In 2007, I read Lisa Yee's posts about when she was chosen as the Thurber House Children's Writer in Residence.
Living in James Thurber's boyhood home for a month. Quiet time to write. Teaching writing to kids at a summer camp and homeless shelter. This is perfect for me, I thought.
So I applied.
Alan Silberberg won that year. Alan worked on Milo during his residency. And I'm delighted to say that Alan just won the Sid Fleischman Humor Award for that book.
I wouldn't be deterred. When applications came due, I applied again.
Guess who won that year?
Hope Anita Smith.
Perhaps a normal person would give up at this point, but really, no one could accuse me of being normal.
I applied again.
Guess who won. C'mon. Guess.
Okay. Okay. I can take a hint. I decided not to apply anymore. It wasn't fun getting that letter saying I wasn't selected year after year.
But . . .
"Most people give up just when they're about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game one foot from a winning touchdown." -- Ross Perot
Who am I to argue with Ross Perot?
I applied one last time. In fact, I made a mistake with the deadline, had to make a mad dash to the post office and spend $18.45 to get my application materials there in time. $18.45!
Was it worth it?
Hmm. Can you guess who won the 2011 Children's Writer in Residence at the Thurber House?
I'm delighted to announce that I'm going to Columbus, OH for a month this summer and I'll live here . . .
I'm so excited about this summer adventure. Writing. Exploring Columbus. Working with the kids. Writing. Eating at this restaurant, owned by a guy I went to school with in Philadelphia. Writing. Meeting cool new friends. Checking out the library, zoo, gardens, parks, etc. Um, did I mention WRITING?
THANK YOU Pat Shannon and fellow Thurber House peeps for this amazing opportunity and for the kind words you sent to my editor when making the announcement: "It was Donna's persistence, humor, and positive attitude that made the difference."
Next time you feel like giving up . . . remember that you might be on the one yard line. (At least that what Ross Perot says.)