It's an absolute dream to announce that Seven Wherewithal Way is a 2022 CBCA Notable book!
The Notables are basically the Longlist for the Children's Book Council of Australia Awards - if you've been into a library or bookstore in the 60 years, chances are you've probably seen those shiny foil stickers. SWW has been longlisted in the 'Older Readers' category.
Hi there book child of mine, my most precious, my labour of love and angst - here is a small thing for you. As a primary school library nerd OBSESSED with everything CBCA, this is so immensely lovely. Honestly, if I could pop back in time and tell 10 year old me sitting in the Devonport Library on Friday night 'Hey Kid, Guess What? In 20 years ...' well, I don't know. She would not believe me.
I would also like to say that today and last night I had the most terrible anxiety, and I think this is why. The award stuff is hard. It's subjective. It's a mind scribble. It often comes down to words ticking check boxes. It makes you question if you are worthy, if you're any good, if everyone hates you. YOU ARE WORTHY. Every author who has the guts to put their work out there and keep trucking on inspires me, because I've been there, through big disappointments and little ones. I SO TOTALLY GET how hard this is. And everyone who writes and releases a book has my heart ❤ because you will be someone's favourite, or even more importantly, perhaps just what they need at that particular moment in time.
But most importantly, I love this because I think in many of the more 'literary' awards, fantasy for children can often get dismissed. In the past few years I have seen more and more children's fantasy books (and high fantasy, not just magic realism) sneaking onto the long and shortlists for the CBCA Awards, and it makes me so happy to see children's fantasy being recognised as important, as thematically relevant, and as something to be celebrated. It makes my heart sing. The imagination, escapism, and symbolism in fantasy - be it in books, television, or movies - has inspired and saved me so many times.
And I so love that SWW has been recognised for that.