Minnesota Book Awards!

I just realized I never blogged about the Minnesota Book Awards! After BookSpeak! Poems About Books won the Children’s Literature category, it was a whirlwind of email and Facebook congratulations (and I’m still afraid I missed thanking some people). I just wanted to share a few pictures from this wonderful night and say thank you to everyone who celebrated with me and cheered BookSpeak on. Here are some pics from this wonderful night! (Warning: Unphotogenic author ahead.) The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library administers this award, and the group does such a great job of fostering a real community of book lovers around the banquet event. Before the banquet, there was a cocktail party with all the Finalists seated at signing tables around the perimeter. I got to sit with Nancy Loewen, Joyce Sidman, and Catherine Thimmesh. My husband, Randy, was the drinks sherpa and photographer:>) It was fun because people were buying all four books, so we all got to sign. Randy took two pictures of the four of us. I managed to close my eyes in both. L to R, Nancy Loewen, Laura Purdie Salas, Joyce Sidman, and Catherine Thimmesh. I think that look above is because I just spotted Randy taking pics. But I really was happy to see my friend Deb DeSteno, school librarian. Then we all moved inside to the awards ceremony. The finalists in all 8 categories. I was at a table with Joyce Sidman and Tracy Nelson Mauer, along with my husband, Joyce’s husband, editor Ann Rider and her husband, and a few other nice people, most of whom I couldn’t chat with because the tables were quite large! There were jumbotron screens everywhere. Here are the four Finalists for the Children’s Literature category. All great books and lovely writers! The room was packed with 800 people. Last year’s winner (for My Heart Is Like a Zoo) Michael Hall presented this year’s award. And he called MY name:>) As I made my way up to the stage, The Willie August Project (band for the gala this year and several past years) played a catchy little tune. They actually chose a tune?and embellished it for each winning title?(or in some cases played original compositions). As each winner made his or her way to the stage, the band played the book’s theme song. So fun! For BookSpeak, they took a song called “Read a Book,” by Marilyn Linford, and “added a polka beat to make it more festive.” Once on stage, I stumbled through my 2‑minute acceptance speech, voice trembling and perhaps looking around the room wildly like a trapped animal. It’s fuzzy in my head, so I’m not really sure–which is probably a good thing! After the awards ceremony, there was more chatting and signing out in the cocktail area. Someone took a picture of Randy and me. Thank you! Randy had enlisted our daughter Maddie to set up a lovely display with a cake (carefully worded for any outcome of the evening), celebration flowers, and BookSpeak promo items. I was supposed to text Maddie when we were almost home (a regular request), but I forgot. So when she heard the garage door open, she went into warp speed, getting everything out. The collaborators, Maddie and Randy. The centerpiece (from Cave Paper, I think) that I nicked from our banquet table. The beautiful (and heavy) award, by glass artist Dick Huss. What an unbelievably wonderful night. I’m so grateful for the honor and for all my family and friends who made it even more special. Thank you:>)

28 Responses

  1. Huge congrats, what a wonderful evening and a beautiful award, Laura!

  2. Huge congrats, what a wonderful evening and a beautiful award, Laura!

  3. That’s a gorgeous glass award! And the photo of your family with the cake and flowers is heartwarming. Congrats!!

  4. That’s a gorgeous glass award! And the photo of your family with the cake and flowers is heartwarming. Congrats!!

  5. It was a fantastic evening, Laura, and you really captured the fun and excitement in these pictures. Love the “welcome home” display (so thoughtful!).

  6. It was a fantastic evening, Laura, and you really captured the fun and excitement in these pictures. Love the “welcome home” display (so thoughtful!).

  7. Words are escaping me at this late hour, but wanted to say Congratulations! The impressive event was beautifully captured in photos, but the family photos were most endearing!

  8. Words are escaping me at this late hour, but wanted to say Congratulations! The impressive event was beautifully captured in photos, but the family photos were most endearing!

  9. I love this post and all the pics — I’ve never been inside an awards ceremony, so thanks so much for sharing them! What a thrill that must have been to hear your name, and I’m sure your speech was fabulous. You had some tough competition, too (I’ve had Swirl by Swirl on my list for a few months now).

    I must say, you have a ridiculously thoughtful husband, and how sweet to be in cahoots with your daughter. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Renee. Yes, extremely tough and worthy competition! And yes, I do have a ridiculously thoughtful husband:>) He and Maddie really made my night!

  10. I love this post and all the pics — I’ve never been inside an awards ceremony, so thanks so much for sharing them! What a thrill that must have been to hear your name, and I’m sure your speech was fabulous. You had some tough competition, too (I’ve had Swirl by Swirl on my list for a few months now).

    I must say, you have a ridiculously thoughtful husband, and how sweet to be in cahoots with your daughter. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Renee. Yes, extremely tough and worthy competition! And yes, I do have a ridiculously thoughtful husband:>) He and Maddie really made my night!

  11. What a night. As a little girl did you ever dream of a night like that? Honoring you for your writing? I hope you did. Dreams can happen with hard work and a little grace thrown in for good measure. So proud of you.

    1. Thanks! I never dreamed of it as a kid because I never knew people could be writers. But I dreamed of it in my 30s and 40s–hope that counts:>)

  12. What a night. As a little girl did you ever dream of a night like that? Honoring you for your writing? I hope you did. Dreams can happen with hard work and a little grace thrown in for good measure. So proud of you.

    1. Thanks! I never dreamed of it as a kid because I never knew people could be writers. But I dreamed of it in my 30s and 40s–hope that counts:>)

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