The Details of Today’s Adventures! With More Dancing!

I have finally calmed down and warmed up enough to blog. Sort of.

Where to start?

I know.

Congratulations to all of the winners and honor book winners announced today at ALA MidWinter!!! (I am looking for one page to link to that lists all of the winners. Can anyone help with that?)

I am especially happy for my old SCBWI friends who earned well-deserved awards: Hope Anita Smith won a Coretta Scott King Honor for Keeping the Night Watch and Jen Bryant, author of the Caldecott Honor book, A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams. YAY!!!

Fellow-NBA nominees Kathi Appelt won a Newbery Honor for The Underneath and E. Lockhart won a Printz Honor for The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. My sometimes-brother M.T. Anderson also won a Printz Honor for The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation Volume II: The Kingdom on the Waves. If there was an award for the longest title, I think he’d win that, too. And Jackie Woodson earned another Newbery Honor, this time for After Tupac and D Foster!

Last but not least, I am totally stoked that Neil Gaiman won the Newbery for The Graveyard Book! I have long been a fan of his writing (actually, I am one of those crazy, drooling gaimainites) and it is wonderful to see his work honored by librarians as well as fans.

And, um, yeah. I won an award too.

::cheeks blush, eyes puddle up::

The good and gracious members of the Edwards Committee have bestowed the breathtakingly stupendous Margaret A. Edwards Award, which “honors an author, as well as a specific body of his or her work, for significant and lasting achievement,” on me.

::wipes eyes, takes deep breath, composes self::

The beginning of the official announcement reads thusly: “Laurie Halse Anderson is the winner of the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award for Catalyst, Fever 1793, and Speak. These gripping and exceptionally well-written novels, through various settings, time periods, and circumstances, poignantly reflect the growing and changing realities facing teens. Iconic and classic in her storytelling and character development, Anderson has created for teens a body of work that continues to be widely read and cherished by a diverse audience.”

There’s more, but it stretches the bounds of Blatant Self Promotion to post it all. Read it on the YALSA site.

And make sure you check out the previous Edwards winners.

Suffice it to say, I am honored and humbled to have my work put in the class with writers whom I admire so much. And I am particularly proud that the committee singled out both Catalyst and Fever 1793, and that they get to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Speak, instead of in its shadow.

I actually found out about the Edwards earlier this weekend and, once again, had to walk around with two hands clapped over my mouth. (This made eating difficult and drinking coffee rather perilous.) I was extremely certain that Chains would not make anymore awards lists (it’s had its share, don’t you think?) and I know the anguish of sitting around watching the phone not ring, so early this morning, I packed up my bag and headed for the gym. Had a wonderful, if slow, 6-mile run onthe treadmill, then I treated myself to the ultimate reward: a two-hour massage. That’s right. TWO hours.


I came home, all relaxed and squishy, and VERY hungry. Stoked the woodstove, let the dog out, brought the dog in, locked the door, heated up a bowl of beef soup made from scratch, and reached for the book I am reading. I was one page into the book, three spoonfuls into the soup, when someone knocked on the front door. The Creature With Fangs went crazy. It was just the nice flower deliveryman, bringing me a gorgeous bouquet from Uncle Penguin. I stepped out into the vestibule to get the flowers and closed the door behind me, so the dog wouldn’t eat the nice deliveryman. As his truck drove away, I reached for the door handle.

It did not open. It had locked behind me.

I tried all of our doors. All locked. This is a very secure house, did you know that? It felt like 7 degrees outside, but it was sunny so the vestibule wasn’t quite that cold. BH had been down in Syracuse, but I knew he would be home soon, so it wasn’t worth hiking down to the farm to use their phone.

What does one do in that situation, locked out of one’s house on a winter’s day, hungry, tired, with no book to read or phone to call?

If you’ve just been awarded the Margaret A. Edwards Award, you listen to the music in your head and dance to keep warm. So I did. A little more than an hour later, BH came home, and all was well.

I am told that the cool color to wear to the Edwards shindig is orange. Must! Find! Orange! Shoes!

54 Replies to “The Details of Today’s Adventures! With More Dancing!”

  1. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so happy for you. A perfect choice.

    Sorry about getting locked out. That’s happened to me as well (but my 10-month-old was inside!). Glad you were rescued before it got too cold. Yay for dancing!


  2. It lists the ALSC (for younger readers) but not the YALSA (for teen readers).

    Why can’t they just put it all on one page?

  3. Laurie, I was thrilled to hear you’d won the Margaret Edwards Award–you SO deserve it! Keep on dancing and I’ll see you this weekend! — Ellen Wittlinger

  4. congratulations! i’m really proud of you! you definitely deserve the award because your writing has affected so many people. i’m also really grateful for our friendship. my family says congratulations too. miss you and can’t wait to read wintergirls!


