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PEN America has announced that Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling will receive the 2016 PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award from PEN America Center.
The PEN America Center describes themselves as, “working to ensure that people everywhere have the freedom to create literature, to convey information and ideas, to express their views, and to make it possible for everyone to access the views, ideas, and literatures of others.”
The PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award is awarded to “critically acclaimed authors” whose works contain a message against oppression in any form, and strive to be an example for the good of humanity.
As said by Rowling herself, the Harry Potter series–which one cannot doubt holds much “critical acclaim”–embodies the themes of morality and mortality. There was even viral news about a recent study that showed that reading Harry Potter made people more open minded, empathetic and less prejudicial.
Rowling will be honored for her work with Harry Potter, as well as her defense of the freedom of expression and free flowing speech and ideas. The PEN Announcement states:
‘Since her rise from single mother to literary superstar, J.K. Rowling has used her talents and stature as a writer to fight inequality on both a local and global level. Her charitable trust, Volant, supports causes in the United Kingdom and abroad that alleviate social exclusion, with particular emphasis on women and children. In 2005 she founded Lumos, a nonprofit organization that works to help the eight million children institutionalized around the world regain their right to a family life. Herself the frequent object of censorship in schools and libraries across the globe, as well as online targeting, Rowling has emerged as a vocal proponent of free expression and access to literature and ideas for children, as well as incarcerated people, the learning-disabled, and women and girls worldwide.
“Through her writing, Rowling engenders imagination, empathy, humor, and a love of reading, along the way revealing moral choices that help us understand ourselves,” said author Andrew Solomon, president of PEN America. “Through their experiences with Rowling both on and off the page, countless children have learned not only the power of speaking their own minds, but the critical importance of hearing others. A gifted storyteller, fierce opponent of censorship, advocate for women’s and girls’ rights, and staunch defender of access to education, Rowling uses all of the tools at her disposal to create a better and more just world for our children.”‘
The PEN Awards have also released a list of other nominees. The entire announcement, list of awards and nominees can be read here. The awards will be presented at the PEN America Literary Gala at the American Museum of Natural History in New York on May 16.Add a Comment
We are thrilled to share that two LEE & LOW titles have been selected for the 2016 Literature Award given by the Asian Pacific American Library Association (APALA). Congratulations to Juna’s Jar, winner in the Picture Book category, and Ink and Ashes, honor in the Young Adult category!
Here’s the full list of winners from APALA’s press release:
* Winner: Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press)
Viet Than Nguyen weaves a compelling story of a Vietnamese double agent in his debut novel The Sympathizer. The novel brings humor and a critical eye to the Vietnam War and narratives of Vietnamese refugees.
* Honor: Don’t Let Him Know by Sandip Roy (Bloomsbury USA)
Sandip Roy blends family secrets, arranged marriages, and culture clash in his debut novel, Don’t Let Him Know. From the new bride Romola who arrives in the United States to her only child Amit, who discovers a family secret, readers will be fascinated with the interconnected stories about family, friendship, and culture.
* Winner: The Making of Asian America by Erika Lee (Simon and Schuster)
Dr. Erica Lee, University of Minnesota History Faculty & Immigration History Research Center Director, compiled an astounding 17 chapter single volume of research which falls on the 50th anniversary of the commemoration of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. Lee’s significant centennial plus documentation includes and describes some of the most important annals of Asian American history in the areas of immigration, assimilation, civil rights as well as noteworthy contributions and strides made to the American landscape attributed to Americans of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino Vietnamese, Cambodian, Sikh, Hindu and other Asian ancestry and heritage.
* Honor: Canton Restaurant to Panda Express by Haiming Liu (Rutgers University Press)
To the Chinese people, food is the aggregator of warm social interaction. Haiming Liu in this new title has documented the story of the social history of a transcultural people by weaving the history of the early Chinese settlers, their assimilation into their adopted American culture with the story of their continually adaptive cuisine which includes the present-day fusion and fast food industry. This intriguing title examines the developmental history of the Chinese up from the mid 1800’s and their commitment to American society while retaining their own unique brand of what it means to have Chinese ancestry.
