We have to celebrate each step of success rather than each step toward success. Once a goal is met, there is always another mountain to climb. I may not have "made it", but one more box is checked. Secrets of the King's Daughter has officially been nominated for a 2016 Whitney Award, an awards program for novels written by LDS authors! It will be entered in the Historical Romance category. Thank you to those who felt it worthy of nomination. The nominees will be whittled down to five finalists in each category. As a first-time published author and if I become a finalist, I am also eligible for the Best Novel by a New Author.
Judging: Nominees are "voted on by an academy of industry professionals, including authors, publishers, bookstore owners, distributors, critics, and others."
According to the Whitney Awards website, "We do not give a rubric to our judges or to the Academy awards because this is a reader based award rather than a literary one. We choose judges who are sophisticated and critical readers and allow them to make their own judgements on writing quality and content. Doing otherwise (screening nominees based on content and writing quality) would be both time-consuming and based on subjective reasoning, therefore we have only required that the author be a member of the LDS church. All other factors such as content, language, and craft, are to be judged by each individual person voting in the award process."
It's moments like this that keep us less-experienced authors pushing forward toward success and validation for the many hours spent on our craft. We might write for months or years with little feedback until that big moment of public sharing. Any encouragement you can give to your writer friends is greatly appreciated. Thank you to those who organize and recognize a writer's efforts with awards such as this. I must wait until next February before finding out who the finalists are, but this step of my dream is realized. It's time for a little chocolate and then I'm pumped to write some more.