Sunday, February 7, 2010

An Introduction to the Whitney Awards

As with most of the things I plan, when the time comes to execute my plan, I'm out of the mood, and what I thought would be fun or exciting has become a chore.

That's what has happened here. I was walking on air two days ago when I heard that my latest book, Counting the Cost, was a finalist for the Whitney Award, and I wanted to explain to the world about the Whitneys. However, I had said I would blog about pancakes on Saturday, so I put off sending up Whitney rockets.

Now I've come down to earth, and I realize that I have to exercise my brain in order to do what I've promised, and I'd lots rather go take my Sunday Afternoon Nap. However, here goes:

I belong to a writers' guild called LDStorymakers. To belong to this guild, you have to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and be a published author. With online email loops and writers' conferences, this group encourages us all to become better writers. It's a very pro-active, dynamic group and there's lots of camaraderie, support, and mentoring going on.

One of the aims of the group, though not necessarily stated, is to raise the level of writing in fiction published for the LDS community. Or, maybe I should say, the aim is to challenge the perception that all writers who write for the LDS market are less talented and skilled than those who write for the general market.

To that end, LDStorymakers created the Whitney Awards. Here's the process:

1. Anyone, you or me or the person down the street, can nominate a book for a Whitney. The criteria are that
  • The book is written by an LDS author. It can either be written for the LDS market or the general market.
  • The book is fiction.
  • The book is published in the year it is nominated. Self published books are eligible.

2. Nominations are closed at the end of the year. Then a panel of five judges reads all the books that received at least five nominations and selects five finalists in each category.

3. After the finalists are posted, the academy--made up of LDStorymakers, publishers, other authors, some high-profile bloggers, and bookstore owners--votes.

In order to vote for a winner in in any of the categories, the voter has to have read all five selections.

In order to vote for Best Book of the Year, the voter has to have read all thirty selections.

4. Winners are announced at a gala at the end of the Storymakers Writing Conference at the end of April.

So, there you go. Counting the Cost was nominated and selected to be a finalist. I don't mind waiting until April to see the next step. I'm not looking to win. Not crossing fingers. I consider it an honor to be a finalist, and I'm willing to leave it at that.

I hope you'll check out the finalists for this year. You might find something you'd really like to read.


Follow this blog! Next week I'll write a review of Tanya Mills' book The Reckoning, which was a finalist in two categories in last year's Whitney Awards, and deservedly so.

1 comment:

Monique said...

Congratulations Liz! It was a great book