I attended the Manitoba Book Awards on Saturday. It is an annual event organized by the Manitoba Writers Guild. I have been a member of the guild ever since I moved to Winnipeg six years ago. It was through the guild I heard about Vast Imaginations the first children’s writers’ group I joined in Winnipeg. The friends I made there helped me find my way into The Anita Factor a collective of talented and published children’s authors who have been mentoring me in my quest to learn the fine art of writing picture books and novels for young people. So I was delighted to be able to attend the Manitoba Book Awards last Saturday with members of The Anita Factor.
This was the first year the event was held in the elegant Fort Garry Hotel and it was a first class evening in every way.
It featured great musical entertainment, professional Winnipeg broadcasters Terry MacLeod and Lara Rae as hosts, a delicious meal expertly served, good wine, and polished and articulate presenters that included last year’s Book of The Year winner Wab Kinew and Rochelle Squires the Manitoba Minister of Sports, Culture and Heritage. We each received a complimentary copy of the latest issue of Walrus Magazine. They were one of the offical sponsors of the evening. That chocolate book in the corner is real and oh so deliciously decadent. Each attendee received one from the talented chocolatier Constance Popp.
After the meal I bought Angeline Schellenberg’s book of poetry Tell Them It Was Mozart at the table set up by McNally Robinson Book Sellers. Angeline’s debut into the literary world garnered her three awards on Saturday night and I consumed her moving book of poems in one fell swoop on Sunday morning. I want to go back and read them all again.
It was great to see Manitoba authors celebrated. Kudos to my fellow Anita Factor member Melanie Matheson who is the executive director of the Manitoba Writers Guild and Ellen MacDonald the guild’s event coordinator who did such a fantastic job organizing the evening. I’m already looking forward to next year’s awards night.