The manuscript for The Moon is Real has won the 2013 David Adams Richards Prize. The annual award is handed out by the Writers' Federation of New Brunswick. An earlier version of the manuscript earned an Honourable Mention last year, but I was smack in the middle of a major rewrite and so I'd sent a version that has since been much improved. The work has paid off.
My fourth novel, The Goon, was shorlisted for the ReLit Prize in 2011, but this is the first award I've won, and it's special not only because of that, but that it has the name David Adams Richards attached to it. Richards has been one of my literary heroes for quite a few years and it's cool to me that this is the first thing I win.
I'm not big into prizes, or least I try not to be. My editor, the brilliant Dilshad Engineer, recently summed up why I write:
You're writing for you, first and foremost, and anything else, whether it's being published or finding an audience, is a bonus. You write because you want to, because you have to. You write because you must. You write in the same way people (like you and me) read: because it's unthinkable not to, because it's like eating or breathing. You know that. If you had no hope of anyone other than yourself reading what you write, you would still write, because it's who you are. Don't get hung up on what happens at the other end of the writing because it'll get in your way. You know you're going to write until you run out of stories and even then, you'll go on writing and someone like me will tell you when you're 90 that it's time to stop, and you won't because you can't. It's as simple as that.
Nonetheless, I'm pretty happy about winning. Thanks go to the WFNB for putting on this competition every year, and congratulations to the winners in the other categories.