Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Book Award

A number of my friends in various writing groups received word yesterday that they are finalists in RWA contests - either the Golden Heart for unpublished authors, or the Rita for books published in 2011. Being ineligible for either (I am published, but my book is from 2010) I was surprised and pleased to get another unexpected, but totally delightful, message.

Students in my neighboring state of Indiana have nominated my book PULL for the 2012/13 Eliot Rosewater Indiana Hoosier Book Award (a. k. a. the Rosie Award).  Of course, I'm up against an awesome list of books, including Five Flavors of Dumb, Ship Breaker, Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and Yummy - all of which I read and loved. But it's great to be in such awesome company.  The Rosie Award is chosen annually by students across Indiana in grades nine through twelve. The winner will be announced in May. Obviously I have my fingers and toes crossed. I just consider it an honor that the students nominated PULL. PULL has acheived a number of honors:
  • 2010 Golden Rose winner - Oregon
  • 2011 National Readers Choice Award winner - Oklahoma
  • 2011 Children's and Young Adult Bloggers Literary (CYBIL) Awards nominee
  • 2011 Best Books for Youth in Detention list - School Library Journal
  • 2012 YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list - American Library Association
The sequel, BEING GOD, will be out later this year. Who knows what next year will bring.

BTW - Eliot Rosewater is a recurring fictional character in Kurt Vonnegut's novels, including God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. Vonnegut is a famous Hoosier author who grew up in Indianapolis. This award was named to honor him and all Indiana writers. I feel like I'm an honorary Indiana writer.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Illinois Reading Council

I presented a workshop at the 2012 Illinois Reading Council in Springfield on March 15, to a room full of teachers and librarians, all interested in the subject of attracting reluctant teen boy readers. I feel i've come full circle from 2008 when I attended a discussion about the same subject at the AWP (Association of Writing Professionals) conference. That session, that featured a panel of teens (five girls and one brave boy) showed me the issues and problems involved in getting boys back to books.

I am very pleased that the research I did on the subject, including inverviews with psychologists, socila workers, teen boys, teachers, and fathers, left me prepared to realistically portray teen boys in my novel, PULL. PULL has earned a spot on the 2012 YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list, and School Library Journal's 2011 list of Top Choices for Youth in Detention. It also gave me the information to help the cause of getting boys back to books. You can check out a copy of my presentation, Attracting Reluctant Teen Readers.

Many of my listeners remained after the session with their questions. One in particular made sure she sat at my table during the Local Author's Luncheon, because everyone there got a free, autographed copy of PULL.  Every copy at the Anderson's Booksellers booth sold out, and I spent the evening autographing copys at the SCBWI booth.  One of my best moments was when one of the hotel servers at the luncheon asked if he could purchase a copy for his teen son. I sold him one of my own at cost and signed it for the boy there.

I'm already looking forward to next year in Springfield.

P. S. On April 10 I will be at Barbara Vey's Reader Appreciation Lunch in Oak Brook, Wi. The deadline to sign up to attend is March 31. Everyone signing up for my table will receive a free copy of PULL.

Thursday, March 1, 2012