Friday, April 04, 2008

CBCA Shortlist

Around this time of year, some major awards here in Australia announce their shortlist. So we have the Miles Franklin, the NSW Premier's Literary Awards and the Australian Children's Book Council Awards. If you have a book in the running, it can be a nerve-wracking time. In 2005, my book Farm Kid was shortlisted for the NSW award, which was a huge surprise for me. When it won, I made the most of it and celebrated and went to the awards dinner in Sydney. It was like a huge, excellent, late Christmas gift, something to totally enjoy.

This year Sixth Grade Style Queen (Not!) has been shortlisted for the CBCA Younger Reader awards. I can't tell you how many fingers and toes I had crossed! I could hardly walk. Although the Newbery Medal in the US doesn't have a shortlist beforehand, the effect on book sales and everything else that goes along with being a children's author is the same. It's mind-boggling, actually (I've talked to others who have been shortlisted and won or had Honour books), and exciting. And sitting around on Tuesday morning waiting for the shortlists to go up on the CBCA site was unbearable. So I went to the movies.

When I was a teenager, one of my favourite movies was Anne of a Thousand Days, so I really wanted to see The Other Boleyn Girl. It was great - lots of strong minor characters to fill out the story with subplots, two very different actors in the main roles, and a different perspective also on Anne. Yes, I did manage to forget about the shortlist announcements until the movie was over. Then I arrived home to a lovely message from my publisher on my answering machine, and the sight of my book on the website. It took a while to sink in, but the champagne helped!

There is now a long gap until the winners are announced - 15 August - which allows for lots of discussion and time for kids to read the books and decide for themselves. This year there will be another Junior Judges happening, where schools can get involved and be part of it. In early May, the CBCA conference takes place here in Melbourne, and I'm going to be leading a session on Sunday on poetry for children (which was organised months ago).

Yes, I am trying very hard here to sound serious and "worthy" - my friends would all laugh and give me a good poke in the ribs, because they know that inside there are a dozen elephants still doing a mad, happy dance! So now I will go off and do some writing, because I have a deadline, and later on I'll let the elephants out and we'll watch the footy and drink nice wine and celebrate some more!


Snail said...

Woo hoo!!

But ... but ... August. That's forever!

Lisa66 said...

Congratulations, Sherryl, that's fantastic news!

BTW have you read The Other Boleyn Girl? I'm reading it now and really enjoying it.

Sherryl said...

The way things are going these days, Snail, it'll be August before I know it!
Sometimes I feel it'll be 2009 before I know it...

Lisa - I didn't know there was a novel until recently, so will have to look it up.

Kristi Holl said...

I'm glad to see your news here!!! I can just hear those sales mounting even now! You have nearly five months to rack up great sales! I loved that book--it deserves to be on that list.

Tracey said...

Ooh, watching the footy. That was the Tigers, wasn't it? You did say "footy", right? :-P

Seriously, we won't poke you. We want to see you win this thing because you deserve it! It is a great book!