If writers move to an island like Peaks Island for the quiet and retreat that protects and feeds their creative work, then they also need to learn how to hide. Hint: that means don’t win awards and get your names in headlines. Island authors Anne O’Brien, Lisa Sinicki, and Catherynne Valente ought to know what that feels like; their award-winning work has focused the spotlight onto our island literary community in the last month.
Annie and Lisa were both recognized by the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance. Founded in 1975, Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance (MWPA) is a non-profit membership organization whose mission is to enrich the cultural life of Maine by supporting writers, publishers, and the literary arts. MWPA is Maine’s only statewide literary arts organization and is the largest, per capita, writing organization in the entire United States. Each year, they announce the recipients of the Maine Literary Awards.
Anne Sibley O’Brien teamed up with her son, Perry Edmond O’Brien, to write the nonfiction book, After Gandhi, for 10- to 14-year-olds (Charlesbridge, Spring 2009). After Gandhi, illustrated with sketches and portraits in black-and-white water soluble pastels, and striking black-on-red pull-out quotes., won the “Children’s Young Adult” category.
Lisa Sinicki, founder of LGS Communications, is usually known for her contributions to Trade Show Executive, Event Marketer and Event Design magazines. Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance recognized her non-fiction writing skills by awarding her an Honorable Mention for her essay “Lobster Lover.”
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making. This literary award is given by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. to recognize outstanding science fiction and fantasy novels that are written for the young adult market.
Additionally, Catherynne won the Lambda Award in the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror category for her book Palimpsest (Bantam/Spectra Books), an award given at the School of Visual Arts Theater in New York City. “The Lambda Literary Awards are the most prestigious queer literary prize in the world,” says Lambda Executive Director, Tony Valenzuela. “The Awards are important because they recognize the work of authors chronicling the LGBT experience and creating art out of our lives.”
Please join me in congratulating each of them!