Wednesday, January 25, 2012

They Got "The Call"

This week three of our INK authors, Steve Sheinkin, Sue Macy, and Rosalyn Schanzer, received high honors from ALA. Recently, Vicki Cobb was informed she’s being given a Lifetime Achievement Award by AAAS/Subaru/SB&F. So we’re a-celebratin’ in the virtual INK house. It seems like a good time to hear what it’s like to receive one of these scrumptious award calls.

Roz Schanzer, who received a Sibert Honor as author/illustrator of Witches: The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem (National Geographic), heard the news at home. She says, “I got the call in our kitchen right in the middle of a big birthday dinner party bash for my (adult!) daughter. It was so hard to hear who was on the line that I had to run into the living room and clap my free hand over my other ear so I could hear. I was so surprised and excited when I found out who was calling that I started laughing, and I could hear the people on the other end laughing and cheering too. It’s just amazing to me what this evil little book about witches hath wrought! Then they told me I couldn’t tell a soul until 9 AM the next day. Is that hard or what?”

The committee wrote of her book: “Whether being introduced or reintroduced to the topic, readers will be stunned by the research and accusations in this pivotal drama of American history. With a size reminiscent of a prayer book and startling scratchboard-style illustrations, this work of art presents an account of our past and asks questions of our future. Schanzer, a widely traveled author, swimmer and photographer, is a nationally honored artist based in Virginia.” For more about her book and her other works, see

Steve Sheinkin says, “I got the call about the award on Saturday. I was home, a typical weekend day with two crazy kids, ages two and five, running around, shouting in the background. The woman who told me I'd won urged me to ‘go out for a great dinner tonight!’ And I just laughed, cause my wife and I don't get out much these days. We'll celebrate one day.”

For The Notorious Benedict Arnold, Steve Sheinkin received the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults.

“This book was sort of like a baby to me (except it took a lot longer to make) so it feels great to see him out in the world doing well,” says Sheinkin.

For info on how obsessed Steve was with Arnold's story, check out his epic Arnold road trip:

Some of our honorees received their honor earlier. Sue Macy is the author of Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way).

She says, “My book was named among the five finalists for the YALSA Excellence in Young Adult Nonfiction in early December, and the winner (Steve) was announced yesterday at ALA. So my moment of excitement came back at the beginning, via an e-mail from my editor, Jennifer Emmett. I was thrilled to be in such fine company as Steve, Karen Blumenthal, Susan Goldman Rubin, and Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos. It was definitely a high point in my career.” She attended the awards ceremony in Dallas and spoke there.

The designer of Wheels, Marty Ittner, did a guest post on I.N.K. last March: Macy’s interview with YALSA in advance of the award ceremony is here:

For information about Sue Macy’s other books, see:

Vicki Cobb received notification of her 2012 Lifetime Achievement award from AAAS/Subaru SB&F by phone. She says, “My agent told me to be at home for a phone call at noon the next day. I thought it was for a conference call with her. So I was completely surprised and disoriented by the conference call from Sarah Ingraffea and Maria Sosa of Science Books & Films as they blurted (screamed? yelled?) out the news. I, too, have received the call for a Sibert honor and it was a similar experience. Unlike the Oscars, where people know they are in contention, these calls came from out-of-the-blue. My first reaction is to stall for time without saying something stupid that reveals I haven't a clue about who they are and what they're talking about so I don't appear either ignorant or ungracious!”

You can visit Vicki and her books at

However they were informed, these INK folk have plenty of reason to go out and celebrate. (I hope their editors/marketers/agents are dancing, too.) Of course, the committee members, who read so many books over the course of a year, should receive big thanks from the nonfiction community, as well. Because of their passion for literature, these committee members applied their time and discerning minds to help point out and elevate excellent work. We’re all looking forward to see what other books Roz, Steve, Sue, and Vicki cook up in the coming years.

1 comment:

Cheryl Harness said...

Dazzled am I by such talent and devotion, no foolin' absolutely.