Arkansas Governor’s Arts Award 2007

I got back from Seattle at midnight Sunday, and got up the next morning early to attend the Arkansas Governor’s Arts Award banquet, where I was the recipient of the Individual Artist award for my work in children’s literature. Previous recipients are sculptors, painters and architects (E. Fay Jones), so it was amazing that they awarded this to someone who writes stories for children.

Here I am with my husband, Dwight, and my friend and fantastic author, Carla McClafferty, who nominated me for the award.Arkansas Governor’s Arts Award

And here is the pottery, designed and made by an Arkansas potter, that was the award.

Horsehair Pottery

In the instructions from the arts council, they said that they didn’t expect any recipient to make a speech, just accept the award. So, I was startled when everyone in front of me made short acceptance remarks, most of which focused on doing art in Arkansas. When it was my turn, then, I managed to say something about how amazing it is to live and work in Arkansas–and yet, touch the world. In fact, El Buscador de Caminos (the Spanish translation of my novel, The Wayfinder) is still selling well in South America. And one of the best-selling versions of my picturebook, 19 Girls and Me, is the Arabic translation for an Egyptian publisher.

It is amazing that our words can literally reach out and touch the world.

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