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  • Writer's pictureJenna Heller

Text Prize wrap-up and what's next for the YEAR OF THE HAWK

The last three weeks have been some of my favourite as a writer (so far!) -- full of joy, hope, anticipation, encouragement and gratitude. Since the day I learned my YA manuscript was shortlisted for the Text Prize, I've been floating.

I am so glad that I decided to travel over to Melbourne, Australia, for the Text Prize event at short notice. It was a whirlwind 24-hour trip but it was absolutely worth it. Text is a publisher full of really wonderful, genuine, dedicated book lovers and I'm forever grateful for the chance to meet and talk with so many of the them that night. I am especially thankful for the chance to talk at length with a couple of the Text Prize readers who truly loved my novel. What an amazing buzz!

Although the acquisitions team at Text has decided not to publish YEAR OF THE HAWK, I know that I have champions in that group and that there was a serious and robust discussion. Ultimately, every book needs a whole team of people who are unreservedly excited about the possibilities and potential of pitching the book. And for a variety of reasons -- none of which were editorial -- that was not the case at Text.

Thank you to the Text team for being interested and for taking care. You all made me feel like a winner at the Text Prize event and for that, I'm truly thankful. I'm very much looking forward to reading Georgina Young's prize-winning novel, LONER,

next year when it is released.

So from here, I will start to reach out directly to other publishers and hope that my Text Prize shortlisting will help YEAR OF THE HAWK on its journey to print publication.

As a colleague of mine pointed out to me last night, this was the very first publisher that I approached. To be shortlisted for the Text Prize is a huge deal and it's an endorsement of the novel. Now, it's just a matter of finding the right publisher so off I go to do just that!

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