Thursday, September 27, 2012

The 2012 Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award Winner (and Honorees!)

Selected from manuscripts submitted for individual critique at the recent #LA12SCBWI, the Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award is given to the manuscript deemed most promising for publication. Critiquers at the Los Angeles conference determine the finalists. Until her sudden death in July 2008, Ms. Alexander made the final selection. Now, a three-member panel from Sue's writing group of 20 years makes a final selection after the conference.

The winner receives an expense-paid trip to New York to meet with interested editors.

This year's winner is...

Kat Yeh!

Kat Yeh, the 2012 Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award Winner

I had the chance to interview Kat about her win...

Lee:  Hi Kat!  Congratulations!

Kat:  aw, thanks Lee

Lee:  Tell me about finding out that your manuscript was first nominated and then WON the Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award!

Kat:  It was pretty surreal. I had first intended to submit a MG for critique at the LA conference. It was something I had written last year during NANOWRIMO. But for some reason, the voice just wasn't resonating with me. I wasn't Feeling It (if you know what I mean.)  At the last minute, I decided to have a new YA critiqued, GIRL OF SHADOW.  It was a work in progress and, even though I knew the whole story, it wasn't close to being finished. But I was Feeling It. I decided that I should have it critiqued to see if I was just talking to myself - or if my critiquer would Feel It too. The first day of the conference, I found out that I was lucky enough to have Josh Adams, of Adams Literary, for my critique. He represents friends of mine and I knew he was a terrific agent with an amazing track record, so I was excited. Josh was so great and supportive. Right away, he let me know how much he liked it and that he was nominating me for Sue Alexander. The funny thing is that when I was nominated last year - I kinda kept thinking that I just might win (which I didn't). But this year, it didn't seem likely to me. It was just a work in progress with a good start. That was all. I was happy - but mostly because I felt that I had gotten reinforcement that I was on the right track. So I was able to relax and not think about it. When I got the call, I was actually screening. I had been getting sales calls all morning and I really wanted to get work done. Then I heard this sweet voice on the answering machine say something about Sue Alexander. Of course I ran to grab it - and when they told me I won, I started jumping up and down and babbling. My daughter was home and we just kept laughing and jumping.

Lee:  Aww, that's so sweet!  So, have you been writing furiously to finish GIRL OF SHADOW?

Kat:  Yes! Actually I've been writing furiously on several different project right now -though furious usually isn't my style.

Lee:  So you win (in addition to all the attention and the huge vote of confidence) a trip to the New York SCBWI winter conference. Have you figured out your plans yet?

Kat:  I'm already in New York, so I was planning on attending the SCBWI Winter Conference anyway. It's a such a great conference and the keynotes are always inspiring and weep-inducing. Right before I won Sue Alexander, I had been working on final revisions for a MG, getting ready to submit to agents. So a lot of things started happening at the same time. But now the agent process is just about finished and I'm very excited that I will be making an announcement soon. With that in mind, I guess The Plan is to keep working on GIRL OF SHADOW - as well as my other projects. Just keep trying to get them all to that next level.

Lee:  Well we're very excited for you and will be cheering you on!  Thanks, Kat!

Kat:  Thanks, Lee :) See you in New York!

There were also three honorees, Karen Bonner for "Oakatee," Barbara Herkert for "Sewing Stories: The Life of Harriet Powers," and Allison Crotzer Kimmel for "Toots."  Additionally, Jenni Bielicki won most promising picture book for "Starry Kalahari."

Congratulations to all!

Illustrate and Write On,


katyeh said...

Thanks so much for this, Lee - and for always being so supportive :) Looking forward to seeing you this winter in NY!

Jenni Bielicki said...

Thanks for the shout out Lee! And thanks for sharing your success story with us Kat. I can't wait to hear your good news announcement. YAY!!!

Katie L. Carroll said...

Congrats to Kat and all the honorees.

Lee, just wanted to say I always enjoy the posts.