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Awards Essays

Whitney Award Winners represented graphically

One of my biggest worries about the Whitney awards is that the same people are nominated and win over and over again. Despite efforts to recognize debut authors and adding categories to recognize more authors there does seem to be a diversity problem. I wanted to wrap my head around how bad this problem actually is in a statistical manner. The most egregious offender is the Mystery/Suspense category where two writers hold 66% of the Mystery/Suspense awards. If you add Kilpack, three writers hold 83% of the Mystery Suspense awards. I assumed the problem would be with the Speculative Fiction …

Essays Mormon Literature

Turn yourself into a Mormon literature curator for your local community

I’ve discovered the coolest thing ever. The Library Item Request. Seriously.  World changing! Did you know that you can walk into your library and make suggestions as to what books they purchase for your community? Did you know that they will listen to you? I’m living proof. I have personally, as of this moment, curated a collection of Sarah M. Eden novels for my local community. The first time I made an item request, I felt like I had to convince the library that it was worth their time. I’m a Mormon who lives in Pennsylvania and we’re a rare …

Essays Mormon Literature

An Essay about Anita–

I can sense the eye rolls now. Anita Stansfield is not considered a great literary writer. She’s scoffed at for writing cheesy romance novels. She’s an example, for some people, of all that is wrong with LDS fiction–melodramatic, preachy, bad writing. I’d go far as to say these accusations are not all baseless. I’ve read around 28 of her 72+ published titles. So, basically, all of her early work. It would be entirely believable that her weaknesses have improved over the course of 40 novels. So, take these opinions in that context. Notwithstanding, Anita’s reputation for writing the type of …

Essays

Why we love underworld stories: Part one–Revealing Character

The vision of Drythemlm I think illustrates one of the key draws of Underworld literature in the classical or Christian tradition. These stories reveal the participant’s true character and often the character of the actors they see punished. In Alderik’s Quest I portray Iritana with the ability to intuitively see a person’s character. She uses this skill to direct the shades she meets to a better end in the story because justice has been supernaturally thwarted. The revealing of character in the underworld is a common trope. These visionary and underworld stories make us confront the true nature of humanity. …