I am thrilled beyond words at having won three different awards in the 2011 Reader Views Literary Competition so I’d like to share a bit about Reader Views, explain how the competition.is structured, and provide a link so that you can browse the list of winners in other categories and hopefully discover some wonderful books by authors you’ve never read.

I’ll start with a profile of Reader Views – it is an organization that brings readers and writers together by introducing selected books in a monthly newsletter that boasts over fifteen thousand subscribers. In a little over five years they have reviewed over eight thousand books and worked with over three thousand authors including such notables as James Patterson.

Reader Views sponsor an annual literary competition that is open to authors worldwide, providing the submission is written in the English language. The competition offers twenty-five different categories/genres plus nine regional categories and three global categories – reaching out as far as Australia. The competition also offers Specialized Awards that are sponsored by individuals and companies involved in the publishing industry. You cannot enter the competitions for Specialized Awards, they are selected on merit and to qualify for consideration, the book must be a first place winner in at least one of the competition categories.  To browse the list of winning books, click on the following link…

The 2010 Winners included such blockbuster hits as Leona Bodie’s Shadow Cay, which took the First Place Award in the Mystery/Suspense category, so it’s easy to understand why I am so awed by the honors paid to SPARE CHANGE. It won the First Place Award for General Fiction and the First Place Award for Southeast Regional Fiction. It was then selected as the Receipant of the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book of Contemporary Drama,an award sponsored and named for Jack Eadon, author of the American Drama Series. Oh yes, did I mention that award carried a $100. prize? Okay, it’s not a fortune, but most writing competitions are for bragging rights only, so for me it’s a very big deal and the first cash award I’ve ever won.

The Criteria for determining the winner of the Jack Eadon Award is as follows: The characters must be vividly portrayed as those individuals who can exist side-by-side with someone living in this world now, dealing with issues of today in a dramatic fashion. The setting must be excruciatingly real.

Writing is a solitary business – day after day it’s just you and your computer, which is probably why writers can often be found hopping around the social media sites, developing virtual friendships, sharing bits and pieces of news with readers and other writers. We don’t get the ongoing feedback of a boss or co-worker, we don’t get a pat on the back or a ‘job well done’ – we operate in somewhat of a void – UNTIL something like this comes along. For a writer it’s a great big ‘ataboy’ so please bear with us if we’re inclined to brag a bit when we win an award. And although these awards are delightfully prestigious, the truth is our greatest reward is when a reader says “I just couldn’t put this book down.”

Reader comments and reviews are the lifeblood of an author – so, I want to pause here for a moment and thank all the wonderful readers who took the time to write and post reviews. THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART.