Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Lisa Joyal Featured in Law Times

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Lisa Joyal Featured in Law Times

Lisa Joyal, author of the young adult novel, Swahili for Beginners (Sumach Press), and an assistant Crown attorney in Toronto, was recently interviewed by Law Times about her award-winning book. Since it was published in fall 2007, Swahili for Beginners has been very well received, but it took Joyal several years to find the right publisher. Joyal tells Law Times, "One thinks the hard part is writing, and that’s true it is, but it's also hard to find a publisher to publish the book." On the advice of fellow lawyer, Manjusha Pawagi (The Girl Who Hated Books, Second Story Press), Joyal persevered in her search for a publisher. Sumach Press took a chance on the first-time author, and this year, Swahili for Beginners was awarded the 2008 Silver Nautilus Book Award in the category of Fiction/Fantasy for Children's/Young Adults.

From Law Times:

The 20 book publishers who rejected Lisa Joyal’s manuscript may consider being a little less hasty the next time she approaches them.

The 45-year-old Toronto lawyer recently won a Nautilus Book Award (silver 2008) for children’s fiction for her novel Swahili for Beginners (Sumach Press).
The Nautilus Awards were created to recognize world-changing books, and to celebrate their contribution to positive social change, spiritual growth, conscious living, and responsible leadership. Awards are given in 20 categories, in both adult trade and children’s publishing.

Swahili for Beginners is about a year in the life of a 13-year-old girl named Georgie who resides in the High Park neighbourhood of Toronto and her pen-pal friendship with a girl named Ellie who lives in a small village in Tanzania.

Joyal, an assistant Crown attorney, says it took her about three years to find a publisher willing to take a chance on a first-time author.
"One thinks the hard part is writing, and that's true it is, but it’s also hard to find a publisher to publish the book," she tells Law Times.

During the arduous process, she consulted another Toronto lawyer, Manjusha Pawagi, whose children’s book The Girl Who Hated Books (Second Story Press) was featured in Law Times several years ago. “She followed the same process and said there weren’t any shortcuts. She told me not to give up and keep writing those letters.”

Read the full article here.

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