Thursday, November 10, 2016

Kathleen Burkinshaw wins the Honor Book Award for the SCBWI Marketing Grant

I caught up with Kathleen to find out more...

Lee: Congratulations on The Last Cherry Blossom being the Honor Book Award-Winner for the SCBWI Marketing Grant! Please tell us about your book.

Kathleen: The Last Cherry Blossom is about a 12-year-old girl's life with her family in Hiroshima during the last year of WWII. She discovers a shocking family secret right before her world becomes a shadow of what it had been. It is through her eyes the reader witnesses the horror and destruction from the atomic bomb. 

Lee: Tell us how you plan to use the grant to spread the word about your book.

Kathleen: My hope is to present my mother’s story to various Japanese societies, middle schools, and nuclear disarmament organizations. I also would like to add my book to school reading lists and being able to visit additional schools, so I have sent proposals to School Library, Social Studies, and Reading Associations for their conferences (in some instances I also have to pay a membership fee to submit a proposal). I'm also working on a teacher's guide that could be downloaded from my website. I recently had to hire someone to help me with website development. And of course, I will also be utilizing SCBWI's Book Blast page opportunity. I am very excited to say that I have also been involved with the Green Legacy Hiroshima program through the United Nations office in Hiroshima. I have partnered Green Legacy and UNC Charlotte, so that a sapling from the seed of a tree that survived the atomic blast in Hiroshima may be planted in front of their Education building. This ginkgo sapling will be dedicated to my mother's family and to all the atomic bomb victims of August 6th and 9th. My husband and I had to travel down to Atlanta to pick up the sapling and bring it to UNCC. 

Lee: Is there something the grant enables you to do that you couldn’t do otherwise?

Kathleen: Because of this grant I will be able to travel and present to Peace Action Staten Island, New York, and do a presentation at the Japanese Embassy in Washington DC in Spring 2017! The actual dates are still being worked out. The grant will help me with travel expenses, since I live in Charlotte, NC. 

Thank you, Kathleen. And congratulations again! 

You can learn more about Kathleen and her novel The Last Cherry Blossom here. 

Illustrate and Write On, 

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