This past weekend, I was in Boston to receive the Boston Globe-Horn Book Nonfiction Honor Award for Smile!
The Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards have been presented every year since 1967, choosing Winners and Honors for fiction, nonfiction, and picture book titles...and this is the very first time a graphic novel has been awarded.
I can't tell you how thrilled I was to receive this honor by the awards committee, and I can't thank the judges (Julie Just, of the NY Times; Gregory Maguire, whose book Wicked you may have heard of; and Martha V. Parravano, executive editor at Horn Book) enough. The rest of the Horn Book staff, most especially editor in chief Roger Sutton, also deserves huge and amazing thanks for their kindness, and I can't overlook the staff at Simmons College, who not only have a long-standing history tied in with the Awards, but also hosted the events this weekend.
The ceremony was held on a stormy Friday evening, and I had to make a short speech--I was pretty nervous, but in the end didn't trip or fall or embarrass myself. Listening to the other Honoree and Award-winners' speeches was incredibly inspiring, and I felt so humbled to be among all them.
After the ceremony, I got to sign copies of Smile, and then went to a really fun and delicious dinner with my Scholastic friends. I was happy to be joined by my editor, Cassandra Pelham, as well as folks from the publicity and marketing departments, and also the independent bookstore owners who were selling our books at the weekend's events.
The next day, Simmons College hosted an all-day colloquium with the Winners and Honorees, as well as the judges, Horn Book staff, editors, and librarians. I met a ton of interesting people and had some very meaningful conversations. It's always nice to talk to groups who aren't necessarily familiar with graphic novels, and spread the joy to all of them. I had a very fulfilling day. This was followed by a dinner with Horn Book folks and some of the Award recipients, and that gave me a chance to finally talk to some of them, and relax in the company of interesting people and great food. I went home with a full belly and a very full heart.
Although our time in Boston was short, it was one of the best weekends of my life. I was thrilled as always to be able to share the experience with my husband (and unofficial photographer), Dave Roman, and we both felt like we walked away with many new terrific friends and heads full of ideas.
Thanks again, to everyone who made it possible.
Cross-posted from http://goRaina.com