* Honor: The Good Immigrant: How the yellow peril became the model minority by Madilyn Y. Hsu (Princeton University Press)
The Good Immigrant stands out as an impeccable study which fills a critical void in the literature of Asian America. Its focused research reveals discoveries about a unique group of immigrant whose history has been generally overlooked. It explores into the past and more recent immigration from Asia, such as transnational immigrant student, the intellectual, the entrepreneurial businessman, and etc., which garnered notice of the growing influence of Asian Americans. Until Hsu’s articulate and scholarly endeavor few have found cause to investigate.
* Winner: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
PS I Still Love You was a contemporary and relatable story to many teens that we as a committee even wished we had a book like this to read and refer to during our teenage years. Furthermore, Han is able to depict Lara Jean, the protagonist in a very positive and relatable light for not only for other Asians but people in general as well. Lara Jean is able to be both Korean and “normal,” and avoids being typecasted into certain tropes.
* Honor: Ink and Ashes by Valynne E. Maetani (Tu Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books)
Ink and Ashes was very interesting and different than what we had read. It was contemporary, but yet the readers will learn a lot about the Japanese histories and superstitions through Claire and her research into her family history which contains links to the Yakuza – the Japanese Mafia. With suspense, mystery, and a dash of romance, this book has teen appeal and would be suitable for a movie adaptation.
* Winner: Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton (Dial Books/Penguin Random House)
The committee was especially impressed with Full Cicada Moon, praising Hilton’s engaging examination of racial (and particularly, biracial), gender, and social issues, as well as the powerful verse in which it was elegantly told. The portrayal of the remarkable Mimi—a strong protagonist whose memorable journey is both stirringly and gracefully developed.
* Honor: Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly (Green Willow Books/Harper Collins)
Kelly’s entertaining and refreshing debut novel was enjoyed by the committee. Of one particular note was the sensitive development of its believable protagonist, the smooth detailing of Apple’s ethnic heritage and her struggles to embrace it, and overall, the hopeful yet not overly didactic message it presents on exploring one’s identity and the adolescent experience.
* Winner: Juna’s Jar by Jane Bahk, illustrated by Felicia Hoshino (Lee & Low Books)
Juna’s Jar celebrates imagination, while also showcasing cross-racial best friends in modern day Los Angeles. It charmingly captures the adventures and heartache of a little girl—who just happens to be a Korean American.
* Honor: Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Rafael Lopez (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers)
Millo Castro Zaldarriaga is a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who dreamed of drumming at a time when only boys were allowed to drum. Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music celebrates music, culture, gender, and the right to dream.
The winners will each receive an award plaque and an award seal on their book at the APALA Award Ceremony on Saturday, June 25, 2016 during the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, FL.Display Comments Add a Comment
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has won Audible UK‘s Member’s Choice Audiobook of the Year Award for 2015!
Earlier this month, we reported that Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was one of several Harry Potter audiobooks to top Audible‘s best seller lists. Its obvious popularity earned it a place on the list of nominees for Audible UK’s Audiobook of the Year 2015. MuggleNet reported that both Philosopher’s Stone and Career of Evil had been short-listed for the award.
Now that the voting period has ended, the audiobook of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has officially won the Member’s Choice Award. The Audible UK Editor’s Pick for Audiobook of the Year is Black Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin.
Audible UK is grateful to all who voted. “The release of so many standout debuts, brilliant sequels and gripping novels throughout the year has made for some tough competition,” says Audible.co.uk.
In light of these other standouts, it is interesting that Harry Potter and Philosopher’s Stone was even nominated. It is a reprint and not a new release. There is no disputing the merit of the book and Stephen Fry’s reading performance, but should a reprint be eligible for a title of the year award? Or do you think Career of Evil or some other new release from the nominees for 2015 should have won instead?
To read more about the winners and other nominees, see here.
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My book cover has reached the semi-finals in a great competition run by the Authorsdb website. I would be very grateful if anyone would be willing to follow the link to the site and vote for my cover, if you think it deserves it! Thank you very much if you can.Add a Comment
And the winner of The Book Awards top Kindle book for July 2015 is…
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Vote for Kali!!
