Somebody wise once said, ‘I know I can write. I just have to figure out how to feed myself while I do it.’ Something like that. I think it was Cormac McCarthy. Anyway, it seems I can write without worrying about how to feed myself for a few more months. Yes, that was a clumsy segueway into some self-back-slapping—All I Ever Wanted won the Adelaide Festival Award for Young Adult Fiction a couple of weeks ago.
To top off that wonderful moment, I got to hang out with some lovely writers, some of whom have been scooping up awards like seagulls at a burley-fest. I loved that several writers admitted that their knees still knocked and they were lost for words and some even felt sick before an appearance. I feel bad, but I needed to hear it because I suffer all those symptoms plus I have a complexion that lights up like a slapped arse. Okay, enough bad similes.
I was especially thrilled to be shortlisted with a group of YA authors whose books graced my shelves many years before my own book was published, and some amazing South Aussie writers won awards: Rosanne Hawke, the Children’s Literature Award for Taj and the Great Camel Trek; Janeen Brian, the Carclew Fellowship; Margaret Merrilees, the Wakefield Press Unpublished Manuscript Award; Nicki Bloom, the Jill Blewett Playwright’s Award and the Barbara Hanrahan Fellowship.
Congratulations to the organisers of Writers’ Week and to all the writers who emerged, blinking, into that perfect week of sunshine. Back to your garrets, please.