Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Tassy Walden Awards

Winners: Edward Tucchio, Janet Croog, Kelly Hill, Jeanne Zulick
On May 13th, I was surprised and delighted to receive an email from the Shoreline Arts Alliance that my nonfiction picture book manuscript won a Tassy Walden Award!  Last night, I drove to the Blackstone Memorial Library in Branford for the ceremony.  Thankfully, I gave myself plenty of time because I wound up turning off the engine on the highway for about fifteen minutes while emergency personnel cleaned up an accident.  Luckily, I was in the shade of a tractor-trailer because it was hot and humid and the air-conditioning in the Civic was weak, at best (my goal is 200,000 miles for this ole heap).

Middle grade and young adult honorable mentions and finalists
It was an enjoyable evening listening to other writers read their work and meeting new writing folks.  Edward Tucchio, an artist who has painted murals at the Peabody museum, read his illustrated picture book.  Janet Croog, the illustration winner, had a diverse portfolio that included amazing paper cutouts (one had a finished size of over five feet!).  One recipient has already a landed a contract with Random House.

I found out there are anywhere between 200–400 submissions to this contest.  Half the entrants submit picture book texts.  The picture book category is the only one that accepts nonfiction and they get about five entries each time.  The contest is judged by anonymous agents and editors.  Given those statistics, I feel very fortunate and pleased and privileged that my nonfiction manuscript rose to the top of a good-sized pile of predominantly fiction.  I'm thankful for the Shoreline Arts Association and for the judges for their time and energy running and judging this contest.