No GG for me – this time!

Congratulations to Christopher Moore,  who has just won the Governor General’s Literary Award (Children’s Text), for his book , From Then to Now (non-fiction history of the world).  As a “loser”, I’m in good company – Deborah Ellis, Kenneth Oppel and Tim Wynne-Jones. Of course, I would love to have had HARE chosen, but I honestly had little expectation of that happening, considering the other contenders all are about a dozen novels ahead of me, or so.  No trip to Toronto, or Rideau Hall for me, not this year, at least…And as my editor has said, being a GG Finalist for my first novel is an achievement I’ll always have and cherish.  I do have two new projects on the go, in addition to the full-length novel I’ve been working on for about a year and a half.  I’ll be retelling a classic novel for JLS, the Korean publisher – condensing a 100-page novel into about 25, so that should be an interesting challenge.  Another editor called last week expressing interest in a novel for reluctant middle-school readers, so I expect to get a contract signed for that in the near future, as well.

One thing I gained from my GG nomination experience is becoming more comfortable being interviewed.  I had a great live chat with Carmen Klassen of CBC Radio’s “Close to Home” last week – she’s very good at her job, and made me feel as though we were just having a personal chat on the telephone. It’s a little awkward because the GG people tell the “losers” about a week ahead of the announcement date, so I had to spend a week pretending I didn’t know I hadn’t won. One question Carmen asked was what I had learned from writing HARE; I wasn’t expecting that question, and very quickly said I learned that you can do “good” through your writing; not just in a financial way (as in supporting Wadeng Wings of Hope), but also in opening young readers’ eyes to situations in which children in other parts of the world find themselves; helping build empathy.

So many people have called and written expressing their support for HARE’s nomination and this segment of my writing journey  – thank you everybody for that!  I tend to be fairly goal-oriented, so maybe a new goal for me should be winning a Governor General’s Award – next time!  Back to work…

4 thoughts on “No GG for me – this time!

  1. I am so happy that you received the nomination, Jan. 🙂 The interview was wonderful. I’m sure I would have sounded like a bumbling idiot. You sounded divine. You were in the company of the best of the best and that’s certainly nothing to sneeze at.

    • Thanks, Laura. I’ve managed to finagle an invite to Rideau Hall on the 24th, so I’ll be having dinner with the GG after all – just found out on Thursday. Found the perfect dress for $7.00 today:) I’ll tell you all about it when I get back!

  2. Hi Jan,

    You may not have won this year’s G.G. award but I doubt if this is the end of your association with this prestigious group. Be assured, though, that your visit to Central Colchester Jr. High School continues to reverberate with students. Just today, a Gr. 9 student, who is not an avid reader generally, wanted to borrow “that book about the boys from Sudan” and said that your visit as well as my readings from the book prior to your visit, really caught his attention. A victory for sure!! Thanks Jan and good luck with your next project.

    • Thanks, Trish. Could I just say that I need a bumper sticker that says “I love school librarians”? I spent the day Friday at Truro Elementary with Nic Mosley, another excellent librarian. Love your story about the student!

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