. In fact, I went up to the stage with EK Johnston's speech in my pocket, because Kate -- a good friend -- was in Miami, touring with another book. I was more ready to give her speech than mine.
But I gave mine.
Huge congratulations to the other winners, including Susan Juby for teen fiction, Kevin...