I'm especially pleased that Wordcraft has selected Tim Tingle's Saltypie for its children's book award.
As I understand it, writers especially like being selected for the National Book Award, because selections for it are made by fellow writers who understand the art of writing.
Wordcraft Circle is composed of people who understand the work of Native people who seek to create greater understandings of who we are as Indigenous peoples. Being recognized by them is a special honor.
Here is info from the WordCraft page:
Update, May 2, 2016:
Our Vision: To ensure the voices of Native American and Indigenous writers and storytellers - past, present, and future - are heard throughout the world!
Our Mission: To support the work and words of Native and Indigenous people in order to strengthen the impact of their voices in asserting community sovereignty, individual self-determination, traditional and cultural values, and creative expression.
Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers was founded in 1992 by Lee Francis III after attending the first Returning the Gift gathering of Native writers and storytellers in Norman, Oklahoma. Dr. Francis wanted to honor the memory of a former student who had passed away during the gathering by creating an organization that would continue to promote the work of Native American writers and storytellers. Throughout the 1990's, Dr. Francis helped promote the work of numerous Native American and Indigenous writers, both emerging and professional, throughout North and South America. Writers such as Joseph Bruchac, Dianne Glancy, MariJo Moore, Chris Eyre, and E.K. Caldwell were all a part of the organization during it's first decade. For over ten years, Wordcraft connected hundreds of Native writers in gatherings throughout the U.S. In 2003, Dr. Francis passed away after a short struggle with cancer and the organization was inherited by Dr. Kimberly Roppolo and Lee Francis IV.
In addition to AICL and Saltypie, I want to note awards given to:
- Arigon Starr, Lee Frances III Memorial Award for Wordcrafter of the Year
- Sara Hoklotubbe, Mystery, for The American Cafe