I spent a few hours at the Mississippi Library Association Annual Conference last week. I went to hear my friend, Hester Bass, talk about her book, The Secret World of Walter Anderson, at lunch. Then, I went back for the Awards Dinner, where Hester won a Special Award for The Secret World of Walter Anderson. I had my little camera so the images don’t have the crisp look I’d like, but there worth sharing anyway.
Read more about Under Surge, Under Siege here.
Read more about Mary Anna Evans and her books here.
I was awarded a fellowship in the literary arts by the Mississippi Arts Commission. With my fellowship, an award of $3,900, I am charged with creating new work. Earlier this year, I described the process the Commission uses to evaluate fellowship applications. You can read about it here. I very much appreciate the help of Diane Williams, the MAC program director with oversight of the literary arts programs. I also appreciate the panelists.
The Work-in-Progress that I submitted for evaluation is tentatively titled “Not White.” It is a coming-of-age memoir.
In addition to the fellowship, I applied to be included in the MAC’s rosters of Artists and Teaching Artists. This will be my second three-year stint on the roster of Artists (for the literary arts) and the first stint with the Teaching Artists. In addition to Diane, who helped with the roster process, I also thank Kim Whitt, the program director with oversight of the teaching artist roster.
The final piece of good news is that all my struggling earlier this year with my Picture Book Work-in-Progress is really bearing fruit. I’m nearly ready to send it out into the world — again. Wish me luck!
Here’s a leaf I saw on the tip of an Island north of Seattle. Even with expanses of water, I am drawn to veins in a leaf.
I hope you’ll forgive my absence. The downside of going away can be getting behind on the home front and, sometimes, getting sick. Douglas and I had a hard time getting back from Seattle (no thanks to weather and Delta’s trouble dealing with the logistics of weather). Then, I came down with a bug. I’m back, and I hope to catch up on all the things I’ve been doing — including WRITING!!
Here I am with Keith Baker, the author and illustrator of LMNO Peas, at the 2011 Best Books for Kids Award Party in Seattle. Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature was nominated in the nonfiction category.
The 2011 Best Books for Kids were: We Are in a Book! by Mo Willems (Read Aloud), How to Clean a Hippopotamus by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page (nonfiction), Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave by Laban Carrick Hill (Multicultural), and The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester by Barbara O’Conner. You can see a list of all nominees here. I enjoyed spending a few hours with people who love books and are committed to getting good books into the hands of all children. I hope to be back in Seattle one day and Page Ahead will be on my list of places to visit.
Today I leave for Seattle to attend the Page Ahead Best Books for Kids Award Ceremony. Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature is a finalist in the nonfiction category. I’ll be visiting with some friends I’ve known since the day I started kindergarten in Evanston, IL. It’ll be a quick trip, but my son, Douglas, is coming along and we are going to pack as much in as we can.
Growing Patterns is a finalist in the nonfiction category for Page Ahead’s Best Books for Kids 2011. Page Ahead is an organization that puts books into the hands of kids in Washington state. I love groups like Page Ahead! I will be headed to Seattle next month to attend Page Ahead’s Party at the Library Bistro, which looks like a great space to celebrate books.
I have time for a quick post today. One of the things I got in San Francisco was a whole bunch of stickers that say Outstanding Science Trade Book. I affixed them to the copies of Growing Patterns we sold at the NSTA convention, but I was eager to get a new image of the book featuring its stickers: the OSTB and the ALA Notable.
In addition the partnering with the Children’s Book Council to select Outstanding Science Trade Books, the NSTA also has a program called NSTA Recommends. Growing Patterns is an NSTA Recommends title and the review appears here.
Great news! Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature has been selected to the Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12 for 2011, a cooperative project of the National Science Teachers Association and the Children’s Book Council. The 2011 list is here, and you can see this page for lists from past years.
I am grateful to the committee members for their consideration. Science teachers, environmental educators, and librarians use these lists as they develop curricula and build collections.
In other news, I sold two more photographs to Highlights High Five, a magazine for 2- to 6-year olds. I can’t show you the photographs now, but I will when they appear in the magazine.
I am just about ready to send the new manuscript out into the world again. I have gotten a lot of good feedback from writing colleagues, librarians, reading friends, and family members. I revised accordingly. I’ll keep you posted.
Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature earned a superior rating in The Horn Book Guide. For the uninitiated, this is a 2 on a scale from 1 (outstanding) to 6 (unacceptable). Any book with a 1 or 2 rating is marked with a bold triangle in the guide. I am grateful for the notice.
Also, Growing Patterns has been nominated for a Cybil Award in the 2010 Non-Fiction/Informational Picture Books category. The Cybils awards are given each year by bloggers for the year’s best children’s and young adult titles. The Growing Patterns‘ nomination came from Jennifer Wharton of Jean Little Library. Thank you, Jennifer. Read her review of Growing Patterns here.
Finally, a new librarian friend sent along some photos from last week’s Mississippi Library Association Author Awards dinner. So, Richard makes a rare public appearance on the blog.
I had a wonderful time on Thursday at the Mississippi Library Association annual conference in Vicksburg.
I was honored Thursday night by the Mississippi Library Association. For Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator, I won the 2010 Youth Award. I am pictured here with Chris Myers Asch, the recipient of the 2010 Nonfiction Award, and Lynn Shurden (between me and Asch), chair of the Authors Awards Committee. The other two women pictured are also members of the awards committee, (from left) Ann ?, and Donna Fite. Deborah Johnson won the 2010 Fiction Award for her book, The Air Between Us. She was signing books and not available for the photograph.
This is the first time the MLA has given a Youth Award and I was delighted to be the first recipient. During the award speech and also during a session earlier in the day, I gave a short preview of my newest project, which unlike Wolfsnail and Growing Patterns, comes out of my childhood. It was fun to see Gloria Liggans, my school librarian from 4th through 9th grades, and many other librarian friends I have made since I started writing books for children.
The story included everything a story must, including ever-more-difficult obstacles. She shared photographs from Gee’s Bend in the 1930s, photographs of quilts made by Gee’s Bend Quilters, and a Ludelphia doll that was made for her by a school librarian.
Irene’s next novel is a contemporary one, titled Don’t Feed the Boy, which is forthcoming from Roaring Brook Press.
It was nice to have Irene join Richard and me at the awards dinner.
We cooked a bit of a celebratory dinner the next night, using a brand new cooking pot called a tagine. We made a lamb tagine (the meal is named after the cooking pot), masala dosas, and a spinach salad. I am no good at food photography, but these will give you an idea of what we ate and how we made it.
Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator won the Mississippi Library Association’s Children’s Book Award. I am thrilled to have won this award and I thank the MLA’s 2010 Authors Awards Committee for the recognition. I will accept the award during the MLA’s annual conference in Vicksburg, which is October 20-22.
The committee voted in February to add the children’s award to its list, which has traditionally included fiction and nonfiction for adults. A list of previous award winners can be found here.
In other news, my friends at Boyds Mills Press shared today that a professor in the College of Education at the University of Illinois is using Wolfsnail in a course on using children’s literature to teach.
When I posted photographs from our recent trip to Oregon, I forgot to include this one, which is actually one of my favorites. Somehow it didn’t get flagged. I hope you enjoy the two semi-circles in the composition as much as we do.