07 Nov I’m on the 2024 Pacific Northwest Book Prizes Shortlist for ‘Crip Up the Kitchen’
It has been an emotional few days. Over the weekend, we had to take one of our dogs to the ER (he is fine now and needs urgent surgery next week; more on that in another post) and yesterday, just as I was getting into the torturous BANG BANG CHUGACHUGA BANG machine (aka an MRI) for my yearly scan, I received news that I’m the shortlist for the 2024 Pacific Northwest Book Prizes. What?!
The Pacific Northwest Book Prizes is an American prize. To qualify, an author has to live in the American Pacific Northwest or British Columbia. There are 12 finalists — six fiction and six non-fiction — with six winners — three from each category. There are a few things that blow my mind about being on this particular shortlist.
The first is that this book prize doesn’t compare apples to apples. It isn’t genre or age category specific. It’s all the things being considered against each other. This year there were just under 300 books submitted for consideration and somehow, my book made it into shortlist. Out of all the things. Excuse me?
The second is how the shortlist and winners are chosen. There is a panel of independent booksellers. They champion their book of choice. It reminds me a bit of Canada Reads. It’s overwhelming to me to know that someone did that for my book, out of all the books that were submitted, and the panel agreed with whatever arguments were made.
The third is because it is ALL THE THINGS! Never in my life would I have ever imagined I would be on a such a shortlist. Nope. I can’t even. It’s too much for me to comprehend.
The fourth, CRIP UP THE KITCHEN IS MY DEBUT! My publication journey continues to break “the rules” of how this is all supposed to happen. I wish I felt comfortable asking other authors I know who were nominated for awards for their debut, “How did you manage to get anything done in those months leading up to the final announcement?!”
Finally, the list of past winners, including some of my favourites. Ursula K. Le Guin. Aiden Thomas. Xiran Jay Zhao. And J. Kenji López-Alt, author of The Food Lab, won the 2023 prize for his amazing cookbook The Wok [insert exploding brain emoji here!!!!]!!!! These are all mind-blowing peers to be standing with. And if we are going to compare apples to apples, López-Alt is a giant to be standing beside. The overwhelm is real.
And another fun things, the shortlist contains an author I once interviewed, so that is a whole different set of emotions!
I learn if I am one of the six winners in early January; the same week as my other dog getting surgery, going out on submission with my debut YA fiction, and my birthday.
Check out the full 2024 Pacific Northwest Book Prizes shortlist!
So, that is that news!