It would be so easy to go my merry way (or at least stay stuck in the quagmire that is my novel) without thanking the generous people who have granted me a few more dates with Brimstone Soup. I've already thanked them secretly and on good stationery, but I am here to thank them Loudly and Publicly for rescuing me from losing one of my two short, precious writing days:
First, the unparalleled giant of YA lit, Judy Blume, who, together with SCBWI, funded the Contemporary Novel Grant in the first place. I love you, Judy!
Second, Sue Burgess, WIP Grant Coordinator, who no doubt spent thousands of hours getting it all together and making these grants possible.
Third, the judges, Walter Dean Myers (Walter Dean Myers! Whoah!), Todd Strasser (another giant!), and Mark McVeigh of Dutton (be still, my literary heart).
Last but not least, many thanks to the first readers, Nancy Antle Caroline Arnold, Jeri Ferris, and Lisa Rowe Fraustino, who slogged through almost 400 manuscripts and found mine noteworthy enough to pass on.
Congratulations to fellow winners, especially to Amy Kathleen Ryan, who won the grand prize Contemporary Novel Grant, and to friend Vijaya Khisty Bodach, who won a letter of merit for her historical novel.
In other threads of gratitude, I must express mine to my writing group, who once again have offered me a hand of hope as I try to navigate the final labyrinths of Brimstone Soup...can't I start the next one yet (code name: "Creed")? I have to let it simmer and finish this one?? Oh, geez. Better get back to it, then.
I want to make Judy, Sue, Walter, Todd, and Mark proud.