    I too am so excited and glad to see Catalyst and Fever 1793 getting the love right along with Speak, because they totally deserve it. And so do you. CONGRATULATIONS!

  6. Awesome and it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving writer. You affect the landscape with your writing, but you also affect the landscape by your support of future children’s writers. Thanks sweetie-you’re the best!

  7. Congrats again! I’m thinking Converse must make an orange shoe, no? Or, you did tell me at ALAN that the next award outfit would include high-heel Timberland boots–maybe they come in orange and you can do that whole 2 birds, 1 stone thing.

  8. Congratulations. Many congratulations. And for a “lasting” achievement. No higher praise than to have, not one, but many works praised for their quality and heart.

    On your behalf, I join in the happy dance. *dances*

  9. What a bunch of copycats, those Edwards people! πŸ™‚ Congrats on a much-deserved award, as well as the starred review of WINTERGIRLS on PW today. It’s quite a year you’re having, one much deserved.

    (lalalalla la)

  10. Yes, do wear orange since the MAE folks were positively glowing in the dark at the awards announcements this morning. I am thrilled for you (except for the being locked out part). I just came in from the snowy streets of Denver to try to get warm again. I think your post may just do that. And, in case you did not know, you can win the Edwards more than once…..

    The full list of awards is also on my LJ blog.

    Kisses on cold cheeks,


  11. Much deserved congratulations! Whee!!! All I could think about when I read about you locking yourself out and protecting the delivery man from the creature with fangs is, “there’s the beginning of your acceptance speech.” πŸ™‚


  12. WOW!

    How wonderful! Congratulations (and glad you’ve come in out of the cold…)
    When I told my students you’d won the Margaret A. Edwards award, they asked, “What’s that?” I explained it was a great honor – a lifetime achievement award.
    One of the 7th grade boys said, “Really? She’s old? She looks so young on the back of the book!”
    Haha! They were even more impressed when I told them it was a recent photo and you were, in fact, not “old” – but a wonderful author who had made an indelible mark on the world at a young age.
    Way to go!

  13. Congratulations, Laurie!!! I totally cried out in happiness when I heard your name announced as the winner. πŸ˜€

    Into the Wardrobe

  14. Congratulations Laurie! Way to go; it is so well-deserved. (And wow, that list of previous winners is quite impressive! I am so happy that your name is joining the list.)
    πŸ™‚ Sarah

  15. Congrats from the ‘other side’ of the Oswego County snowbelt!! I was so thrilled to see the announcement. As for locking yourself out, don’t you know you’re supposed to have a spare key hanging on a nail next to the door knob (in plain sight)? lol

    Enjoy and hope to run into you sometime around the “neighborhood”.

    E. M. Crane

  16. I recently finished “Speak” and I would like to tell you well done on such a moving and relevant story. Frankly, this is one of the first adolescent novels that I have picked up in a long time and, as a 9th grade teacher, I found the perspective shocking, but helpful to me as I consider my words and interaction with students in years to come. I love your use of language in the story as well. I felt Melinda’s tone was portrayed so beautifully for a girl her age dealing with such heavy emotional baggage. Again, well done.

  17. Congratulations!

    Congratulations Laurie! I was so happy for you when they announced your name! It is too bad you had to reheat the soup though… πŸ˜›

  18. Great post. In my e-mail to you the other day, I’d read the award wrong and congratulated you on your β€œlifetime achievement.” β€œFor significant and lasting achievement” is much better. It means these books are going to stick around and help the next few generations as well.

    And for everyone else, here’s the list of previous winners I sent Laurie, with everyone’s age when they received the award. It’s an amazing group to be a part of, and as you can see, she’s one of the youngest to ever receive it.

    1988 S.E. Hinton – 37
    1990 Richard Peck – 55
    1991 Robert Cormier – 65
    1992 Lois Duncan – 57
    1993 M.E. Kerr – 65
    1994 Walter Dean Myers – 56
    1995 Cynthia Voigt – 52
    1996 Judy Blume – 57
    1997 Gary Paulsen – 57
    1998 Madeleine L’Engle – 79
    1999 Anne McCaffrey – 72
    2000 Chris Crutcher – 53
    2001 Robert Lipsyte – 62
    2002 Paul Zindel – 65
    2003 Nancy Garden – 64
    2004 Ursula K. Le Guin – 74
    2005 Francesca Lia Block – 42
    2006 Jacqueline Woodson – 42
    2007 Lois Lowry – 69
    2008 Orson Scott Card – 56
    2009 Laurie Halse Anderson – 47

  19. A hearty congratulations on your well-deserved Edwards award!!!!!! We discussed you the Thursday before they were announced in my YA Literature class, and several participants noted that they expected you would get one. I just don’t think any of us expected it to be the very next one!

    And if you wear a size six or seven, you can borrow my orange flats. I could send them to your publisher for you. πŸ˜€

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