PEN Literary Awards Ceremony

I'm doing a school visit in Eastchester, New York today (I'm on lunch break right now - two sessions to go), and then heading down to Lincoln Center tonight to present the PEN Phyllis Naylor Award to Theresa Nelson (JULIA DELANEY, Simon & Schuster) on behalf of our judging committee. I'm actually as nervous about my brief laudatory intro as I would be if I were an honoree and had to give a real speech. The point, though, is that while all the entries were amazingly good, the character of Julia and her funny, heartfelt story captured me from the start. Congratulations, Theresa, and thanks to Christopher Paul Curtis and Sid Fleischman, the other two judges.