I remember Shannon Hale mentioning a year or so ago that the day before the Newbery awards were announced, she was very aware that the calls would be going out early the next morning and having a secret hope that one of those phone calls might be coming her way. Certainly there are people who win a major award and have no idea such an award even exists before they are announced the winner, but I think more often people are like Shannon Hale – secretly wishing that phone call will come your way.
I have no aspirations to get a Newbery or Caldecott phone call one day, but a few weeks ago, I applied for a scholarship that would allow me to go to the Massachusetts Library Assocation conference in late April – there were five scholarships available to first time attendees, which would pay for half of lodging, all of registration and meals, and a year of MLA membership. I wanted to go, of course.
The conference is not particularly huge (about 600 attendees) and I figured the number of first-time attendees was fairly limited, not to mention that most of them probably wouldn’t apply for the scholarship anyway.
I applied, crossing my fingers, and then I waited. The website said that recepients would be notified by phone by Friday, April 2.
Last Friday, I was in New Mexico with Bart and I spent nearly the whole day obsessively checking my phone. When four p.m. rolled around (six p.m. in Boston), my hopes crumbled.
And yet, I still held on to a little bit of hope, since Friday was Good Friday and many schools and libraries were closed for the holiday (including mine), which made me think perhaps they had postponed the calls until Monday. I Googled the scholarship several times to see if anyone had mentioned receiving their phone calls, but nothing was coming up.
Yesterday, just before my last class, I ran into my office to grab something, checked my phone and saw two missed calls and a voicemail. The area code was a Massachusetts one.
The message said I was one of the recipients.