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I'm a writer and library worker who wears many hats. I believe a good book and a good piece of chocolate are the keys to a happy life.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Supporting LDS Fiction Writers

Last spring I was privileged to attend the first ever Whitney Awards Gala. It was one of the most inspiring nights of my life to find myself rubbing shoulders with so many great men and women who are great for the same types of righteous desires that I find burning within my own soul. I hate PPDEs (personal public displays of emotion) but there I was, crying on multiple occasions as I cheered for friends, new and old, and those I’d read and admired for years. The celebration was entirely focused on the much quoted words of Orson F. Whitney from his talk on home literacy.

“We will yet have Miltons and Shakespeares of our own. God's ammunition is not exhausted. His brightest spirits are held in reserve for the latter times. In God's name and by his help we will build up a literature whose top shall touch heaven, though its foundations may now be low in earth.”

I was so proud to be part of a celebration honoring those who are truly striving to fill the world with good, uplifting literature, who also carry a great mantle of representing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In fact, I would highly recommend you take a look at the 2007 finalist titles and winners for some of the best new books available for the LDS reader. You won’t be disappointed by any book there. I know, I read them in order to cast my own votes and it was a tough call in most cases.

At this time of year my thoughts are once again turning to the Whitney Awards. Why? Two reasons actually. As much as warm fuzzies are coveted by the LDS author the Whitney Awards committee wisely concluded that actual awards would be better than just a pat on the back to recognize excellence. Awards and award ceremonies cost (gasp) money.

YourLDSneighborhood.com is a proud and generous sponsor of the Whitney Awards and I bow in their honor for catching the vision of this worthy endeavor. I would also ask you to support it by visiting the Whitney Awards fund raiser now in progress. You’ll find a wide variety of items up for grabs that have all been donated to raise money for the 2008 Whitney Awards.

I myself wouldn’t mind having this item. Sadly, I lack the body to pull it off (Jacob wouldn’t have wanted me ;)

Don’t see anything you’d like but still want to offer your support? That can be arranged as well. Can’t afford to do anything monetarily? We all understand how that is, especially in these shaky times, but please just like all the fund raising people will tell you-- any little bit can help.

If nothing else, take the time to go to the Whitney Awards web site and nominate your favorite LDS author. No, they don’t have to write for the LDS market; no, they don’t have to be published by an LDS publisher. They just have to be LDS and have a book published in the year 2008 that you think is truly outstanding.

Believe me; these guys really appreciate hearing from you even for that. The authors do get warm fuzzies from finding out that someone took the time to nominate them for something good, and if they win, the awards are awesome as well.

Categories include:



Speculative Fiction

Youth Fiction


General Fiction

Novel of the Year

Best Novel by a New Author

Not sure who or what qualifies? There is a list of the rules on the site and you can find a fairly comprehensive list of titles eligible for Whitneys this year on the side bar of the LDSpublisher and LDSfiction blogs.

The last day to nominate a book is December 31st, so don’t forget when all the holidays start hitting. LDS fiction is improving every year, and there are those of us who would like to celebrate that and keep the standards high. We want books by LDS authors to ring loud with praise for Him who gave us this talent and let our words reach to heaven, but we need dedicated readers to help us form a firm foundation for our efforts. Take a little time this week to celebrate books by supporting the Whitney Awards any way you can.

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