Marilisa Jimenez-Garcia, research associate at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College, CUNY, graduated from the University of Florida with a PhD in English, specializing in American literature/studies, nationalism, and children’s and young adult literature. Marilisa is also a National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE) Cultivating New Voices Among Scholar of Color Fellow. She is currently working on a manuscript on U.S. Empire, Puerto Rico, and American children’s culture. She is the recipient of the Puerto Rican Studies Association Dissertation Award 2012 and the University of Florida’s Dolores Auzenne Dissertation Award. Her scholarly work appears in publications such as Changing English: Studies in Culture and Education and CENTRO Journal. She has also published reviews in International Research in Children’s Literature and Latino Studies.
How might the legacy of the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library speak to recent ‘human events’? 2014 was a landmark year with regard to discussions of race, diversity, and young people of color in American society. A game-changing year in which much of the rhetoric of multiculturalism we often use when preparing our young citizens unraveled. Indeed, by summer 2014, events had sparked a campaign by educators looking for new approaches and resources on how to discuss race in the classroom (Marcia Chatelain, “Ferguson Syllabus”). Those of us focused on the narrative and social literacy of young people seem at a place of no return—a place where we must admit that equality is not so in the Promised Land.(1)
As an American literature and childhood studies researcher, I was not surprised that 2014’s list of recurring headlines, including court rulings, protests, and policing, also contained debates about children’s books. What young people read, and the worlds, norms, histories, and people therein, have always mattered in the U.S. Children’s reading materials (e.g. fiction, history, and textbooks) have always been at the forefront of the “culture wars,” particularly after the Cold War. Ethical pleas for kid lit diversity are also nothing new. The start of Pura Belpré’s NYPL career in the 1920s is actually marked by a question similar to Walter Dean Myer’s op-ed in New York Times: “Where are the people of color in children’s books?” In Belpré’s case, she wanted to represent what she saw as the history and heritage of the Puerto Rican child. She began writing her own books as result of finding Puerto Rican culture absent from the shelves. However, considering the contributions by people of color to children’s literature over the last 90 years or so including Belpré, and numerous studies on the lack of representation, we find that calls for kid lit diversity consistently fail. (For further information see Nancy Larrick’s study “The All White World of Children’s Literature” The Saturday Review, September 11, 1965 and also work by the Council for Interracial Children’s Books). Post-2014, what is remarkable about our current moment is the amount of mainstream and field-wide attention the diversity issue has garnered. It also remains to be seen how the incorporation of We Need Diverse Books will impact the literary world.
Conversation instead of compartmentalization. People of color including librarians and storytellers such as Pura Belpré and Augusta Baker were active (1920s and 1930s) when American children’s literature was advancing as a field with its own set of publishers, librarians, and prizes. The African American and Puerto Rican community have a longstanding tradition of employing children’s literature as a vehicle for imagination, cultural pride, and social consciousness.(2) Yet, systemically, people of color are left out of the conversation when it comes to accessing the breadth of children’s literature as an American tradition. Diversity should be understood as a conversation, rather than as a system of containing U.S. populations as compartments (with respective histories, literature, and cultural iconography) that never converge. A compartmentalized view hinders our ability to envision people of color as participants in the imagined landscapes of American history and culture—past, present, and future. Even our prizing system, including the Belpré Medal, tends to follow this logic of best Latino children’s literature, best African American children’s literature, but when it comes to best American children’s literature, people of color have historically fared in the single digits. Prizes such as the Belpré foster cultural pride, solidarity, and a market for Latino authors, yet they also continue the logic of compartmentalization.
