Wednesday, May 05, 2010

 

Saroyan International Prize

Pretty exciting news here in the Mockett (sorry Drummond/Mockett) household. In addition to the fact that Ewan has started to roll over (and generally creep around on the floor and in his crib), I learned a couple days ago that Picking Bones from Ash has been shortlisted for the Saroyan International Prize. I was shocked--completely shocked--and so, so happy. I mean, it always feels like a miracle for a writer when her work is read and appreciated. But to be shortlisted for a major honor like this, when one is judged by her peers and serious and critical readers, is very exciting. I'm honored and flattered.

The list is impressive, and includes Victor Lodato, whom I met and hung out with in Portland, and Skip Horack, who I met last summer at Breadloaf. You'll also see some newsworthy names in there. (And, yes, I know they got my name wrong. That spelling is floating around out there and many have opted to use it, and I'm not about to complain).

You know, it's a funny thing. At one point, every writer works and works and works in isolation, knowing almost no one. That writer might, say, go to a conference, not really knowing why she's there, but watching all these published authors on the other side of some "fence," talking about the publications, and wondering how she ever gets to part of that world. And she might feel that her career is going nowhere, while all that time, her work is actually "working" for her.

Suddenly--I know so many people who write. I know and admire their books. I know what it means to be included in a list like this where the writing is so strong, and the commitment to artistic vision full of nothing but integrity. There are no sell outs on this list. I

All this is incredibly cool. And it only happens if you have a committed publisher and editor--which I do. And it all just makes me want to work even harder. So thanks to the anonymous readers who included me. I'm just tickled.

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