The Friends of American Writers awards luncheon in the Crystal Room of the Union League Club in downtown Chicago was fabulous. A jazz guitarist played as the writers met Friends members and signed books. The lunch itself was delicious, and the members treated us like royalty.
The Friends of American Writers honored four authors:
• Children’s Picture Book: Jill Esbaum, Ste-e-e-emboat A Comin!, Farrar, Straus & Giroux
• Children’s Novel: L. D. Harkrader (me), Airball: My Life in Briefs, Roaring Brook
• Adult Fiction: Dean Bakopoulis, Please Don’t Come Back From the Moon, Harcourt
• Adult Nonfiction: Steve Bogira, Courtroom 302, Knopf
Many thanks to the Friends of American Writers—who truly are friends of writers—especially the Juvenile Literary Awards Committee and committee chairman Caroline Wheeler.
An added note: I was a bit nervous about taking the train from O’Hare to my downtown hotel. I was sure I’d get on the wrong train, end up in a suburb in Indiana, and wander the streets the rest of my life, lugging my suitcases and never finding my way back. I shouldn’t have worried. Taking the Blue Line from the airport to downtown Chicago is nearly idiot-proof, and just to prove that any idiot can do it, here's a picture of me on the train:
Yes, I’m sure I looked like a goober snapping my own picture, but the two other people on the train car were obviously native Chicagoans, immune to the lunacies of tourists from the sticks like me. They didn’t give me so much as a sideways glance.