Wednesday, 10 November 2010

'Star Jumps' and the Prime Minister's Literary awards

Monday 8th of November is a day to remember.  The short-listed authors for the four categories were invited along with a guest to Zinc restaurant in Federation Square, Melbourne.  There the Minister for the Arts Simon Crean made the announcements.  The Prime Minister Julia Gillard first spoke about the awards.

A topic of conversation from the sending out of the invitations a week before, to the 10.30 am commencement of the wards ceremony was:  did the short-listed authors know the winner, or did the relevant publishing houses know the winner?

Authors were advised that there was a 2 minute speech time.  But should all authors be prepared with a speech?  I wasn't- well I wrote a rough few lines in the train going down to Melbourne- I was intending to enjoy the function and not stress about not winning.  As as each successful author was announced (fiction, non fiction YA )and the winner was overcome with shock, elation, emotion, (and a real need to screech) it was clear to the audience that the winners were only being revealed as they watched and listened.

So when they came to the fourth and final category- children's fiction and the title 'Star jumps' was read out- I was seriously wondering how to make it to the platform- what to take( no glasses I'd left them home in my haste to catch that train) so I took the exercise book I'd scribbled my brief attempt at a speech in.  My husband Kelvin assures me that he kissed and cuddled me first...hmm don't remember that part.

But there was Julia Gillard smiling and waiting and holding a framed certificate, gold envelope and a white box.  All for me!!!
Once on stage I looked out to a sea of cameras and tripods.  My voice wavered.  What had I written in my notebook?  Even glasses borrowed from Sue couldn't help me to see.

But genuine emotion, elation, spilled out over the faces.  My 'Star Jumps' that book written with more tears than typeface had won a major awrad.  My 'Star Jumps' written in prose poetry, the book I wanted to write, had to write, that takes the reader into the time of crisis on a real to life dairy farm, had won a major award. 

So here now I say my thanks.  My daughter Natalie asked if I'd thanked God.  So here I thank God for that talent of writing; to my six children so readily glimpsed in the lives of Ruby, Connor and Keely; to my husband Kelvin with whom our farming life was pioneered; to my publisher Sarah Foster at Walker for her love of poetry; to Sue Whiting my editor who so brilliantly edited, to Mim the designer at Walker for the cover; to May Gibbs Literature trust Norwood, Adelaide for giving me that time to write and cry and write again.  Because this is a book that carries my heart, in a quiet, farming way.

And to all my writing friends- all is possible, keep writing, keep writing, and thanks for knowing how to encourage.


Kat Apel said...

Oh Lorraine... You had me yipping and yaying with excitement on Monday - but I'm shedding giggling goosebumpy tears today.

I am delighted that such a wonderfully talented writer, and lovely lovely lady should be walking away with this hugely prestigious award. That you heart story - a story that shapes our nation - has been recognised and rewarded for its contribution to Australia's literary heritage.

Thankyou for sharing the feelings on the day with us - and for encouraging us to keep at it, writing the stories so dear to our own hearts.


Rochelle said...

Still over the moon for you mum!! And thank you so much for thanking us kiddies - we couldn't do anything without you!! Here's to many more lovely surprises and celebrations

nattyj said...

Yippee Yippee YAY YAY!
Still doing Star Jumps & teaching Quinn too! xxxNDQxxx

Jackie said...

Dearest Lorraine - a more deserving person, there is not. I am so thrilled for you. You've always been so encouraging of my own poetry and I feel so proud to be able to call you friend. Can't wait to see you in person and give you a big hug!!

Jackie xx

Meg McKinlay said...

This is a beautiful post, Lorraine, fit for your beautiful book of the heart. Congratulations again. I am absolutely thrilled to see Star Jumps on the national stage.

Janeen said...

I had the privilege of launching Star Jumps here in Adelaide, some time after Lorraine had written it, also in Adelaide, during a May Gibbs Fellowship. I loved the book then and i love it now. To read that my dear friend had won the award sent me in a spin. I still feel a surge of joy whenever i think about it.
Janeen xx

BookChook said...

Wonderful, wonderful news! And so special to be there with you and look out through your eyes.

Life's a poem said...

Thanks Kat-I'm humbled to have encouraged you also in your writing journey.


Life's a poem said...

Rochelle and NattyJ,

thanks to my star jumpers!


Life's a poem said...

Jackie, looking forward to that hug!

Life's a poem said...


Thanks for lovely words!

Life's a poem said...


love the Adelaide connection with Star jumps. Yah!

Life's a poem said...

Book Chook- I love sharing through writing! x