Friday, May 13, 2011

The Monkeyface Chronicles WINS the 2011 White Pine Award!

First off, let me say that it was an honour just to be nominated for the White Pine Award. I mean, look at the other authors on stage with me: Governor General's Award winner Wendy Phillips, bestselling suspense writer Linwood Barclay, multiple-award-winner Alan Stratton, crowd favourites Alyxandra Harvey and Rosemary Boll, 2011 White Pine Honour Book Winners Don Calame and Courtney Summers (Congratulations to you both!), and the much-loved Natale Ghent, who ran a terrific creative workshop with me on the morning of the awards ceremony. The only nominated author who couldn't make it to the ceremony was Alice Kuipers, who was about to give birth at any moment. . .

When prize nominees say that it is "an honour just to be nominated", they REALLY mean it in this case. The White Pine Awards are part of the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Program, which involves a staggering QUARTER MILLION YOUNG READERS from across Ontario! It means that their books will be read by a lot of enthusiastic students, which is an amazing reward in itself.

And, personally, the White Pine Awards represent two things that matter very much to me: Literacy and Democracy. (See below.)

The Monkeyface Chronicles itself, the award announcement itself had a twist ending!

(I guess I had that coming. . .)

My heartfelt thanks to
Meredith Tutching, Teresa Gawman, Lisa Marie Williams, and everyone else at the Ontario Library Association who help make the Forest of Reading Program happen, Geoffrey Taylor and everyone at Harbourfront, my friend and White Pine contact Elizabeth DeMarco! Also, shout-outs to Axel Soos, who introduced me at the ceremony, our hilarious MC, Sabrina Jalees, design contest winner Elaine Yuan, who created the beautiful award plaque, and my assistant for the day, and Stephanie L, my assistant for the day, who brought me pens when mine dried up, brought me bag when I left it behind, and so on. . .

After the ceremony, I signed two iPhones, a yellow converse sneaker, the leg of someone's jeans, and even a few books!

What a great day!