That's the text message I sent my family last night.
I was at the Omega Writers Conference and 'Fearlessly Madison' had just been announced the Children's Picture Book winner of the 2016 CALEB Prize!
Winning the CALEB Prize, children's category is an absolute honour.
I know the work that goes into an Award like this: the judging, the organisation, the promotion etc. I know the journey this award has travelled and firmly believe in the values of CALEB.
I know too that the Australian Christian Book Market faces many challenges and there are waves of opportunity and struggle for writers and publishers who believe in producing local material.
But, as Madison says in this book, 'God's still here, and God's still good', and things like this award, and like the gathering of Christian writers at conferences like this, and the persistence of writers and publishers to keep producing books despite the ups and downs, is a reminder of this. That He's still at work in our stories, in the books we write and in the hearts of our readers. He is why we keep going when it gets tough. He is why we write. And I thank Him for this.
I also need to thank my husband Richard, because I would never be able to do what I do without his support and encouragement.
And I thank my parents: my Dad, who once held my hand while we watched a storm and reminded me that God was still in control, and my Mum, who was once found under a bed with a dog and continues to be brave.
I also need to thank Anglican Youthworks, especially the Growing Faith team and Julie Firmstone, the editor of the Madison books. And of course Jemima Trappel!
The plot and narrative of this book might have been brewed in my imagination, but she is the one who really brought it to life.
The Penny Drops
In high school I used to write what I'd call 'thinks' - little bits of writing about whatever topic or issue I was mulling over at the time. I still write these little pieces.
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