There may not be a better place for a book lover from Waterloo Region.
On Nov. 25, Mandy Brouse, a bookseller at Words Worth Books in Waterloo, will be at the Governor General’s Literary Awards ceremony in Ottawa, surrounded by authors, publishers, and Gov. Gen. David Johnston.
Brouse received the invitation — which is only extended to 150 people — in an envelope with gold writing, and Rideau Hall as the return address.
“The first thing I thought was, “Oh my gosh, how am I going to get there, and what am I going to wear?’ ” Brouse said.
The Governor General’s Literary Awards — organized by the Canada Council for the Arts — are the most prestigious literary honour in the country after the Giller Prize. This year’s winners, who were announced Tuesday, include Regina’s Dianne Warren, who won the fiction prize for her debut novel Cool Water.
Brouse said she isn’t sure why she was invited to the awards gala, but thinks it might be because Johnston — the former longtime president of the University of Waterloo — used to regularly buy books from Words Worth.
Aside from travel and wardrobe, Brouse said she has to make sure she’s read all the books nominated for the prize before the ceremony.
“I’m really excited about the authors that are going,” she said.
“I’ve already contacted the authors that I love from the list and said, ‘I hope I see you that night.’ ”
Brouse admitted she could be slightly star struck rubbing shoulders with big literary names, but it’s Johnston she is most excited to meet.
“I’m excited to get some face time with David Johnston,” she said. “I think he just really supported independent, local bookstores.”
Brouse is bringing along a signed and personalized copy of the One Book, One Community selection this year, Best Laid Plans, by Terry Fallis, for Johnston.
She plans to post photos and blog about her experience at the awards on the Woods Worth Books blog at www.wordsworthbooks.com.
“It’ll be great because it will be people from publishing, writers and all different types of people,” Brouse said.
“I’m sure we’ll just talk about books all night.”