When the Good News Hits

When the Good News Hits

Posted on July 29 by Philippa Dowding
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It was February, 2011. I was sitting at my desk (writing, what else?), and noticed a new email message with the subject line: Congratulations, Philippa!

I almost dismissed it as junk mail, until I noticed the “from” address. Since it was from my publisher, I opened it. My publisher was pleased to tell me that my first book, The Gargoyle in My Yard, had been nominated for a Diamond Willow award, one of the Saskatchewan Young Readers Choice Awards, and she hoped that it would be the first of many.

WHAT???

I simply couldn’t believe it. I had to re-read the letter from the nominating committee about thirty times until it very, very slowly, sunk in. I don’t generally need that long to get the gist of something, but for several minutes I simply couldn’t grasp what I was reading. Eventually though, I did catch on. I got out of my chair and danced around my office, then through the house. Keeping the news quiet until the shortlist was officially announced was like trying not to let anyone see me breathe, or blink.

Over the next several weeks I’d catch myself thinking: My story about a lonely and lost gargoyle in downtown Toronto has been nominated for something?? That happens? It’s not enough to be published, but you can get shortlisted for awards, too?

It’s such an honour each time one of my books gets nominated, I’m always surprised, appreciative and delighted, it’s a genuine and wonderful thrill, but that first nomination remains closest to my heart. For a whole afternoon I was nine years old again, not caring what I looked like (or how much I confused the cat) as I danced longest at the party, covered in cake, well past my bedtime.

Philippa Dowding

Posted by Kendra on October 30, 2014
Philippa Dowding photo

Philippa Dowding

Philippa Dowding is an award-winning children’s author, a poet, and a copywriter. Her many literary nominations include the Silver Birch Express, Red Cedar, Diamond Willow, Red Maple, and Hackmatack awards. In 2013, The Gargoyle at the Gates was named a White Raven Book by the International Youth Library in Munich. Philippa lives in Toronto.