Whitney Awards

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The Whitney Awards are awards given annually for novels by LDS authors. Established in 2007, they are named after Orson F. Whitney, a prominent early member of the LDS. There are several categories for which novels may be nominated. The Whitney Awards are a semi-independent non-profit organization affiliated with the LDStorymakers, a guild for LDS authors.[1]

Categories[edit]

Due to the limited number of titles released by LDS authors, several of the genre awards have been combined (such as romance and women's fiction).[2]

There are currently eight genre categories:[3]

There are also two special awards:

  • Best Novel by a New Author
  • Novel of the Year

While the Whitney Committee has said that they hope to expand the number of genres in the future, they likely won't venture into other areas of LDS art, such as music, poetry, or non-fiction books.[citation needed]

Process[edit]

To be eligible, a novel must be written by an LDS author during the award year, and be at least 50,000 words long. Any reader can nominate a book. Once a book has received five or more nominations, it becomes an official nominee. The official nominees are presented to the Whitney Awards Committee which checks for eligibility and acts as a preliminary judging panel, reducing the number of nominees to no more than five per category.

Finally, ballots are sent to the Whitney Awards Academy, an invitation-only group consisting of authors, bookstore owners/managers, distributors, critics, and other industry professionals. By a popular vote, they decide on the winners.[4] The awards are presented at a dinner held at the conclusion of the annual LDStorymakers conference and writing "boot camp."[5]

Until the 2010 awards (presented 2011), books were not allowed to win in more than one category.

Name[edit]

The awards are named after Orson F. Whitney, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well as a poet and writer. In 1888, Elder Whitney delivered a speech entitled "Home Literature" in which he stated:

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.[6]

The phrase "We will yet have Miltons and Shakespeares of our own" has been adopted as the slogan of the Whitney Awards, and is printed on the trophy.

Winners and finalists 2007 - present[edit]

