I have been asked to blog today on the Whitney awards and the exciting news that ExclusivelyLDS.com is sponsoring this new award program which will now award cash prizes to the winners as well as trophies.
If you haven't heard of the Whitney awards, well, I hadn't either until August. In fact, the first time I heard mention of them was when I was notified that I had been nominated for one. When I was out in Utah for the LDS Booksellers Convention, the booth for the Whitney awards was near my publisher's booth so I was able to ask about them. The Whitney Awards are brand new, beginning with books published in 2007. Here are the basics:
To be eligible for a Whitney award, books have to have been published in the calendar year of 2007 and had to have been written by an author who is LDS. (A list of eligible books can be found at www.ldspublisher.blogspot.com.) The categories a novel can be nominated in are Best Romance/Women' s Fiction, Best Mystery/Suspense, Best YA/Children' s, Best Speculative Fiction, Best Historical, Best Novel by a New Author and Best Novel of the Year.
Books have to receive at least five nominations to be considered for an award, and anyone can make a nomination as long as they don't have a financial interest in the book they are nominating. Apparently the five books that receive the most nominations in each category will be considered finalists, and then a committee will decide on the winner. More information can be found at www.whitneyawards.com.
So, if you've read a good book lately written by an LDS author, now's your chance to cast your votes (or nominations.)
As Apostle Orson F. Whitney said: We shall yet have Miltons and Shakespeares of our own. . . . In God's name and by His help we will build up a literature whose tops will touch the heaven, though its foundation may now be low on the earth.