This weekend I attended the 2012 New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference in Springfield, MA. I was totally surprised (and humbled) to be this year’s recipient of the Rosemary Frye Award. What is that, you are wondering? A Google search will come up empty. Oh, you will find many Rosemary or Rose Mary Fry’s but none were the inspiration for this award.
It all started one Friday night, several years ago, at the very same conference. A group of us had an impromptu dinner at the hotel restaurant and got to playing with our leftover fries. Soon, the rosemary and edible orchid garnishes were fashioned into a crown and the Rosemary Fry award was born. Due to the perishable nature of its components, the award has been replaced with a stuffed bunny and journal to record what Rosemary has meant to each of her guardians.
The initial recipient was a fellow writer in need of something special in her life. The following year she passed it on to another deserving writer, and so it has passed from year-to-year, from one deserving guardian to the next. Sometimes it’s given to someone in need of inspiration, or someone who’s paid their dues in hope that their dreams come to fruition, and for others it’s a celebration of their success. There is no criteria for winning, no applications or nominations, no SCBWI official presentation, no editor or agent attending the ceremony. Only writers celebrating writers. And that’ the power of Rosemary.