Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Butler Prize for Books announces long-list & The Smell of Paint is on it!

A good bit of news came my way on the weekend. My novel, The Smell of Paint, has made the long list for The Butler Book Prize, in the Young Readers' Category. It was in good company alongside books by Andrea Spalding, Dede Crane, Laura Langston, Diane Swanson and Nikki Tate to name a few. Will have to wait two months to see who makes the short-list of five though. I have my fingers crossed.

What a busy few months it's been. Lots of travel back and forth to Vancouver for book-related activities and in helping my daughter search for an affordable condo. Did finally find her a place, although I'd hardly call it affordable. Sigh...I suppose affordable is a relative term these days.

Went to a fantastic Young Authors forum the other day with good friend and fellow author Linda Bailey. Met up with several other author friends, Normal Charles, Irene Watts, Ellen Schwartz, and Debbie Hodge which was also fun. The forum featured fantastic writers like Susan Jube, Dennis Foon, Shelley Hrdlitschka, John Burns and Kit Pearson not to mention Bob Tyrrell from Orca Book Publishers, Ken Setterington, the library's Youth advocate from Toronto, Allison Taylor-McBryde from North Van. library who also chairs the YA reader's choice book awards in BC, etc. The topics included writing for reluctant readers, censorship in YA books, fantasy, historical fiction, and humour. Of course the titles were far more clever and literary, but you get the gist. The format included two presenters per topic speaking for about 10 minutes each, followed by a panel discussion with moderator Phyllis Simon from Vancouver Kid's Books posing questions. Then the audience was invited to ask questions too. So so good.

Sadly, not as much writing getting done as I had hoped though, although plenty of thinking about writing which we all need to do on occasion. For example, Alison Taylor McBride pleaded for more books which reflect average teen concerns as opposed to the extremely brutal talley she's seen come across her desk recently while Orca Bob explained how their edgy reluctant teen series has coped with censorship issues in the US. There was plenty more insight as well as suggestions to mull over while I painted walls at my daughter's place that evening.

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