Weyburn's Anne Lazurko received a Fiction award at the 2023 Saskatchewan Book Awards for her 2022 novel, 'What is Written on the Tongue'.
"I feel pretty pumped about the whole thing," she told. "Actually at the awards from when I did my speech, at the end, I said that it's so great to be part of the writing community in Saskatchewan because I come from a smaller place and the community is so engaging and welcoming and there's so many opportunities for people no matter where you live. And that has made a huge difference in my writing career."
She said her publisher submitted the book for the competition.
"The Saskatchewan Book Awards doesn't allow for self-published books. It's only books that are published by a traditional publisher, so they enter the books into whatever category that you are eligible for and my book actually ended up also shortlisted for Book of the Year, so that was also great, and then it won the fiction award."
Lazurko said the book has now been submitted to the Canadian Authors Association award as well as to another one in the United States.
"So there are different avenues for awards, but, to be honest, I try not to get too hung up on the awards thing because every jury is different and will see things in a different way," she noted. "I mean, it was great to win this, just because I know that the company I was in on the shortlist, and so to win was really amazing. But if it wins something, that's wonderful."
"My biggest hope is that people read it and enjoy it and get out of it what I hope they will."
She said the book was a big undertaking.
"It was a pretty big project, you know, a book set in two wars in two different places that I've never lived, and I did travel to, but just all the research that was required," she shared. "Also, it was a work of curiosity and love for me, I guess, because it's loosely based on events in my parents' life, and so that made it also difficult at times because of what happens to the characters." Read more HERE.
She shared what's involved with getting your book read by the readers out there.
"These days with trying to market a book, it's kind of a team effort between the publisher and the author, and so my publisher did a superb job of getting the book out there and different interviews and in magazines and sent to awards, and then on my end I try to do many of the interviews and take as many reading opportunities as I can."
Lazurko said the judges' comments were glowing.
"It was a real honour, and the judges' comments really made me very happy because they really kind of got what I was trying to do with the book and they were quite glowing," she shared. "So that of course makes a person feel really good. And, like I said, because I was in such good company on the shortlist to win, it was really quite amazing."
She added her plans next include heading to Europe next week to do research for the new book she's working on, and then in July she'll be taking part in the Festival of Words in Moose Jaw.