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Juliana Saxton accepts AATE Distinguished Book Award

 

Juliana Saxton, co-author of Applied Theatre: International Case Studies and Challenges for Practice, accepted the American Alliance for Theatre and Education Distinguished Book Award 2010 at the recent AATE conference in San Francisco. She has kindly allowed us to share her acceptance speech...

 
AATE Distinguished Book Award 2010
Thank you
 
I am not the sort of person who wins things and so, for Carole Miller and me to receive the DBA for Into the Story: Language in Action through Drama in 2005 was an unexpected delight. This year, to hear that Applied Theatre: International Case Studies and Challenges for Practice had been recognized was more than a delight, it was a surprise of monumental proportions! Monica Prendergast, my co-author and I are so grateful to the awards recommendations committee and its chair, Dr. Allison Metz for reading the text, and we thank you all for your time, your consideration and your decision. We are both humbled by the quality and quantity of drama books that are now available to our field.
             I’d like to take a few moments to talk about publishing and publishers. Although my “list” is not long, the list of publishers with whom I have dealt, has been. To be in the business, it seems to those of us who are not, is a bit like being in a game of unending musical chairs—editors and staff seem to come and go with an astonishing regularity and firms are sold “up”—Heinemann, alas, being a recent example and reminding all of us who worked with her, of the very high bar set there by the late Lisa Barnett.
            Perhaps as a result of this to-ing and fro-ing, communication with authors has not been a strong point and, after publication is, in my experience, rare and usually strangely opaque. For along with the swinging door policy that haunts publishing houses these days, there is that phenomenon of silence the moment the book is actually “out”.  My previous experiences (with the happy exception of Pembroke Press who have been exemplary in their support of Asking Better Questions) have led me to the conclusion that, in the textbook world, once a book is published, the publishers remaining duty is to send you unreadable sets of numbers and a small cheque (if you are lucky!).   And yet, conversely, I recently received a quite large cheque (comparatively speaking!!). As usual, there was no information at all as to what it referred or as to why I should be receiving it. Some months and four emails later begging for explanation, I am still in the dark for I have not—as far as I know—ever published anything with this particular firm!
            But this Mad Hatter’s publishing tea party is not, happily, a problem for us with this text. Intellect has been, in a word, wonderful. First, of course, they accepted the manuscript, which means they are forward looking and willing to take risks. Second, they found a reader whose comments were, for the most part, astute and in the case of one chapter, so on the money that we couldn’t believe we had written it so badly! Third, they gave us a good editor who understood what it was that we were trying to do and whose suggestions and emendations were gratefully received. And then, Intellect got on with it—easier said than done as their authors were, by that time, living in different countries.
            After publication, one of the things that we have found so commendable is the diligence of the follow-up in terms of getting the book out to reviewers and in keeping authors informed through a well-written and inviting Newsletter. An Intellect newsletter actually asks us to be sure to keep them apprised of conferences where the book should be promoted and then reports back in the next issue. Keeping its authors "in the loop" is good business and also very comforting. Like passengers on a plane sitting delayed on a runway, pilot communication is the means of keeping them calm and thinking positive thoughts about their carrier.  As we take off, we are deeply appreciative of the recognition that this award gives to our book and happy indeed to be flying with Intellect.
Thank you very much.
Juliana Saxton
 

 

Posted by Amy Damutz/May Yao at 12:16 (0) comments
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