2007 (presented March 22, 2008)[7][8]
Best Novel of the Year Best Y/A Children's
Winner: On the Road to Heaven, by Coke Newell — Zarahemla Books
Other finalists
  • Dragonskin Slippers, by Jessica Day GeorgeBloomsbury
  • Out of Jerusalem: Land of Inheritance, by H.B. Moore — Covenant Communications
  • The Operative, by Willard Boyd Gardner — Covenant Communications
  • Upon the Mountains, by Gale Sears — Covenant Communications
Winner: Fablehaven 2: Rise of the Evening Star, by Brandon MullShadow Mountain
Other finalists
Best Novel by a New Author Best Speculative
Winner: Dragonskin Slippers, by Jessica Day George — Bloomsbury
Other finalists
  • Wet Desert, by Gary Hansen — Holeshot Press
  • Counting Stars, by Michele Paige Holmes — Covenant Communications
  • Beyond the Horizon, by Judy C. Olsen — Covenant Communications
  • On the Road to Heaven, by Coke Newell — Zarahemla Books
Winner: Book of a Thousand Days, by Shannon Hale — Bloomsbury
Other finalists
Best Romance/Women's Fiction Best Historical
Winner: Counting Stars, by Michele Paige Holmes — Covenant Communications
Other finalists
Winner: Out of Jerusalem: Land of Inheritance, by H.B. Moore — Covenant Communications
Other finalists
  • Beyond the Horizon, by Judy C. Olsen — Covenant Communications
  • On the Road to Heaven, by Coke Newell — Zarahemla Books
  • Spires of Stone, by Annette Lyon — Covenant Communications
  • Upon the Mountains, by Gale Sears — Covenant Communications
Best Mystery/Suspense Lifetime Achievement
Winner: Sheep's Clothing, by Josi Kilpack — Deseret Book
Other finalists
  • The Deep End, by Traci Hunter Abramson — Covenant Communications
  • Grave Secrets, by Marlene Austin — Covenant Communications
  • The Operative, by Willard Boyd Gardner — Covenant Communications
  • Hazardous Duty, by Betsy Brannon Green — Covenant Communications
2008 (presented April, 2009)[9][10][11][12]
Best Novel of the Year Best Youth Fiction
Winner: Traitor, by Sandra Grey
Other finalists
Winner: The 13th Reality, by James Dashner
Other finalists
Best Novel by a New Author Best Speculative Fiction
Winner: Bound on Earth, by Angela Hallstrom
Other finalists
  • The Reckoning, by Tanya Parker Mills
  • Spare Change, by Aubrey Mace
  • Traitor, by Sandra Grey
  • Waiting For the Light to Change, by Annette Hawes
Winner: The Hero of Ages, by Brandon Sanderson
Other finalists
Best Romance Best Historical
Winner: Spare Change, by Aubrey Mace
Other finalists
  • Seeking Persephone, by Sarah Eden
  • Servant to a King, by Sariah Wilson
  • The Sound of Rain, by Anita Stansfield
  • Taking Chances, by Shannon Guymon
Winner: Abinadi, by H. B. Moore
Other finalists
  • Isabelle Webb, Legend of the Jewel, by N. C. Allen
  • Master, by Toni Sorenson
  • The Ruby, by Jennie Hansen
  • Traitor, by Sandra Grey
Best Mystery/Suspense Best General Fiction
Winner: Fool Me Twice, by Stephanie Black
Other finalists
  • Above and Beyond, by Betsy Brannon Green
  • Do No Harm, by Gregg Luke
  • Freefall, by Traci Hunter Abramson
  • Royal Target, by Traci Hunter Abramson
Winner: Waiting For the Light to Change, by Annette Hawes
Other finalists
  • Bound on Earth, by Angela Hallstrom
  • The Reckoning, by Tanya Parker Mills
  • Fields of Home, by Rachel Ann Nunes
  • Keeping Keller, by Tracy Winegar
Lifetime Achievement Awards
2009 (presented April, 2010)[13][14]
Best Novel of the Year Best Youth Fiction
In the Company of Angels, by David Farland
Winner: The Chosen One, by Carol Lynch Williams
Other finalists
Best Novel by a New Author (tie) Best Speculative Fiction
Winner: Servant of a Dark God, by John Brown
Other finalists
Best Romance Best Historical
Winner: Counting the Cost, by Liz Adair
Other finalists
  • Illuminations of the Heart, by Joyce DiPastena
  • All The Stars in Heaven, by Michele Paige Holmes
  • Santa Maybe, by Aubrey Mace
  • Previously Engaged, by Elodia Strain
Winner: The Last Waltz, by G.G. Vandagriff
Other finalists
Best Mystery/Suspense Best General Fiction
Winner: Methods of Madness, by Stephanie Black
Other finalists
  • Lockdown, by Traci Hunter Abramson
  • Murder by the Book, by Betsy Brannon Green
  • Lemon Tart, by Josi Kilpack
  • Altered State, by Gregg Luke
Winner: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford
Other finalists
  • No Going Back, by Jonathan Langford
  • Gravity vs. The Girl, by Riley Noehren
  • The Route, by Gale Sears
  • Eyes Like Mine, by Julie Wright
Lifetime Achievement Award Outstanding Achievement Award
Gerald Lund
Dave Wolverton
2010 (presented May 7, 2011)[15][16][17]
Best Novel of the Year (tie) Best Youth Fiction – General
Winner: The Healing Spell, by Kimberley Griffiths Little
Other finalists
  • Glimpse, by Carol Lynch Williams
  • Missing In Action, by Dean Hughes
  • My Double Life, by Janette Rallison
  • Wolves, Boys, and Other Things That Might Kill Me, by Kristen Chandler
Best Novel by a New Author Best Youth Fiction – Speculative
Paranormalcy, by Kiersten White
Winner: Matched, by Ally Condie
Other finalists
Best Romance Best Speculative Fiction
Winner: Cross My Heart, by Julie Wright
Other finalists
  • Courting Miss Lancaster, by Sarah M. Eden
  • The Legend of Shannonderry, by Carol Warburton
  • Luck of the Draw, by Rachael Renee Anderson
  • Meg's Melody, by Kaylee Baldwin
Winner: The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
Other finalists
Best Mystery/Suspense Best Historical
Winner: Cold As Ice, by Stephanie Black
Other finalists
Winner: Trespass, by Sandra Grey
Other finalists
  • Alma The Younger, by H.B. Moore
  • Oh Say Can You See?, by L.C. Lewis
  • The Sheen on the Silk, by Anne Perry
  • The Silence of God, by Gale Sears
Best General Fiction
Winner: Band of Sisters, by Annette Lyon
Other finalists
2011 (presented May 5, 2012)[18][19][20]
Best Novel of the Year Best Novel by a New Author
I Don't Want to Kill You, by Dan Wells
With a Name Like Love, by Tess Hilmo
