Everyone a Winner

May 1, 2016

Awards season in Atlantic Canada came this past week in the midst of the Frye Festival in Moncton. I drove up with Carole and Steven on Wednesday night and sat in the audience as the awards were given out . It was the first time the awards gala was held in New Brunswick and the first time New Brunswick gave it’s own book awards. The evening took me back to the excitement I felt four years ago in St. John’s when I sat in the audience nervously waiting for the announcement of the winner of the Ann Connor Brimer award. It was the first award given out that night and I barely remember the minutes before the thrill of seeing my picture and my book with the caption Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature goes to…That is a moment I will never forget and I imagine it was very much that way for the winners on Wednesday night. Sharon McKay received the Ann Connor Brimer. Beth Powning was absent but her son accepted the first NB award for Fiction on her behalf. Many other winners and nominees enjoyed the evening. But the excitement of awards is fleeting. It is wonderful of course to have the award attached to your work but the real nuts and bolts of being a writer is in the day to day task of doing the work. It is wonderful to have your work acknowledged but the real test is in the slogging away with getting the work done and getting it out there to readers. I have said before that no award or recognition seems to be enough to completely eradicate the self doubt surrounding this endeavor. The glam and glitz of awards night and the whole award process has it’s place but we the authors must continue to encourage each other and ourselves to fight the good fight. Publishers, book sellers, librarians, teachers are among the soldiers that fight beside us. It is imperative that we all support one another and celebrate our accomplishments but it is also important that we don’t get too caught up in the false belief that our work only matters if we are the ones called to the stage on awards night.


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