My dad has shown me enough inspirational sports movies and documentaries for me to know it’s best to wait until right before the buzzer sounds at the end of the game to score a big goal.
That’s the way the literary awards season for my debut novel has unfolded. The book was released in August 2013 and I sat here quietly and morosely ticking off each of the season’s awards as their short-lists were announced without my name on them. I got to watch kind well-wishers saying it was too bad I was overlooked and while that went a long way in buoying my spirits, it didn’t give me and my novel any grounds to be called “award-winning.”
Near the end of the season, I was named on one shortlist but, while I appreciated the honour, the award was a bad fit for me and I didn’t win it.
Since it’s Fathers Day this week, I’ll tell the rest of the story with a Canadian hockey history analogy. Let’s just say it was the final seconds of the third period of the literary award season…
“Henderson made a wild stab for it and fell”
… when I got a phone call…
“Here’s another shot right in front of the…”
…congratulating me on winning the 2014 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta’s Emerging Artist Award.
It finally happened. I won the last award I was a contender for this year – scored on my last chance to claim the “award-winning” designation, right before the final whistle. Along with the rights to “award-winning” it comes with a prize, a medal, media coverage, and a fancy ceremony with His Honor. I’m one of eight recipients chosen from a wide range of artistic fields to get the award. I’ll find out who the rest of them are at 10am today at Government House in Edmonton.
I couldn’t be more pleased or more grateful to the board for selecting me. Yay!
[Thanks (and apologies) to hockey legends Paul Henderson and Foster Hewitt.]