Outstanding Achievement Award Lifetime Achievement Award
Jack Weyland
Doug Thayer
Best Romance Best Speculative Fiction
Winner: Borrowed Light, by Carla Kelly
Other finalists
  • Count Down to Love, by Julie N. Ford
  • Captive Heart, by Michele Paige Holmes
  • The List, by Melanie Jacobson
  • Not My Type, by Melanie Jacobson
Winner: The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel, by Brandon Sanderson
Other finalists
Best Mystery/Suspense Best Historical
Winner: Rearview Mirror, by Stephanie Black
Other finalists
Winner: Letters in the Jade Dragon Box by Gale Sears
Other finalists
  • Daughter of Helaman, by Misty Moncur
  • Fires of Jerusalem, by Marilyn Brown
  • Isabelle Webb: The Pharaoh's Daughter, by N.C. Allen
  • Miss Delacourt Has Her Day, by Heidi Ashworth
Best Youth Fiction – General Best General Fiction
Winner: With a Name like Love, by Tess Hilmo
Other finalists
  • Girls Don't Fly, by Kristen Chandler
  • Pride & Popularity, by Jenni James
  • Sean Griswold's Head, by Lindsey Leavitt
  • Miles from Ordinary, by Carol Lynch Williams
Winner: Before I Say Goodbye, by Rachel Ann Nunes
Other finalists
Best Youth Fiction – Speculative
Winner: Variant, by Robison Wells
Other finalists
  • Tuesdays at the Castle, by Jessica Day George
  • Slayers, by C.J. Hill
  • My Unfair Godmother, by Janette Rallison
  • Shifting, by Bethany Wiggins
2012 (presented May 11, 2013)[21][22][23]
General Young Adult – Speculative
Winner:The Rent Collector by Camron Wright
Other finalists
Winner: Everneath by Brodi Ashton
Other finalists
Historical Young Adult – General
Winner: My Loving Vigil Keeping by Carla Kelly
Other finalists
  • Espionage by A. L. Sowards
  • Within the Dark Hills by Sian Ann Bessey
  • Spinster’s Folly by Marsha Ward
  • The Five Books of Jesus by James Goldberg
Winner: After Hello by Lisa Mangum
Other finalists
  • Finding June by Shannen Crane Camp
  • The Space Between Us by Jessica Martinez
  • The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back by Sariah Wilson
  • V is for Virgin by Kelly Oram
Romance Middle Grade
Winner: Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
Other finalists
  • Lady Outlaw by Stacy Henrie
  • Of Grace and Chocolate by Krista Lynne Jensen
  • Smart Move by Melanie Jacobson
  • Twitterpated by Melanie Jacobson
Winner: The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Other finalists
Best Mystery/Suspense Best Novel by New Author
Winner: Code Word by Traci Hunter Abramson
Other finalists
Winner: Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
Other finalists
  • Dancing on Broken Glass by Ka Hancock
  • The Five Books of Jesus by James Goldberg
  • Lady Outlaw by Stacy Henrie
  • Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
  • Everneath by Brodi Ashton
  • Espionage by A.L. Sowards
  • Freakling by Lana Krumwiede
  • The Epic Tales of a Misfit Hero by Matt Peterson
  • Of Grace and Chocolate by Krista Lynne Jensen
Speculative Best Novel of the Year
Winner: The Hollow City by Dan Wells
Other finalists
  • City of the Saints by D. J. Butler
  • Flight From Blithmore by Jacob Gowans
  • Earthbound by Theresa Sneed
  • The Penitent by C. David Belt
The Rent Collector by Camron Wright
Best Novel in Youth Fiction
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
2013
General Young Adult – General
Winner: Mile 21 by Sarah Dunster
Other finalists
  • Love Letters of the Angels of Death by Jennifer Quist
  • Road to Bountiful by Donald Smurthwaite
  • Ruby’s Secret by Heather B. Moore
  • The House at Rose Creek by Jenny Proctor
Winner: All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry
Other finalists
  • Chasing June by Shannen Crane Camp
  • Dead Girls Don’t Lie by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
  • Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt
  • The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
Historical Middle Grade
Winner: Esther the Queen by Heather B. Moore
Other finalists
  • Belonging to Heaven by Gale Sears
  • Safe Passage by Carla Kelly
  • The Mounds Anomaly by Phyllis Gunderson
  • Where the River Once Flowed by Jennie Hansen
Winner: The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Other finalists
  • Cragbridge Hall: The Inventor’s Secret by Chad Morris
  • RUMP: The True Story of Rumplestilskin by Liesel Shurtliff
  • Sky Jumpers by Peggy Eddleman
  • Wednesdays in the Tower by Jessica Day George
Romance Best Novel by New Author
Winner: Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson
Other finalists
  • Hearth Fires by Dorothy Keddington
  • Longing for Home by Sarah M. Eden
  • Second Chances by Melanie Jacobson
  • The Orchard by Krista Lynne Jensen
Winner: Pivot Point by Kasie West
Other finalists
  • The House at Rose Creek by Jenny Proctor
  • I, Spy by Jordan McCollum
  • Insomnia by J. R. Johansson
  • Cragbridge Hall: The Inventor’s Secret by Chad Morris
  • RUMP: The True Story of Rumplestilskin by Liesel Shurtliff
  • Sky Jumpers by Peggy Eddleman
Mystery/Suspense Best Novel of the Year
Winner: Deep Cover by Traci Hunter Abramson
Other finalists
  • Rocky Road by Josi S. Kilpack
  • I, Spy by Jordan McCollum
  • Finding Sheba by Heather B. Moore
  • Spy for a Spy by Jordan McCollum
Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson
Speculative Best Novel in Youth Fiction
Winner: Dark Memories by Jeffrey Scott Savage
Other finalists
    • Echo in Time by C. J. Hill
    • Heart of the Ocean by Heather B. Moore
    • The Witnesses by Stephanie Black
    • Winter Queen by Amber Argyle
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
Young Adult – Speculative Outstanding Achievement
Winner: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
Other finalists
  • Friends and Traitors: Slayers 2 by C. J. Hill
  • Insomnia by J. R. Johansson
  • Pivot Point by Kasie West
  • Blackout by Robison Wells
Rachel Ann Nunes
Lifetime Achievement
Blaine Yorgason

