The events that made history in 2015 could fill a tome, including the establishment of the first book award for authors focused on historically accurate works of fiction and non-fiction.
The Grateful American Book Prize announced the creation of its new award in March. It generated a flurry of attention among authors and publishers. The first Prize – a $13,000 check that commemorates the original 13 colonies, and a one-of-a-kind medallion created by the American artist Clarice Smith – was presented at President Lincoln’s Cottage on the outskirts of the nation’s capital in October. The winner of the inaugural award was Kathy Cannon Wiechman for her book Like a River.
David Bruce Smith said Wiechman’s civil war novel is “a page-turner of a book” that met all of the requirements for the Prize and that unanimously captured the attention of the award’s panel of judges. “It is an exemplar of what the Prize is all about-to encourage authors and publishers to produce fiction and nonfiction that accurately depict the past as a means of engaging young readers in American history.”
Author Wiechman said she was a very grateful American. “When I write, my goal is to make history live and breathe for today’s readers the way it does for me. Having Like a River honored by this inaugural award gives me hope that I can accomplish that goal.”
The historic events of 2015 are numerous and many of them are book-worthy, Smith added. He cited the onset of the 2016 Presidential Election campaigns; the achievements of Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver who became the first female Army Rangers; American Pharoah, was the first Triple Crown champ 37 years, with firsts in the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes.
“There were good things that happened this past year and there were bad things, as well. It’s all creative odds and ends for future authors to consider as a means of engaging young readers and helping them to become productive citizens,” Smith said.
It seems as if the 2016 Prize is widely anticipated–as evidenced by the numerous inquiries we have been receiving from authors and publishers. We hope for an even greater number of submissions in the New Year than we received in 2015.”
The Grateful American Book Prize will begin accepting entries for the second annual Prize after January 1.