AMV bloggers and friends are taking part in two interesting Mormon literature events this week, and I invite all our readers to participate as well.
LDS Publisher contest
Voting recently opened in LDS Publisher’s Book of Mormon Story Contest. The contest features young adult fiction stories with a Book of Mormon setting by both published and unpublished authors. Theric Jepson and I both submitted entries as did AMV reader/commenter David J. West. A few other AMV readers may also have participated (if so, let us know in the comments). And no, we aren’t going to tell which stories are ours — that’s against the rules.
Now, you may be asking yourself: do I really want to wade through 26 pieces of fiction (16 if you just read and vote for the published authors)? Probably not, but you should anyway — some stories are better than others, but all of them are interesting in how the engage with the Book of Mormon.
AML Annual Meeting
The Association for Mormon Letters will hold its annual meeting this Saturday, Feb. 27, at Utah Valley University Library in Orem. The theme of the program is “”˜One Eternal Round’: Mormon Literature Past, Present, and Future” and AMVers Tyler Chadwick, Harlow Clark, Patricia Karamesines and Katherine Morris will all be presenting. So will other folks whose names should be familiar to our readers — in particular: Lisa Tait, Ardis Parshall, Gideon Burton, Angela Hallstrom, Lee Allred and James Goldberg. If you are within driving distance, you should go — not only because of the interesting presentations and excellent company, but also because the meeting will feature a rare screening of the 1931 film “Corianton: A Story of Unholy Love.”
This story is for the fans of modern, gritty literary fiction. If you aren’t one, then skip it because next week we’ll start a run of stories by people connected to AMV. Submissions continue to come in — we’re up to 25 total — but if you have something good, please don’t hesitate to toss it in to the spreadsheet. The form is below.
But I do it a disservice by using terms like gritty and literary. It’s a good story. The Mormon-ness is used well and used thoroughly. If you like Cormac McCarthy or Flannery O’Connor (or extrapolate from those two names to get to your favorite authors if possible), then you should give it a try.
Title: Sign of the Gun
Author: P.D. Mallamo
Publication Info: Granta Online, April 28, 2008
Submitted by: Theric Jepson
Why?: “This was the first story published as part of GRANTA’s New Voices series. Mallamo who is a Mormon* from Arizona and attended BYU which, he says, ‘In cultural terms…was a lot like going to school overseas and having to learn a new language, and as such was one of the great experiences of my life’—–
This story is heavy on the Mormonism and an email to myself reminding me to read it has been staring at me since mid-April 2008. I may never actually read it if you don’t pick it, William, and I really want to.”
Content Warning: Some violence and drug references. Oddly enough, there’s no profanity.
Submit to Short Story Friday
Possible online sources of stories and link to spreadsheet with current submissions
All Short Story Friday posts so far
* Corrected 5/15: Th has found a source that suggest that Mallamo is Mormon.
Wm writes: Every year since 2000, Andrew Hall has put together a Year in Review for all of the major genres of Mormon letters. It is an amazingly detailed work that is both fun to read and important both as a bibliography and as a gauge of the state of Mormon literature. AMV is pleased to bring you Andrew’s Year in Review for 2008, beginning with a look at Mormon authors being published in the national market.
Andrew Hall’s Mormon Literature Year in Review — Part 1a: National market books
The publishing story of 2008 was a Mormon author, Stephenie Meyer. Meyer was one of three Mormon authors who reached the top of the New York Times Hardcover Fiction Bestseller list, the first Mormon authors to reach that position since 1995. In fact, there were more Mormon-authored novels on the best seller lists in 2008 than ever before. None of these best sellers contained openly Mormon characters or concepts, however. Vampires, romance, heart-warming tales of Christmas, and speculative fiction was what brought the Mormon authors to the top.
The world in 2008 was Stephenie Meyer’s. She is the biggest publishing phenomenon since J. K. Rowling. Little, Brown released her adult science fiction novel The Host in May, and it went to the top of the Times’ Hardcover list. By the end of the year it was still at #5 on that list. August saw the release of the fourth and final volume of her Twilight series, Breaking Dawn. The series has dominated the Times’ Children’s Series list for the last two years (the Times created the Children’s bestseller list in 2000 to clear all of the Harry Potter books off of the main hardcover and paperback lists, and the Children’s Series list in 2004 to consolidate each series into a single entry). At the end of the year the USA Today list, which is a single list for all fiction, hardcover and paperback, had the four Twilight books occupying 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th places, with The Host down at 22nd. Without a doubt Meyer was the best selling fiction author of 2008. Bookscan estimates her total at almost 15 million units sold in 2008. Also, the movie version of the first volume in the Twilight series was released in the fall, and was a box office success. Continue reading “Andrew’s Mormon Literature Year in Review: National Market 2008, Part Ia”