All Things Literary Awards

The month of April was devoted to accepting nominations for the ALL THINGS LITERARY AWARDS. Once nominations closed, phase two kicked into gear. To begin, all ineligible entries were discarded. Sadly, that was a large number. Many simply did not follow instructions by including books outside the specified timeframe as well as incomplete entries.

They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but that’s exactly what we’re doing. In our case, the back covers. A book is a package and the back cover or the synopsis is very much a part of that package. Many use it as a review tool to see if a book is worth their time. That is what our first committee is doing. They are scouring over the synopses of all eligible nominations. Like the final judging process, it is done so blindly. Books are narrowed down based on their synopsis minus the book’s title, author’s name and any other identifying information. The committee is looking for well-written, provocative book descriptions. Creativity and quality are crucial elements.

While a synopsis may catch one’s attention, it’s what’s inside the book that holds one’s attention. Excerpts of the nominated works are also taken into consideration. Again, it is done so blindly. And as with the synopses, our committee is looking for quality and intriguing excerpts that make them want to read more.

The final nominations will be those that ranked the highest by the committee.

It is important to us to create an awards event based on the merit of work and simply not a popularity contest. Authors pour their blood, sweat and tears and days, months and years into their work and we want to recognize them. We want to celebrate great writing. We want to celebrate great writers. We hope that we are doing so with the ALL THINGS LITERARY AWARDS. By using a blind process in nominations and final judging, it does not matter who an author is, who the publisher is, where an author lives, who an author is friends with, how many/few books an author has, or how popular an author is on social networking sites. Authors are on an equal playing field and all that matters is writing.

Once the final nominees have been chosen, it will be up to our judges to have the final say. We set out to create a panel of fair, honest and discerning judges. Serious consideration was given to who would make up this panel. We sought judges of all ages, both sexes with various reading palettes from all over. We wanted avid readers that could dissect books for their strengths and weaknesses and would not simply be wowed by glamour, drama, sex, or action. This panel will have until the end of August to read the nominated works while agreeing to remain anonymous to further ensure the integrity of the process. The panel will evaluate the books on elements key to writing such as development, creativity and quality. The nominees will be announced to the public after the judging is over, and the winners will be announced at OOSA’s Annual Pajama Jam on October 25, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri.

In addition, the Brenda Hampton Honorary Literacy Award winner will be announced. The winner of this award represents unique individuals who put forth every effort to uphold the standards of African American Literature. This honor includes writers, reviewers, editors, and publishers, agents…all who have remained dedicated to the cause for years, who have inspired many others along the way and who have had a great impact on the industry as a whole. Recognizing and celebrating hard work, talent and quality.

Building an awards event you can be proud of! 

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