The Whitney Awards, Irreantum submissions and an Angolan artist

A quick look at the Whitney Awards

By now, I’m sure all of AMV’s readers have seen the announcement of this year’s finalists for the Whitney Awards. Congratulations to AMV’s Jonathan Langford for being selected as a finalist in the General Fiction category. He is also eligible for the best novel by a new author award. Full disclosure: I am not a Whitney voter. I believe Theric is. I don’t know if anybody else associated with AMV is. Updated disclosure, 3/21/2010: Rob Wells convinced me to be a Whitney Awards voter. I will be for sure voting in the Speculative Fiction and Historical Fiction categories. It is also quite likely that I will be able to finish reading the novels in the General Fiction category, as well.

I’ve compiled a quick breakdown of who published the finalists. It’s a pretty decent mix, actually:

Covenant:  8

Deseret Book/Shadow Mountain: 5

Small/Indie/Self-Publishers: 8

National/International Publishers: 9

The YA category is dominated by national publishers as is Speculative Fiction. Covenant dominates Mystery/Suspense and splits Historical  with DB/Shadow Mountain (in fact David Farland’s self published In The Company of Angels is the only historical novel not published by a DB-owned imprint). Both General Fiction and Romance have a mix, with fully 4/5 of the Romance novels coming out of smaller Mormon presses. Notable titles not selected for the General Fiction category are Rift by Todd Robert Petersen (Zarahemla Books) and The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale (Bloomsbury). Since I’ve only read one novel in that category (No Going Back), I don’t know if that’s an oversight or not and don’t really care — in any awards process some titles are going to be left out.

Out of the finalists, there are three that I’m very interested in reading: Alma by H.B. Moore, Gravity vs. the Girl by Riley Noehren and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. And since I have yet to read any of Gerald Lund’s novels and DB sent me an unsolicited review copy, I plan on getting to The Undaunted as soon as I finish my book on the Etruscans. It’s a very hefty tome which means I can’t take it with me on my commute, which is where I get most of my reading done.

Irreantum’s new submissions policy

From Irreantum co-editor Angela Hallstrom:

Our submission window for our fiction and essay contests is from January 1 to May 31 each year.  Beginning in January 2010, all unsolicited fiction and creative nonfiction submissions received during our submission window will be considered for that year’s Irreantum Fiction Contest and the Charlotte and Eugene England Personal Essay contest, respectively, and must be submitted according to contest rules. Any submission received outside the submission window will not be considered; however, we encourage authors to consider resubmitting the following year after January 1st.

So, in short: we will only accept unsolicited fiction and creative nonfiction during our submission window (Jan 1-May 31); all unsolicited fiction and creative nonfiction will be considered for our annual contest; all submissions must adhere to contest rules. In addition, simply because a story or essay does not place in our annual contest does not mean that we might not consider publishing that piece.

Poetry, critical essay, and review submissions will still be considered year-round and are not associated with any contests.

I suppose this makes sense, especially since with two issues per year, one is already filled with the contest winners so all you really need are 3-5 additional pieces of fiction and 1-3 pieces of creative nonfiction to round out the year. The comment about resubmitting is nice, too. But since that’s the new plan: any chance we could get the word count upped to 10k? Or how about 17,500 (the word count the SFWA considers a novelette)?

Mormon Artists Group profiles Hildebrando de Melo

Finally, Mormon Artists Group has posted an interview with LDS Angolan painter Hildebrando de Melo (click on what’s new — from some strange reason MAG doesn’t provide direct URLs to its individual pages). You can view de Melo’s work at the Agora Gallery website.

P.S. Andrew scooped me, but in case you didn’t see his comment — Signature Books is back in publishing mode and has posted a list of forthcoming titles. I’m very much looking forward to the collection of Jack Harrell short stories that is due out this May.

12 thoughts on “The Whitney Awards, Irreantum submissions and an Angolan artist”

  1. Thanks. I’m not clever, but now I know that it can be done, I’ve discovered a web page that reveals the trick — right click and open the link in a new window.

    And: Ah, okay. I knew you were eligible.

  2. I’m a member of the Whitney academy, as of about a month ago. It looks like anyone who’s had a novel published in the last 3 years can become a member by contacting them.

    That said, I don’t know if I’ll be voting this year. In order to vote for any category, they’ve instituted a rule saying you have to read all the finalists for that category. It’s a good rule, I think (and certainly good news for me, since it means more people might read my novel — which Chris will be supplying free in PDF form to Whitney voters). But given how hard I find it to read individual novels these days, I’m not sure I’ll be able to read all the finalists in any category…

  3. The problem with Irreantum upping the page count is that at 192 pages the postal rate takes a massive jump. (We have the same problem with BYU Studies.)

  4. All the more reason why Irreantum should serialize novelettes/novellas. But yes, postage rates are a killer.

  5. William, I personally really enjoyed Hotel and Gravity–I think you’re in for a treat with both. I, too, was totally surprised that Actor & the Housewife wasn’t a finalist.

    Over 2009, I made a point of targeting books that I thought might be finalists, and while I didn’t guess right all the time (I expected Farworld: Landkeep, among others, to be there), I guessed well enough that I have only 11 books to read before the academy ballots are due.

    The only real problem: Several are tomes, like Lund’s and Vandagriff’s. I’ll have my nose in a book a LOT over the next while!

  6. Wm, do you know if the de Melo interview is still available? (I can’t find it on the site.)

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