I am FLIPPING OUT!! With my novel, FREE VERSE, I won the PEN American Center's Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship! This is an award intended to provide financial support to make it possible for an MG or YA author to complete a book-length work in progress. Here's the info: http://www.pen.org/page.php/prmID/2244
This is especially meaningful to me because Phyllis Naylor is a West Virginia author and so am I. When I was fifteen, I won a county writing contest and got to go to the state awards ceremony. Phyllis Naylor was the keynote speaker, and she was kind enough to stick around after her talk and answer some questions for me about the writing life. (Thank goodness my mother is also a writer who had questions -- I would never have had the nerve to stick around and approach Ms. Naylor on my own!) Listening to her talk about a typical day in her life, I remember the exact moment I realized that people actually did this for a living. Now, all these years later, she is once again making it possible for me to pursue my dream career! I am so grateful to her for making this award possible, and I am humbled by the judges' faith in me and in FREE VERSE.