The alarm woke us up at 4AM and Dave and I sleepily made our way to the Manchester Airport in 23 degree weather. It was colder than expected for an April morning in NH, but not entirely surprising. After a full day of travel we arrived in Austin, TX to a hot and humid 80 degrees and were happy to say good-bye to winter for the moment.
We met my friend, Devorah Winegarten at Stubbs for some real Texas Bar-B-Q. It was nice to catch up with the Debster. I had met her at a writing workshop in 2016 at the Highlights Foundation before Tutti’s Promise was complete. That was before my manuscript had found a home and before I met Margie Blumberg of MB Publishing.
Dave and I strolled back to the hotel and both had a much needed nap before that evening’s Independent Book Publishers Association 2018 Benjamin Franklin Awards dinner. The Awards dinner was honoring books in over 50 categories of which Tutti’s Promise was a finalist for two. I met several other authors who were also finalists and had many conversations about writing, publishing, the importance of diversity, education and more. I even ran into a middle school history teacher who was excited to be able to tell her colleagues that there is a new book to use for Holocaust education.
As the emcee took the podium and the awards portion of the evening started I was more nervous than I had anticipated. As each of my categories was announced Dave held my hand. In both Tutti’s Promise won silver! I am so honored to have been recognized by the IBPA as a silver Benjamin Franklin Award winner for Young Reader: Fiction (8-12 Years) and Best New Voice: Children’s/Young Adult.
I would like to take a moment to thank those who helped me get to this milestone:
- Margie Blumberg of MB Publishing and her team — Jim Catler, Anne Himmelfarb, and Joseph Gisini and crew at PageWave Graphics.
- My husband, Dave, who pushed me to make every chapter better
- My mother, Tutti, who grew from an ambivalent mother to a dedicated partner in this project
- All those who helped me with research, including those who offered more information through this blog, archivists and librarians, and all the Holocaust survivors who took the time to talk to me and answer my many questions.
- And all the new friends I have made along this unexpected journey.
I also want to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the 2018 Benjamin Franklin Gold winners, especially Angela Dalton and Ruth Ballard, who won gold in Best New Voice: Children’s/Young Adult and Young Reader: Fiction (8-12 Years) respectively.