Marilyn Brown novel award: deadline is Oct. 1

There’s just over a month left to prepare your unpublished manuscript to enter the Marilyn Brown novel award. The winner receives a $1,000 stipend. For details, visit Marilyn Brown’s author site as well as the UVU page for the award.

Make sure you check the full list of requirements, but it does need to be mainstream fiction (past winners have ranged in their literariness), and it should either focus on cultural experiences (of any type) in the Utah region or on the LDS experience in the Utah region or elsewhere.

Jen Wahlquist, Associate Professor of English, at Utah Valley University is administering the award again this year, and as in the past, the winner will be honored at the English & Literature department’s spring banquet.

This award has gone to some excellent novels over the years so if you have a manuscript that needs a little work or a quick polish (or you’re a very fast writer), go for it.

We’ll be sure to publish the results next year here at AMV.

A Q&A with Robert Goble author of Across A Harvested Field

Cover for Across A Harvested Field by Robert GobleRobert Goble’s novel Across A Harvested Field (Amazon |  Parables) won the Marilyn Brown unpublished novel award earlier this year. Before we get to the interview, here’s the back cover blurb so you have a sense of what the novel is about (and also note its spiffy new cover art):

“To Jordan Fairchild, the dark-haired girl renting his basement apartment seems somewhat quiet and reclusive. Just a business arrangement, he thinks, as he watches her sign the name “Nattie Hand” on the contract. Though two thousand miles away, Celeste Betancourt, an attractive Georgetown graduate student he met through a mutual friend, has captured his attention. A budding friendship with Nattie soon begins to bloom. Little does Jordan know his girl-next-door renter is none other than the world-famous pop star, a.k.a. Natalia Antonali, who recently disappeared from the public eye; little does he know how much his friendship will come to mean to her, how, for the first time a love begins to grow, untainted by “Natalia,” and how she hopes Jordan never discovers the truth.”

For more about Robert, see his Facebook page, and read this LDS Living profile written by my sister Katherine.

I think by now most of our readers have heard about how you wrote Across A Harvested Field primarily during your lunch breaks at the school you work at as well as in the evening at home. I’d like to go back further than that — when and how did you first decide to begin writing fiction? And what was the genesis for the story that became Across a Harvested Field?

I’ve always been a book lover. There were periods of time when I would devour one author’s works after another, whatever I could get my hands on. As a younger reader I tended to focus on authors like Stephen King, Orson Scott Card, Tom Clancy, and Frank Herbert–King and Card being my all time favorites. I look back and picture myself the classic loner bookworm with the aversion to sports, sort of an artsy type who listened to Led Zepplin and wrote bad poetry. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I whole-heartedly discovered the meatier diets, the likes of Tom Wolfe, John Updike, Chaim Potok, John Steinbeck, Charles Dickens, and many, many others I could go on naming. Continue reading “A Q&A with Robert Goble author of Across A Harvested Field”

John Bennion wins Marilyn Brown Novel Award for “Avenging Saints”

John Bennion has been awarded the Marilyn Brown Unpublished Novel Award for Avenging Saints. The award was announced at an April 21 event sponsored by Utah Valley University’s Department of English & Literature.

Associate Professor Jen Wahlquist, who is now administering the contest, graciously provided me with the text of the award citation (reproduced below).

This is the sixth time the award has been given out. Previous winners include Jack Harrel’s Vernal Promises (published by Signature Books), Mormonville by Jeff Call (published by Cedar Fort), House Dreams by Janean Justham (unpublished?), The Coming of Elijah by Arianne Cope (Parables Publishing), and Rift by Todd Robert Petersen (forthcoming from Zarahemla Books).

The Association for Mormon Letters is still involved in the award to a certain extent

Although the AML was involved in awards process for the first five winners, the funding for the contest now resides with UVU (link is to a PowerPoint), and it is now going to be given out annually (links to PDF file).  For those unfamiliar with the long and varied creative career of Marilyn Brown, here’s a link to her Mormon Literature Database entry. In particular, I would recommend here novel House on the Sound. Continue reading “John Bennion wins Marilyn Brown Novel Award for “Avenging Saints””