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John Bennion has been awarded the Marilyn Brown Unpublished Novel Award for Avenging Saints.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(published by Signature Books), Mormonville by Jeff Call (published by Cedar Fort), House Dreams by Janean Justham (unpublished?), The Coming of Elijah by Arianne Cope (Parables Publishing), and Rift by Todd Robert Petersen (forthcoming from Zarahemla Books).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””

Horror In Happy Valley: “Turn of the Screw” and “Nosferatu”

Something wicked this way comes to Utah Valley in the form of two shadowed shapes, masquerading as highly theatrical plays. The Turn of the Screw at The Covey Center for the Arts, and Nosferatu at Utah Valley University are both superb pieces of theater that deserve sold out audiences and loud applause. They both boast superb casts and visionary directors. If you live in the Utah Valley area, run, yea, scream to the box office, if you have to. Whatever you do, pick up tickets to these shows, if you have the slightest enjoyment of theater or Halloween… you won’t regret it.

I remember thinking several years ago that Halloween seemed to be a missed opportunity when it came to Utah’s theater community.  The past few years, however, have seemed to alter that, as theater producers have been realizing how popular seasonal events like these can be. Not too many years ago the Hale Center Theater in Orem put on a superb production of Wait Until Dark. BYU recently finished up a production of the classic thriller Dial M For Murder (why they didn’t play it through Halloween is beyond me). Performances of plays as varied Blithe Spirit and Sweeney Todd and The Crucible have planned their productions around the haunting season this year. Utah Valley University seems to be making it a semi-regular tradition now, having not too many years ago put up my adaptation of Legends of Sleepy Hollow (to a completely sold out run… I’m telling you, Halloween sells) and now Nosferatu. Continue reading “Horror In Happy Valley: “Turn of the Screw” and “Nosferatu””