"The Dream King's Daughter" and "Plain Kate" Win Major Ontario Arts Council Grants

20090623 - James wins the OAC WiP Grant!

Back in February, when I applied for the Ontario Arts Council Works in Progress grant, I didn’t have any expectation that I’d receive any money from it. While the Arts Council does a lot of work encouraging the work of writers, artists and poets throughout Ontario, competition for their various grant programs can be fierce, and none are so fierce as the Works in Progress grant. This is grant is given only to professional writers who submit the best manuscripts to a blind jury. Competition can be fierce, and most who apply get denied. However, the only way to ensure failure is to never try to succeed, so I gave it my best shot, submitting the first chapter of The Dream King’s Daughter for their consideration.

So, when I received a thick envelope from the Ontario Arts Council the other day, that’s what I assumed it was: thank you for your attempt, better luck next time, here’s the information on how you apply. To my surprise, the envelope contained a letter saying that I’d won a grant for The Dream King’s Daughter, and there was an accompanying cheque. I have to say that I shouted at that point, and may have jumped up and down. Erin blogged more about my reaction here.

We were further delighted (though I was less surprised) to learn that Erin’s Plain Kate also won a Works in Progress grant from the Ontario Arts Council.

It is a very uplifting experience to win something like this. Just plain affirming. The funds will help cover our expenses as we continue to pursue our writing careers, and I have considerably renewed confidence that my unpublished books, both The Night Girl and The Dream King’s Daughter, will be going places. We shall see.

Thanks to all who have left good wishes both on my Facebook page and on Erin’s blog!

Just a reminder to everyone that the Waterloo Wellington Blogstravaganza is still on this Saturday at 4 p.m. Let’s all gather at the Huether Hotel in uptown Waterloo (at the corner of King and Princess) for fine food and multi-partisan conversation. I look forward to seeing you all there!

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