FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15
A major change has come to the Whitney Awards! By unanimous vote, the Whitney Committee has elected to allow nominees to win in any category for which they are nominated. The previous rule, which allowed books to win in only one category, gave the second place finisher in genre categories the top prize if the first place novel won an overall award.
For example, if Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford had the strength to win top honors in multiple categories, such as Best Novel, Best Novel by a New Author, and Best Genre Novel, it would be allowed to take the prize for all three rather than allowing the award in lesser categories go to the second or even third place winner in that category. This new award system provides greater recognition for truly outstanding books that merit such.
“Originally, we wanted to give as many great LDS authors a chance to win as possible,” said Whitney committee member Crystal Liechty. “But we feel like we’ve had enough exposure at this point so that there’s no need to prevent a book from sweeping every category it’s in if that’s what the voters want.”
The Whitneys are an awards program for novels by LDS authors. Elder Orson F. Whitney, an early apostle in the LDS church, prophesied “We will yet have Miltons and Shakespeares of our own.” Since we have that as our goal, we feel that we should also honor those authors who excel and continually raise the bar.
"Allowing novels to win multiple categories follows the precedence of other nationally recognized award programs, such as The Academy Awards,” said Josi Kilpack, Whitney Awards President. “We’re excited about this change and the continuing excellence in writing that The Whitney Awards both supports and cultivates.”
The Whitney Awards honor novels in the following categories: General Fiction, Romance, Suspense/Mystery, Speculative Fiction, Youth Fiction, Historical, Best Novel of the Year, and Best Novel by a New Author. Novels can be nominated by any reader (via this website or by mail), and nominees are voted on by an academy of industry professionals, including authors, publishers, bookstore owners, distributors, critics, and others. For more information on the Whitney Awards or to nominate a book, visit www.WhitneyAwards.com.