Committee[edit]

The Whitney Awards Committee acts as both the organizers and the preliminary judges of the Whitney Awards. Rules stipulate that the committee be made up of at least four members of LDStorymakers. Their positions are temporary, by invitation of the Whitney Awards Committee president (who is appointed by the LDStorymakers executive committee).

The 2011 committee included:

  • Josi Kilpack (President)
  • Annette Lyon
  • Heather Moore
  • Jana Parkin
  • Sarah M. Eden
  • Luisa Perkins

The 2009 committee included:[1]

  • Robison Wells, President
  • Julie Coulter Bellon
  • Danyelle Ferguson
  • John Ferguson
  • Crystal Leichty
  • Sheila Staley
  • Jaime Theler

Although Kerry Blair had been a member of the Whitney Awards Committee for two years, the other members of the committee "went behind her back" to name her the winner of a Lifetime Achievement Award for 2008.[12]

Criticism[edit]

One Mormon literature critic initially raised concerns with the heavy involvement of authors published by Covenant Communications in the awards process.[24] However when the finalists for 2007 were announced, this same commenter noted both that there was a wide spectrum of publishers represented, and that "Covenant publishes the lion’s share of Mormon market fiction."[8] This same critic later described the awards as "at best a reductive form of validation and criticism. Although let’s be honest: The Whitneys have way more credibility than the Grammys."[25]

