Friday, April 11, 2014

Reading Round-Up and the Lupine Award

Oh, frabjous day!

Yesterday was the annual Maine Reading Round-Up conference, where I was so thrilled to receive the Lupine Award for my novel, Out of Nowhere.

This was the 25th anniversary of the Lupine, and for a special treat the Portland artist, Toby Rosenberg, who has been creating our gorgeous fired-china award plates, was in attendance and handed out the awards.

The night before the conference we were all treated to a lovely dinner at the Maple Hill Farm Bed and Breakfast in Hallowell, Maine. 
Gathering at the Maple Hill Farm

Author Anita Silvey gave the keynote address, which focused on her new book, Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Children’s Book.  What a terrific speaker!  And yes, I’m heading out to buy multiple copies after hearing her talk.

The day was filled with terrific panels: unfortunately, one can’t attend them all.  I enjoyed hearing authors Lea Wait, Sashi Kaufman and Ammi-Joan Paquette discuss “The Past, Present, and Future in Children’s Literature.”
Left to right: Lea Wait, Sashi Kaufman, Ammi-Joan Paquette

After lunch, it was time for door prizes and awards, and it was an absolute thrill to receive my plate from Toby and stand with these other fabulous Maine authors.  It was especially moving to see Anne Sibley O’Brien win the Katahdin Award for Lifetime Achievement:  well deserved!  Earlier in the day we had learned that Robert McCloskey (think: Make Way for Ducklings) had been the first to win the Katahdin Award. 
Left to right: Kimberly Ridley, Rebekah Raye, Megan Frazer Blakemore, Maria Padian, Anne Sibley O'Brien, Melissa Sweet.

I left Reading Round-Up this year feeling as I always do after this terrific conference:  we are so blessed in Maine to have not only an incredible community of dedicated librarians and educators, but an extraordinary community of children’s writers and illustrators. What a privilege to live and work here!  I feel so grateful.

This year’s Lupine Award Winners are:  “The Secret Pool,” by Kimberly Ridley, illustrated by Rebekah Raye, Tilbury House (picture book winner); “Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909,” by Michelle Markel, illustrated by Melissa Sweet, Balzer + Bray (honor book); “Out of Nowhere,” by Maria Padian, Alfred A. Knopf, (juvenile/young adult winner); “The Water Castle,” by Megan Frazer Blakemore, Walker, (honor book).  Anne Sibley O'Brien received the Katahdin Lifetime Achievement Award.