Relevant instead of relatable. Belpré’s stories were based on folklore which some Latino/a children might find familiar. But, Belpré’s books are also artistic fiction. In other words, they are just stories to be enjoyed by whoever might enjoy them. As a teacher, I had to check my use of the term “relatable” when discussing literature with young people. Once we were reading The Outsiders (1967) and Nicholasa Mohr’s Nilda (1973) as means of comparing how young people grow up and encounter violence. I always remember one student closing her copy of Nilda, saying, “This is about culture, not about teens. I couldn’t really relate.” I was puzzled seeing that key characters in both books were adolescents. Certainly, when a Latino/a author writes about Latino/a characters, the story is shaped by Latino/a culture—which also varies in terms of racial, regional, gender, and national identity. But, the same is true for any author. Oliver Twist is a mainstream story, but it is also a commentary on 19th century childhood—a celebrated time for some who could afford it—and the conditions for poor, orphaned youth. Stories are always about culture. Yet, what we catalogue as “foreign” or “other” tells us more about ourselves than about the stories we read.
Imperfect characters instead of superheroes. When it comes to young readers, we have a tendency to want to simplify things that we adults even have a hard time understanding. Clearly, cognition is an issue. But our desire to create clear-cut heroes and villains in American history, or any history for that matter, will fail at best. Parents and teachers often battle for the representation of marginalized groups in textbooks. But, they rarely argue over whether or not America is an exceptional nation (Zimmerman).(3) Our approach to teaching and systemizing a heritage of American children’s literature should emphasize that this is a great nation shaped by imperfect people, whether dominant or marginalized. It’s complicated. Those we might see as heroes don’t always win or dominate “the bad guys.” In Belpré’s folklore, she often underlined this sense of imperfection. For example, she showed that even though the Tainos had beautiful values and bravery, they didn’t win every battle against the Spaniards (Once in Puerto Rico, 1977). Even the Medal named in her honor symbolizes this sense of complicated, converging histories in its use of the term “Latino/a.” This one term—which some even within our communities cannot agree upon—stands for those who represent multiple nations, histories, languages, and races. It’s not a perfect term. Nor, as my father always tells me, is this a perfect world. Sooner or later, our young people are going to learn that apart from any storybook or textbook. The pressure to present a perfect America often means that we erase the voices of the marginalized.
Here are some practical ways these principles might play out in the classroom:
For further reading:
Pura Belpré Lights the Storyteller’s Candle: Reframing the Legacy of a Legend and What it Means for the Fields of Latino/a Studies and Children’s Literature by Marilisa Jiménez-García in CENTRO Journal.
The Kenneth and Geraldine Gell Poetry Prize is awarded annually by Writers & Books for an outstanding unpublished book-length collection of poetry. The poet will receive an honorarium of $1000, publication of the collection (in paperback, in the fall following the award, with Big Pencil Press), and a one-week fellowship at the Gell Center of the Finger Lakes. This year, the final judge will be Cornelius Eady.
Eligibility: Open to poets who are citizens or legal residents of the United States, are at least 18 years of age, and are not employees or relatives of employees of Writers & Books, Inc.
• Manuscripts must be postmarked December 1, to January 31, 2015. Any manuscripts mailed outside of that period cannot be accepted.
• Manuscripts cannot be accepted by email.
• Submit a book-length manuscript of poems (no illustrations), 50 to 100 pages in length.
• Download the entry form from www.wab.org, fill it out, and attach it to your manuscript. To receive an entry form by mail, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Writers & Books at the address below.
• Manuscripts must be the author’s own original work. No translations, please.
• Include an entry fee of $25 (non-refundable) by check or money order payable to Writers & Books. If you send more than one manuscript, each must be accompanied by a separate entry form and a separate check.
• As work will be judged anonymously, each manuscript must include two cover pages. The first must have the book’s title, author’s name, and all the author’s contact information. The second must have the book title only, with no author’s name and no contact information. Do not include a bio note, or any other feature that might include the author’s real name or pen name.
• Format: Use regular white 8 ½ X 11” paper, black ink, with font of 11- or 12- points. One poem per page. Absolutely no handwritten manuscripts will be accepted.
• You must notify Writers & Books immediately by phone or by mail if your manuscript wins another competition, or is accepted for publication elsewhere.
• Poems in your manuscript may have been published in magazines, journals, on line, in anthologies, or in a chapbook. But the manuscript as a whole must be unpublished as a single book. Previously self-published books are not eligible.
• Winner will be notified not later than April 7, 2015.
