Friday, February 12, 2021

Will Rogers Award

 Last Saturday I received the Will Rogers Memorial Silver Medallion for The Healer's Daughter. I was simultaneously thrilled and simply beside myself that I was unable to attend the awards ceremony. I wanted to be in Fort Worth, Texas in person. Not just virtually. 

I will receive the medallion in the mail and am scanning through Amazon for a display box to hold this award and my Kansas Notable Book Award for the same title. My finalist recognition for the High Plains Book Award is signified by a lovely mounted plaque. It will be displayed separately. 

My friend Mary Anna Evans won the gold medallion for Catacombs, a book in her wonderful Faye Longchamp archeological series. 

I'm deeply grateful for my award. This book is based on a tremendous amount of historical research about the unique community of Nicodemus, Kansas and the courageous African Americans who settled there after the Civil War. When I lived in Kansas, the town was just fifty miles away. One of the descendants of these settlers, Angela Bates, became a very close friend. She often referred to me as her "white sister with a black soul."

The book was a labor of love. I also wrote an academic book on the phenomenal contribution of Nicodemus to our country's history. Both books required long hours of poring through microfilm and old newspapers to shape the stories I wanted to tell.

Receiving any award is an incredible blessing. We writers are rather insecure folk. We work alone and dither over everything from word choice to plot construction. We wrestle with scolding characters who want to play a bigger part. We are never sure of our way or that we have arrived after we get there. Awards are like a shot of jet fuel. That and the wonder of a letter from a fan saying they liked my book.

Hat's off to all the awards chairmen and committees that soldiered on through Covid and did their best to make events as meaningful as possible during this difficult time. 


Sybil Johnson said...

Congrats on the award. How exciting for you!

Thomas Kies said...

Congratulations, Charlotte!!!

Mario Acevedo said...

Congratulations! Always glad to hear great news.

Charlotte Hinger said...

How did I miss these comments? Thank you so much, Sybil, Thomas, and Mario. I was really thrilled. My current project is a mystery. Healer's Daughter was based on an incredible amount of research.