Doris S. Patee to Armstrong Sperry, May 23, 1941

in preparation for the Newbery Medal award ceremony

From the Armstrong Sperry Papers at the Thetford VT Historical Society, used with permission.

The MacMillan Company
Sixty - Fifth Avenue - New York

May 23, 1941

Dear Mr. Sperry:

It seems about time that I gave you some definite word about the convention schedule. I have reserved for you and Mrs. Sperry a room at the Copley-Plaza from Thursday evening, the 19th, for as long as you want it. If you will let me know when you plan to arrive in town, I would like very much to call on you that evening and let you know any more immediate plans. Since you are supposed to be kept secret, you probably won't be deluged with other callers.

The award meeting is on Friday afternoon, in Cambridge, and at that time I suppose you will have to pay for your successes by making a speech of acceptance. I know you do that sort of thing very well so I am sure it will be no ordeal at all. I will meet you at the hotel that afternoon and personally escort you and Mrs. Sperry to the meeting. If your mother can come too, we would love to have her. That evening, you and Mr. Lawson will be feted at the Newbery dinner which is the big social affair of the convention. It is a formal occasion and this year it is to be held in Symphony Hall, which allows for everybody to go, and that means that there will probably over one thousand present. At that time they usually call on the authors to make just a brief after dinner speech.

Now, I don't know how long you and Mrs. Sperry will want to stay, but I do hope you can stay at least through Saturday, for on Saturday afternoon the children's librarians entertain at a large tea and of course like the winning authors as guests of honor. This year it is to be held at the Newton Library with those librarians as hosts to the whole children's section. I was asked to pass on the invitation to you.

Usually the fortunate publishers of the winning books plan some kind of reception, but the schedule seems to be so full this year, that it is hard to find just the right time so May Massee and I have decided instead to entertain with a small dinner party on Saturday evening in honor of you and Mr. Lawson. It is dangerous to start selecting people for such a party, but we will invite a few of the officers and some of the most prominent librarians, and we may be taking our lives in our hands, but we are going to try it.

On Sunday, if you decide you have had enough, we will let you go, though of course we would be delighted to have you stay through that day if you would like it. There will be some teas and meetings but the real events connected with the award finish up on Saturday.

The new edition of CALL IT COURAGE will be ready about the first week in June, and I hope that the new jacket will be much more acceptable. It will be dressed up with the medal anyway and that means a great deal. I will send you one of the first copies. I shall want, probably, to have you look over some of the publicity material. We expect to enlarge the poster that we had last year and also to make a circular. As soon as I get through the sales conference which is scheduled for this next week, I will start working on these things and also the article about you which I have agreed to do for the Library Journal.

This promises to be one of the nicest award occasions we have had, for with you and Mr. Lawson as our honor guests it should be a most successful occasion.

I do hope you are going to get me the photograph of yourself very soon. I have several requests for it and am holding up those letters until I hear from you.

Sincerely yours,

Doris S. Patee
Children's Book Editor

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