A special section celebrating the first ten years of the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature headlines the September 2014 issue of World Literature Today, with contributions by all six past NSK laureates:
- In an essay called “Tapped on the Shoulder,” Mildred D. Taylor, in the midst of writing her final novel (a conclusion to the Logan story), pauses to look back on her writing career and on the significance of winning the first NSK Prize in 2003.
- In “Over the Last Good While,” Brian Doyle—laureate of the 2005 prize—takes a characteristically humorous look at his efforts to conserve memory for future generations by recording his life and times in writing.
- In an essay called “Neustadt Memories,” Katherine Paterson writes that, while deeply grateful for winning the NSK Prize, she treasures most the people she and her husband encountered when they visited the University of Oklahoma in 2007.
- In lieu of a prose retrospective, Vera B. Williams submitted a delightful poem called “Bronx Doggerel” along with a gallery of original illustrations, plus a note on the Bronx as a rich source for her literary imagination.
- In a wry self-interview called “To Be of Use,” 2011 laureate Virginia Euwer Wolff celebrates those “moments of witness that we cheer and promote, the presences we bless with our attention.”
- And in “How Would the World Be Different?”, Naomi Shihab Nye relates a priceless anecdote about meeting a high school student in Qatar for whom writing represents “secret diplomacy.”
The section begins with a retrospective essay by one of the co-founders of the prize, Kathy Neustadt, who recalls being inspired by her three-year-old daughter “to honor the geniuses who could transfix my child, settle her down, wake her up from naps, keep her busy in cars, make her laugh, and sometimes make her cry.” A decade later, WLT is proud to celebrate this milestone of excellence in honoring the best in children’s literature from around the world.
Ready to start reading? Copies of the issue can be found in bookstores throughout the US and Canada or ordered online. For immediate access to the virtual magazine edition, subscribe online for only $15 a year, or start your individual subscription to the print edition for only $30 a year and save 30 percent off the newsstand price.
And mark your calendars! The winner of the 2015 NSK Prize will be announced during the Neustadt Festival on October 24, 2014.