Friday, November 11, 2011

"And the Winner is....."

I recently submitted my newest book entitled "At the End of the Day" for nomination to The Minnesota Book Awards. I haven't received my official e-mail  confirmation yet, but I'm fairly confident that my package of five books with nomination form and entry fee have made it safely to St. Paul, MN.  
I go into this with the full realization that I haven't got the slightest chance in hell of ever winning this thing, but I figure that at least it will get some good exposure for my new book. I'm not trying to be overly modest or anything here, I'm just being realistic. Who knows, maybe I'll be surprised...but don't count on it.

We all like to be recognized for our talents. Most artist, whether they admit to it or not, can trace their passion for what they do back to a need to be noticed. I can trace my own  identity as an artist back to kindergarten when my teacher gathered the entire class around me during art period and proclaimed  "Looks like we have quite the little artist here!"  I had found my purpose.

Randolph Caldecott
In the world of children's book illustration, the Randolph Caldecott Medal is as good as it gets. Winning the Caldecott gives an illustrator instant recognition, countless new admirers and a whole lot of reasons to be noticed!  When my first book "I Hear the Wind" was in production, I dreamed about it somehow beating the odds and winning the Caldecott! My rise to the top of the literary world would be the stuff of legend! My name would suddenly be mentioned in the same context as Maurice Sendak, Chris Van Allsburg or David Wiesner. I would be immortal! I then read the submission guidelines... 

Only hardcover books were eligible for consideration. My book had been hastily released in softcover after being delayed for almost two years, I was in fact, ineligible. I was crushed. It was eligible for The Minnesota Book Awards, much to my relief, and so I sent it in hoping for the best.  And guess what? It didn't win a thing! Not even honorable mention!!

And so again I will try for literary immortality and hope the judges decide in my favor. This book was released in hardcover, so I may even submit it for the Caldecott Medal this year. Keep your fingers crossed...but don't hold your breath!



  1. Greg, your art is great already. Caldecott or not.

  2. You named my three all time favorite illustrators. And you, of course :) I got my copy of your book, I Hear the Wind a few months back, I love it! I savored the words and pictures. I sat in my backyard reading it so I would not be disturb by dogs or kids. You make me want to be better. I wish you the best on the Minnesota Book Award--and maybe just maybe, one day the Caldecott~
    your friend ML

  3. Thanks you guys!
    The Caldecott would be a wonderful honor, but I have heard a lot of mumbling about back room politics associated with that award from some fairly successful illustrators. Maybe it's just sour grapes on their behalf, but sometimes favoritism can be hard to ignore in these situations.

    Granted I don't think I've reached what may be considered a "Caldecott" level with my work just yet, but it does have it's own merits.

    So for now I just hope to get a little notice for my books at The Minnesota Book Awards...and the five copies of my book that I submitted for the award are later donated to public libraries in the Minneapolis & St. Paul area!

    Thanks again!!

  4. Wishing you all the best. Your artwork is AMAZING!