Tag Archives: Hackmatack

We won! We won!

Maritimers are very tricky people.

Last week, Hackmatack organizer Kate Watson sent me this e-mail:

I’m contacting the authors who didn’t get to attend to this year’s ceremony with a small favour. I’m wondering if you’d be able to send a short speech (less than one minute) to be read if you are the winner of the English non-fiction award.

The speech could be something fun or funny or just a straight-up thank you.

On Friday, she sent this:

I’m not sure if you’ve heard that you are the Hackmatack English non-fiction winner for 2013!

(I fooled you by telling you everyone had to send a speech ahead of time.)

I have been thoroughly out-sneaked! But, I am thrilled that 50 Poisonous Questions has won the 2013 Hackmatack for English non-fiction. It’s a reader’s choice award and I have to say, it means a little extra to know that kids read the book and voted for it!

Here’s what I said at the ceremony, in absentia:

When I received an e-mail suggesting that 50 Poisonous Questions was implicated in a Hackmatack, I thought someone had tested one of my venoms and was having a massive coughing fit. (I’m afraid I have a low vocabulary for an author, and I don’t get out of the house much to see the trees!) I was very relieved to discover the Hackmatack was an award, not a possible prison sentence for accidentally poisoning a student.

I loved writing 50 Poisonous Questions. It was so much fun to discover both the frightening and the useful sides of toxins. Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the book — especially to those who wrote or e-mailed me. I am truly, truly honoured by your votes.

May you discover many more noxious and noteworthy things in your future reading!

Again, many thanks to everyone who organized, read, and voted. And congrats to the other Hackmatack authors and illustrators!


It is not an attack of severe coughing. No, it’s a tree. A Larix laricina, otherwise known as a tamarack larch. And, it’s the name of a reader’s choice award program in Nova Scotia, through which students will soon be reading copies of 50 Poisonous Questions.

Yay, hackmatack!


I’ve been trying to learn if any parts of the hackmatack are poisonous, because I thought that would be such a fitting combination, but so far it seems a fairly benign sort of tree. Although, wikipedia does say it’s highly competitive.

Like me.

Pick me, pick me, students of Nova Scotia!

Um… I mean, after reading all the other worthy titles (I don’t know what they are yet) and giving the competition serious consideration. Then pick me. You know, if you want.

* Photo by withrow.