• Include a self-addressed, stamped postcard if you want to be assured that the manuscript has been received.
• Include a self-addressed, stamped No. 10 business envelope if you want to receive contest winner notification.
• Once a book has been sent, do not send changes or new pages for insertion. If your manuscript wins, you will have a chance to make changes before publication.
• Manuscripts will not be returned; do not send postage stamps or mailer for the return of a manuscript.
• The foregoing information is the complete listed guidelines. Do not call Writers & Books for further information.
Send manuscript, check, and entry form to:
Writers & Books
740 University Ave.,
Rochester, NY 14607
CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY POETRY CENTER BOOK CONTESTS
Here is the first newsletter for Crystal Pen Publishing, the new publishing name for my Kindle books. Hope you like it! Please give me some feedback about what you would like to see in the next issue!Add a Comment
The big New Year's event in the childlit blogosphere is the announcement of the Cybils Award finalists. I have two New England SCBWI colleagues on the Nonfiction for Elementary & Middle Grades list, Melissa Stewart and Loree Griffin Burnes. One of the books I read during my Cybils reading binge, The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern, made the Middle Grade Fiction list.
Congratulations to all the nominees and finalists. The winners will be announced Valentine's Day.
Zac’s Destiny, winner of The Book Awards for a Kindle title 2014!
Available on Kindle from Amazon worldwide.
Caution: Witch in Progress, The Book Awards runner-up for printed book of the year and gaining highest number of votes for a fiction title 2014!Add a Comment
The Journal's Non/Fiction Collection Prize
The Ohio State University Press, The OSU MFA Program in Creative Writing, and The Journal are happy to announce that we are now accepting submissions for our annual Non/Fiction Collection Prize (formerly The Short Fiction Prize)! Submit unpublished book-length manuscripts of short prose.
Each year, The Journal selects one manuscript for publication by The Ohio State University Press. In addition to publication under a standard book contract, the winning author receives a cash prize of $1,500.
We will be accepting submissions for the prize from now until February 14th. Further information about the prize is below. Best of luck!
Entries of original prose must be between 150-350 double-spaced pages in 12-point font. All submissions must include a $20.00 nonrefundable handling fee.
Submit an unpublished manuscript of short stories or essays; two or more novellas or novella-length essays; a combination of one or more novellas/novella-length essays and short stories/essays; a combination of stories and essays. Novellas or novella-length nonfiction are only accepted as part of a larger work.
All manuscripts will be judged anonymously. The author's name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript.
Prior publication of your manuscript as a whole in any format (including electronic or self-published) makes it ineligible. Individual stories, novellas or essays that have been previously published may be included in the manuscript, but these must be identified in the acknowledgments page. Translations are not eligible.
Authors may submit more than one manuscript to the competition as long as one manuscript or a portion thereof does not duplicate material submitted in another manuscript and a separate entry fee is paid. If a manuscript is accepted for publication elsewhere, it must be withdrawn from consideration.
The Ohio State University employees, former employees, current OSU MFA students, and those who have been OSU MFA students within the last ten years are not eligible for the award.
See the full guidelines and a list of past winners here.
Submit online through Submittable.
The Department of English at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and GRASSROOTS,SIUC's undergraduate literary magazine, are pleased to announce the 2015 Devil's Kitchen Reading Awards.
One book of poetry (book-length work or single-author collection of poems), one book of fiction (novel, novella, or single-author short fiction collection) and one book of prose nonfiction (literary nonfiction, memoir, or single-author essay collection) will be selected from submissions of single-author titles published in 2014, and the winning authors will receive an honorarium of $1000.00 and will present a public reading and participate in panels at the Devil's Kitchen Fall Literary Festival at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois.
The dates for the 2015 festival will be October 21-23, 2015. Travel and accommodations will be provided for the three winners.
Entries may be submitted by either author or publisher, and must include a copy of the book, a cover letter, a brief biography of the author including previous publications, and a $20.00 entry fee made out to "SIUC - Dept. of English." Entrants wishing to submit entry fees electronically should e-mail a request to:
grassrootsmagATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )
and they will be sent a link to pay by PayPal or credit card.
