Well, that was a rather dramatic day.
There is one day of the year when Australian writers and illustrators of children’s and young adult books wake up tense and keep one eye – or possibly two – on social media and mobiles all morning.
It’s the day that the Children’s Book Council of Australia announces first its lists of Notable Books for the year, and later its shortlists for Book of the Year. (The NZ Post Book Awards finalists were released today too!)
Even if you don’t have a book out in that year, you still watch on behalf of friends, publishers, books you loved, and cheer or mope accordingly.
There’s no moping in this house.
The Sultan’s Eyes, like Act of Faith before it, was on the CBCA Notables list for Older Readers.
I was about to give a lecture when the news finally came through and felt totally distracted for the rest of the morning.
Until, totally out of the blue, the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards shortlists were also announced halfway through the afternoon. Turns out The Sultan’s Eyes is on the shortlist for the Ethel Turner Prize as well.
What a day.
And I have to say that both lists (and the CBCA shortlists) are crammed full of wonderful books – and there are many more that could have just as easily been included. I don’t envy those judges.
So congratulations to all the authors and illustrators, and our publishers, for getting through the roller coaster day and for creating books worth celebrating.