The WAYRBA shortlist has just been released and my name is on it! The winner will not be announced until November but, win or lose, I’m really excited to be on the list. Come what may, for the next ten months there will be this little glow at the back of my consciousness. This year, when my confidence becomes chilled and paralysis threatens, I will search out that spark of reassurance, fan it into a flame and warm myself back into action. Just knowing that my work is noticed and valued is enough to get me going again.
In 1998 I won the WAYRBA Hoffman Award for my second novel, Someone Like Me. The Awards and I have both come a long way since then. Of my seventeen published books eight have been shortlisted for WAYRBA. Being a kid’s choice award makes it, in my eyes, the most important of accolades. Kids are my readers and they are the people who count. In 2010 a Picture Book category was added to the Awards, sadly too late for my two Miss Llewellyn-Jones books, but a wonderful addition to the already extensive lists of titles from all around Australia promoted by these Awards. With the paring back of the WA Premier’s Book Awards, WAYRBA now stand at the forefront of organisations providing vital support and promotion of our local, and national, authors and illustrators.
Last year WAYRBA celebrated its 35th Anniversary. Long may it continue to be s successful guardian of our written heritage and culture.