May 112012

At the conclusion of the 2012 LDStorymakers Conference, we were able to attend the 2011 Whitney Award Gala on Saturday night. Sheila, Mindy and I had the honor of presenting the 2011 Whitney Award for General Fiction to Rachel Ann Nunes for her book, Before I Say Goodbye. After the Gala, Sheila and I interviewed several people, including Jack Weyland, Josi Kilpack, Tess Hilmo, Brandson Sanderson, Dan Wells, Stephanie Black, Rachel Ann Nunes, Gale Sears, Don Carey, and Kirk Shaw. Enjoy!

Listen to the podcast here:


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Sister Weyland, Sheila, Jack Weyland, Shanda, Mindy

Sheila, Julie Wright, Mindy

Mindy, Stephanie Black, Sheila, Shanda, Tess Hilmo, Jenni James, Josi Kilpack (and that's Karen Hoover on the far left trying to sneak up on us. Nice try, sweetie!)


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Feb 192010
Abish Kim Grant promo shots 004 Podcast for February 19, 2010
Episode 40

In Episode 40, K.C. Grant, author of Abish: Daughter of God, joins us to discuss her first published novel. We had a fun and educational discussion with Kim as she explained her research and what inspired her to write Abish’s story. Visit her website to learn more:

Listen to the podcast here:


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Feb 052010

The announcement came out early this morning around 7:15. Here is the official press release….




Robison Wells, President, Whitney Awards



SALT LAKE CITY, UT: The Whitney Awards committee today announced the finalists for the 2009 Whitney Awards, a program which honors the best novels by Latter-day Saint writers.

To be eligible for consideration, a book must have received at least five nominations from its fans. More than one hundred works by new and established authors in both the LDS and national markets met the preliminary criteria. Once a book is nominated, juries of authors and critics narrow the nominees down to five finalists per category.

This year’s nominees are listed below in alphabetical order by author:

BEST ROMANCE: Counting the Cost, by Liz Adair; Illuminations of the Heart, by Joyce DiPastena; All the Stars in Heaven, by Michele Paige Holmes; Santa Maybe, by Aubrey Mace; Previously Engaged, by Elodia Strain.

MYSTERY/SUSPENSE: Lockdown, by Traci Hunter Abramson; Methods of Madness, by Stephanie Black; Murder by the Book, by Betsy Brannon Green; Lemon Tart, by Josi Kilpack; Altered State, by Gregg Luke.

YOUTH FICTION: Princess of the Midnight Ball, by Jessica Day George; Fablehaven IV: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary, by Brandon Mull; My Fair Godmother, by Janette Rallison; Bright Blue Miracle, by Becca Wilhite; The Chosen One, by Carol Lynch Williams.

SPECULATIVE: Servant of a Dark God, by John Brown; The Maze Runner, by James Dashner; Wings, by Aprilynne Pike; Warbreaker, by Brandon Sanderson; I Am Not A Serial Killer, by Dan Wells.

HISTORICAL: Tribunal, by Sandra Grey; The Undaunted, by Gerald Lund; Alma, by H.B. Moore; The Last Waltz, by G.G. Vandagriff; In the Company of Angels, by Dave Wolverton.

GENERAL FICTION: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford; No Going Back, by Jonathon Langford; Gravity vs. The Girl, by Riley Noehren; The Route, by Gale Sears; Eyes Like Mine, by Julie Wright.

This ballot now goes out to members of the voting academy, a select group of LDS publishers; bookstore owners, managers, and employees; LDS authors; print and online magazine publishers; reviewers; and others working in the field of LDS literature.

Unlike previous voting, this year the academy can choose from any of the thirty finalists for the overall award, Best Novel of the Year. Similarly, any of the finalists who meet the eligibility requirements can be chosen for Best Novel by a New Author. (Those eligible this year: John Brown, Jamie Ford, Jonathon Langford, Riley Noehren, Aprilynne Pike, Dan Wells, and Becca Wilhite.)

Winners will be announced at a gala banquet on Saturday, April 24 at the Marriott Hotel in Provo, Utah. Tickets are now on sale at

Special awards will also be presented that night to two persons whose bodies of works and tireless efforts have made a significant impact on the field of LDS popular fiction. Gerald Lund will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award, and Dave Wolverton will receive an Outstanding Achievement Award.

For more information on the Whitney Awards, visit

For a more colorful view of the nominees/books you need to go to

I am thrilled that I have already read 18 of the books that are nominated. I only have 12 more to read. I also want to add, I think that this years group of nominees are the best we have ever seen! Every category has excellent books. The final voting is going to be so hard.

I want to congratulate all of the nominees for this years Whitney Awards. I can’t wait for April 24th, when the winners will be announced. If you have never been before to the Gala, you need to be there this year. There is nothing else like it, to be able to rub shoulders with some of your favorite authors. The food is really also very good and it is fun to dress up for the evening.

Once again, check out the list of nominees and get reading. I promise you that you won’t be disappointed.

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Apr 252009
Podcast forApril 25, 2009
Episode 33

It’s Whitney Award time again! In Episode 33, we interview so many wonderful authors and Storymaker Conference attendees! We talk to several Whitney Award finalists as well as Whitney Award winners after the Gala, and we hope you’ll have as much fun listening to this podcast as we had recording it! AND I found Bron Bahlmann’s interview with us (which I apologize in the intro for losing) so I’ve added that in as well.

Listen to the podcast here:


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Mar 222009
Podcast for March 22, 2009
Episode 31

Hillary, Sheila, and I discuss several books many of which are Whitney Award finalists.

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Feb 132009
Podcast for February 13, 2009
Episode 29

In Episode 29, we discuss a large number of books we were able to read in the month of January. There’s something for everyone, enjoy!

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