If I won the Alberta Readers Choice Award, I was planning to joke during my acceptance speech about the lack of a giant novelty cheque. But when I won the Alberta Readers Choice Award for my book Fall From Grace last night (June 9, 2012) in Calgary, they actually presented me with a giant novelty cheque. We did the typical grip and grin shot and I was grinning from ear to ear because I was stunned to win. I had hoped I would win, but actually thought someone else did. According to the organizers and sponsors of the award, the incredible Edmonton Public Library, the voting was neck and neck until the final couple of days. Even so, it was very close.
As I said last night, it was great honour to win this award and to be nominated with such great writers such as Tim Bowling, Lynn Coady, Dawn Dumont and Judy Schultz. If you know that group of writers, there are at least three (maybe four) GG nominations, plus two or three Giller nominations, along with a lot of other awards. In fact, three out of the other four nominees won other awards. So it was very exciting to win.
Back to the novelty cheque. So they give me this novelty cheque, which is pretty cool, but it's the middle of the award ceremony and I have to keep this thing by my table while the other awards are being presented. Then I have to keep an eye on it while I'm visiting with other writers afterwards because the banquet staff was cleaning up and they really seemed keen on getting us out of there. I was worried that one of them would think it was left behind and they would throw it away. Then I have to parade through the hotel lobby and up the elevator back to my room with the cheque in hand. And the next day for the ride back to Edmonton, I have to find room in the car for this big cheque. It fit but with my kid, my wife and all our stuff, it was tight.
But now the cheque is home and there is no plan to hang it on the all in the house. But it will have a place of honour in my drum and music room. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I convinced a photographer to take some weird shots of me with the giant cheque. There's one of me trying to jam it into an ATM and once I get approval to run that photo, I will.
Thanks to all that voted for me and the other writers for the Alberta Readers Choice Award.