After the 2011 nominations, criticism of the nomination process was common, though appreciation of the Whitney Awards themselves was also common.[26][27][28][29]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "About the Whitney Awards". whitneyawards.com. Whitney Awards. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  2. ^ Robison Wells (19 June 2007). "Whitney Awards Q&A". Six LDS Writers and A Frog. Blogspot. Retrieved 30 July 2009. 
  3. ^ http://whitneyawards.com/program-overview/
  4. ^ "Official Rules". whitneyawards.com. Whitney Awards. Retrieved 30 July 2009. 
  5. ^ De Groote, Michael (25 April 2009). "LDS writers attend a novel boot camp". MormonTimes.com. Retrieved 30 July 2009. 
  6. ^ Whitney, Orson F. (July 1888). "Home Literature". The Contributor (Transcription). Retrieved 2014-09-18 – via Mormon Literature, Association for Mormon Letters. 
  7. ^ "Whitney Awards honor LDS fiction writers". MormonTimes.com. 27 March 2008. Retrieved 30 July 2009. 
  8. ^ a b William Morris (19 January 2008). "The Whitney Awards — publishers tally". A Motley Vision. Retrieved 30 July 2009. 
  9. ^ Card, Orson Scott (27 April 2009). "Orson Scott Card's Whitney Award speech". MormonTimes.com. Retrieved 30 July 2009. "I feel deeply the honor of being given an award named for Orson F. Whitney ... I have long and proudly borne Elder Whitney's first name; now you have given me an award that bears his last name, too." 
  10. ^ De Groote, Michael (23 April 2009). "Best LDS novel of '08? Whitney Awards to weigh in". MormonTimes.com. Retrieved 30 July 2009. 
  11. ^ De Groote, Michael (26 April 2009). "Best LDS fiction named at Whitney Awards". MormonTimes.com. Retrieved 30 July 2009. 
  12. ^ a b De Groote, Michael (30 April 2009). "'08 Whitney Awards honor best LDS fiction". Deseret News. Retrieved 30 July 2009. 
  13. ^ "Whitney Award finalists announced". MormonTimes. 10 February 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  14. ^ "Whitney Awards Honor Wolverton, Lund". MormonTimes. 25 April 2010. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  15. ^ "Finalists Have Been Announced!". whitneyawards.com. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  16. ^ "2010 Winners". whitneyawards.com. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  17. ^ "Whitney Awards honor best in Mormon fiction". MormonTimes. 12 May 2011. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  18. ^ Finalists announcement on Whitney Awards website, accessed March 29, 2012
  19. ^ Announcement of winners on Whitney Awards website, accessed May 6, 2012
  20. ^ "Achievement Award Winners on Whitney Awards website, accessed May 9, 2012
  21. ^ 2012 Finalists announcement on Whitney Awards website, accessed January 14, 2013
  22. ^ Announcement of 2012 winners on Whitney Awards website, accessed January 14, 2013
  23. ^ "Achievement Award Winners on Whitney Awards website, accessed January 14, 2013
  24. ^ William Morris (8 August 2007). "Diversity or dilution? The Whitneys and BYU Studies Review". A Motley Vision. Retrieved 30 July 2009. 
  25. ^ William Morris (9 February 2009). "Whitney Awards 2008 Finalists announced (yep, that’s what I thought)". A Motley Vision. Retrieved 30 July 2009. 
  26. ^ Jessie Christensen (2 May 2012). "Mormon Authors writing Non-Mormon Inspirational Fiction (and accompanying comments)". Dawning of a Brighter Day, the Association for Mormon Letters blog. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  27. ^ Jonathan Langford (16 April 2012). "Whitney Youth Speculative Fiction Finalists 2011 (and accompanying comments)". A Motley Vision. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  28. ^ Jonathan Langford (8 March 2012). "Whitney General Fiction Finalists 2011". A Motley Vision. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  29. ^ Jonathan Langford (30 March 2012). "Whitney Youth Fiction General Finalists 2011". A Motley Vision. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]