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And Speaking Of Realm Makers

As far as I’m concerned, awards like these are win-win-win. Authors receive exposure for their work, the conference receives more publicity, but best of all, readers benefit from the filtering of judges or readers who have picked the best books from those that were submitted. How perfect!

Last week in my article reviewing Realm Makers, I mentioned the Realm Makers Alliance Award, but that is just one of the book awards offered by the organization.

First there are the Realm Awards in the following categories:

    * fantasy
    * science fiction
    * horror/supernatural/paranormal
    * young adult
    * debut novels
    * children’s speculative for readers 12 and under

Of the winners in those categories, the book receiving the top score will also be recognized as the Book of the Year.

Another award offered by Realm Makers is the Parable Award which honors cover design. All these awards will be given at the annual Realm Makers conference.

The finalists for the Realm Makers Awards were named last week. I have to think that these books would make great additions to any reader’s To Be Read pile, but especially to any reader who prefers speculative fiction.

Here are the books that made the first cut (in no particular order):

BEST DEBUT
Alara’s Call – Kristen Stieffel
The Button Girl – Sally Apokedak
Breakwater – Catherine Jones Payne

SUPERNATURAL/ PARANORMAL/ HORROR/ OTHER
The Mapmaker’s Daughter – Joanna Emerson
Firstborn – Tosca Lee
Relent – Kat Heckenbach

YOUNG ADULT
The Mapmaker’s Daughter – Joanna Emerson
The Button Girl – Sally Apokedak
Milky Way Rising – Sharon Keller Johnson

SCI-FI
Music in the Night – Michelle Levigne
Renegades – Thomas Locke
Man Behind the Wheel – Steve Rzasa

FANTASY
Alara’s Call – Kristen Stieffel
The Genesis Tree – Heather L. L. FitzGerald
The Songweaver’s Vow – Laura VanArdenonk Baugh

CHILDREN’S BOOK
Willoughby and the Terribly Itchy Itch – Pam Halter
Dusty’s Adventures – Tim Akers
Snowman – Mark Andrew Poe

The voting for the Alliance Award begins in May. Here are some pertinent points:

Anyone who has read a minimum of TWO BOOKS that have advanced to the voting rounds is eligible to rate as many books in the contest as they have read. This will operate on an honors system.

The number of books that will advance to the first voting round will be dependent on the number of books nominated.

Voting Process:

Voters will assign a star rating to no fewer than two books on the voting list. In addition to the rating, voters will need to include a brief (but specific) explanation of the reason they assigned the particular rating they chose.

The scale for voting will be as follows:

5 stars: One of the best books I read this year

4 stars: One of the really good books I read this year

3 stars: I thought this book was OK when I read it. It was worth the time.

2 stars: This book was hard to finish because it had multiple problems.

1 star: I would not recommend this book to another reader

The 5 books that collect the highest star total at the end of the first voting round will advance to the final round. In the event of a star total tie, we will also factor in the average rating of the tied books in order to determine the finalists.

The key point here is this: to become an eligible voter, readers have to actually have read a couple of the nominated books. So now is the time to check your list of books you want to read and add to them ones eligible for the Alliance Award—books that were published in 2017; books that are speculative; books that were written by a Christian author.

As far as I’m concerned, awards like these are win-win-win. Authors receive exposure for their work, the conference receives more publicity, but best of all, readers benefit from the filtering of judges or other readers who have picked the best books from those that were submitted. How perfect!

So add to your reading pile. Include the books to your Amazon Wish List, ask for them for Mother’s Day or for Father’s Day, for your birthday, or for May Day or the Fourth of July—whatever occasion might afford you the opportunity to ask for a new speculative novel to read.

After all, summer is coming, and that’s the perfect time to sit at the beach or stretched out on the back porch or lounge under a shade tree—with a good book. Enjoy.

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