Entries must be postmarked December 1, 2014 - February 2, 2015. Materials postmarked after February 1 will be returned unopened. Because we cannot guarantee their return, all entries will become the property of the SIUC Department of English. Entrants wishing acknowledgment of receipt of materials must include a self-addressed stamped postcard.
Judges will come from the faculty of SIUC's MFA Program in Creative Writing and the award winners will be selected by the staff of GRASSROOTS. The winners will be notified in May 2015. All entrants will be notified of the results by e-mail in June 2015.
The three awards are open to single-author titles published in 2014 by independent, university, or commercial publishers. The winners must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and must agree to attend and participate in the 2015 Devil's Kitchen Fall Literary Festival (October 21-23, 2015) to receive the award. Entries from vanity presses and self-published books are not eligible. Current students and employees at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and authors published by Southern Illinois University Press are not eligible.
Contest for Fiction, Poetry, and Cross-Genre Manuscripts
The deadline for the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prizes is 30 November 2014.
This year two manuscripts will be chosen, rather than one. In addition to publication, each author will receive $1000 ($500 cash, $500 book-tour expenses) plus 25 copies.
Books will be published in Spring 2016, in time for AWP Los Angeles. Submission fees are sliding scale, $20-30, and each entrant is eligible to receive a free TS book from our catalogue in return for an SASE.
Individual works in manuscript submissions are also automatically considered for publication in Tarpaulin Sky Literary Journal.
Founded in 2002 as an online magazine, Tarpaulin Sky Press began publishing books in 2006, focusing on cross-genre / trans-genre / hybrid forms as well as innovative poetry and prose. Although known for their staunch refusal to fit neatly into genre conventions, Tarpaulin Sky Press titles are nonetheless reviewed positively in a wide variety of popular venues, including After Ellen, Huffington Post, The Nation, NPR Books, Publishers Weekly, Time Out New York, and VICE, as well as in small-press venues such as American Book Review, Bloomsbury Review, Bookslut, HTML Giant, Hyperallergic, Iowa Review, Review of Contemporary Fiction, The Rumpus, and TriQuarterly.
Please see the 2015 Book Prizes guidelines page for full details.
Great News! Zac’s Destiny won the online People’s Book Awards for the month of October 2014! Thank you so much to everyone who voted.
This award winning Sword & Sorcery fantasy is available to purchase from Amazon worldwide.
Great News! Zac’s Destiny won the online People’s Book Awards for the month of October 2014! Thank you so much to everyone who voted.
This award winning Sword & Sorcery fantasy is available to purchase from Amazon worldwide.
Writers, use some of your free time this holiday season to give us the gift of reading and considering your work! Prairie Schooner is always on the lookout for poetry, fiction, essays, and reviews. Click here to visit our Submittable page.
The Prairie Schooner blog is currently looking for special submissions on the theme of Women and the Global Imagination to be featured online in January and February. Deadline for submissions is January 15. Click here for more info.
Finally, if you've been working on a fiction or poetry manuscript, get it ready, because the Prairie Schooner Book Prize begins accepting submissions on January 15, 2015. Winners receive $3,000 and publication through the University of Nebraska Press. Click here for all the details.
The 2015 San Francisco Book Festival has issued a call for entries to its annual program celebrating the best books of the spring.
The San Francisco Book Festival will consider non-fiction, fiction, biography/autobiography, children's books, compilations/anthologies, young adult, how-to, cookbooks, science fiction, business, history, wild card, gay, photography/art, poetry, unpublished, technology and spiritual/religious works. There is no date of publication restriction.
Grand prize for the 2015 San Francisco Book Festival winner is $1500 cash appearance fee and a flight to San Francisco for our gala awards ceremony on May, 2015. Exact date TBD.
Submitted works will be judged by a panel of industry experts using the following criteria: 1) General excellence and the author's passion for telling a good story. 2) The potential of the work to reach a wider audience.
Deadline submissions in each category must be received by the close of business on April 25, 2015. Winners in each category will be notified by e-mail and on the web site.
Read more at our website.