Monday, August 3, 2009

2009 ‘FLORIDA BOOK AWARDS’ COMPETITION BEGINS WITH CALL FOR ENTRIES


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. The Florida Book Awards has kicked off its fourth annual competition with a call for entries in seven categories.

Established in 2006 and now the most comprehensive state book awards program in the nation, the contest recognizes and celebrates the year’s best books penned by full-time residents of the Sunshine State (with the exception of submissions to the Florida Nonfiction category, whose authors may live elsewhere).

The Florida Book Awards competition is coordinated through the Florida State University Libraries, with the support of professors and librarians across the FSU campus. “In our first year we had 71 entries; our second, 85; and in 2008 we rocketed up to 135. I think it's fair to say Florida authors now know about the Florida Book Awards and that our future looks even brighter today then when we launched the project,” said Florida Book Awards Director Wayne Wiegand, a professor of Library and Information Studies and American Studies at FSU.

Co-sponsors of the competition –– 14 high-profile humanities organizations from across the state –– include the Florida Center for the Book; State Library and Archives of Florida; Florida Historical Society; Florida Humanities Council; Florida Literary Arts Coalition; Florida Library Association; Governor’s Family Literacy Initiative; Florida Association for Media in Education; the Program in American and Florida Studies at Florida State University; Florida Reading Association; Florida Center for the Literary Arts; Florida Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America; Friends of FSU Libraries; and “Just Read, Florida!”

The contest categories include General Fiction, Young Adult Literature, Children’s Literature, Florida Nonfiction, Poetry, Popular Fiction, and Spanish-Language Book. Entries, which can be submitted by anyone (e.g. publisher, author, or literary agent), must be professionally published and have both an original publication date between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2009, and an International Standard Book Number (ISBN).

Although all entries must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 4, 2010 (this is not a postmark deadline), applicants are encouraged to submit their books into competition any time during the 2009 calendar year, and as soon as possible after books are officially published. Three-person juries –– including members of co-sponsoring organizations, subject experts from the faculties of Florida colleges and universities, and previous Florida Book Award winners –– will choose up to five finalists in each of the seven categories.

The 2009 winners will be announced in early March. Gold Medal Award winners will be acknowledged at the Historic and Cultural Awards Ceremony sponsored by the State of Florida’s Division of Cultural Affairs and held on March 24th at the R.A. Gray Building in Tallahassee. In addition, all Florida Book Awards medalists will be recognized at a banquet hosted by the Florida Library Association at its annual conference on April 7-9 in Orlando. Winning books and their authors will be showcased in the summer issue of FORUM, the statewide magazine of the Florida Humanities Council, and also will be featured at book festivals and association conferences throughout the year and across the state.

For general information and the entry form, requirements, and instructions for the 2009 Florida Book Awards, visit http://floridabookawards.lib.fsu.edu/

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