First off, the Connecticut Center for the Book is back. I didn't know it was gone, but according to an April Hartford Courant article, after four years with the Hartford Public Library, ending in 2011, it is now with Connecticut Humanities. While at the Hartford Public Library, the Connecticut Center for the book sponsored the Connecticut Book Awards. Right now Connecticut Humanities is rethinking an award. "Book awards are fraught with challenges," according to Amanada Roy, program officer for Public Humanities Programs for Connecticut Humanities told the Courant. "We need to recognize great work going on in Connecticut, but no matter how careful [the process], picking a winner is tough." She goes on to say, "We want to shine a light in the best way and make it as meaningful to authors seeking recognition as singling out just one."
Though the original hardcover edition of Saving the Planet & Stuff was a finalist for the Connecticut Book Award back in 2004, I have to say that I think moving away from an award to doing something that can support many Connecticut writers could be a very good thing, especially since the Connecticut Center for the Book, part of a nationwide program connected to the Library of Congress, is supposed to promote reading as well as writing. My understanding is that running awards can be expensive and time consuming. Perhaps that kind of energy could be spread around to benefit more people, whether writers or not.
In other news, Walter Wick, who is very much associated with Hartford in these parts, has a new Can You See What I See? book out this spring. He's profiled in the Hartford Courant's Walter Wick's World.