Category Archives: Contests, Grants and Awards

Book Review: Reparation

I’m sharing this book review that came in for Reparation, my latest novel. It won Honorable Mention in a contest, and this is what the judge had to say. A description of the story is pasted below the review.

[The] language has a well-crafted poetry, an impression that is immediate and indelible. And [the] backstory is quick-moving…so heartbreaking.

This continuing balance between old ways and modern life is a fascinating tension. Manitou’s character grows and grows in complexity [while the] hero [goes] through absolute hell. It’s a huge and compelling struggle.

Just a beautifully written book. The theme is endlessly compelling and I enjoy the genuineness of the cultural knowledge. It’s a fascinating fusion of forms and, when it comes down to it, a hugely suspenseful thriller with a fascinatingly complex villain.

–Writer’s Digest Judge, 4th Annual Self-Published Ebook Awards

Shortlisted for Three National Fiction Awards

In this compulsive novel that marries the spirit stories of Louise Erdrich (The Round House) with the fantasy tinged realism of Sherman Alexie’s The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, a short vacation turns into a sinister game to save a sister.

“Whatever is dangerous, let me do it…I am supposed to die.”

The words from an ancient warrior’s song ring through the centuries to find Aidan Little Boy, a Lakota Sioux man intent on rescuing his sister from a religious cult.

When Aidan Little Boy visits his sister at her church’s South Dakota headquarters, he hopes the minister’s reputation as a faith healer is real. But Gidgee Manitou is something far more powerful…and more dangerous.

As the Reparation ceremony draws near, secrets long buried rise to the surface like souls plucked from their graves. The ghosts of warriors past chant the sacred Tokala song, telling Aidan that in this battle, lives must be lost to save the innocents.

A profoundly moving story about the abiding love between siblings and the strength of romantic love, Reparation is both a gripping page-turner and an emotionally charged journey through the brittle first tendrils of love into the power–and destructive capabilities–of love in its many forms.



Wattpad YA Contest

A group of authors with debut novels launching in 2015 called the Freshman Fifteens has teamed up with online writing community Wattpad for a writing contest. Entries are open now.

The Common Room Teen Mentoring Contest will pair 15 winning authors aged 13 to 19 with a member of the Freshman Fifteens. The established authors will mentor the teens through the writing and publishing process. The 15 winning entries will also be published in Common Room, an anthology being put out by Wattpad in January 2015.

This is a great chance for adults who are in the lives of teens to encourage their writing dreams. I’ve had the chance to work with teenagers through Writer’s Resource, and every time it has been a fantastic, high-energy experience. My clients, although young, achieved publication, and it changed their lives. Help out your best teen pal by telling them about this contest!

Kirkus Offers Three $50K Prizes

Kirkus Reviews, one of the best-known outlets for book reviews, has created three new literary awards. Each carries a $50,000 prize, and are among the largest cash awards in the literary world.

The categories will award one prize each to fiction, nonfiction, and juvenile books. Only books that have received a starred review in the magazine will be eligible. Since the magazine has included self-published works for a while, and is now integrating self-pub reviews into the reviews of traditionally published books, this is a great opportunity for the best books to shine.

World’s Best Story Contest

The first World’s Best Story contest is looking for the next blockbuster novel. After posting a sample of work, authors will be reviewed by online readers who can cast their votes during different stages.

The contest is looking for a story that will work well in many mediums: as a book, a film, a video game, etc. Authors have an opportunity to get their book published if they win, as well as see it developed in other mediums. The contest is open for initial entries now through Aug 12.

Do note that by submitting, authors sign over first rights in ALL formats. So although the prizes add up, be aware that the winner might not receive additional payments for other media uses…and that’s not standard for the traditional publishing route. Also note that the prizes are not cash; they are amounts that can be used at different retailers.

To submit or review the rules yourself, check out this link for Fast Pencil.

Artist Colonies

I’m currently on a six-week residency program to work on the first draft of my new novel. Residency programs are offered by a number of organizations, including artist colonies. Having one or more listed on your resume can capture attention from agents and publishers; during the program, you can often expand your network of arts administrators and fellow authors.

Check out the Alliance of Artists Communities for information on many colonies that accept authors.