Oct 8, 2014

Spillworthy Featured in National Press Release!




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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Contact: Jim Barnes, Awards Director

Lifelong Reading, from the Womb Onward
MOONBEAM CHILDREN'S BOOK AWARD WINNERS FOR ALL AGES

(Traverse City, MI - Oct. 7, 2014)  The Moonbeam Awards program is dedicated to reading at all levels and to children of all nationalities, races and faiths. Now in its eighth year, the contest is known for its diversity and inclusiveness, and this year's medalists range from a book for pregnant mothers to read to their unborn babies, to a young adult novel dealing with homelessness and human trafficking.

The Moonbeam Awards are designed to bring increased recognition to the year's best children's books. The winners are chosen for their commitment to children, literacy and lifelong reading. Judging panels of book reviewers, librarians, teachers, and students chose 166 medalists from over 1,300 entries, and medals will go to books representing 37 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, five Canadian provinces, and Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Japan, Singapore, Scotland and Spain.

See the complete 2014 Moonbeam Awards results here:
http://www.independentpublisher.com/article.php?page=1862

This year's gold medalist in the Board Book category is Can't Wait to Show You (Preliteracy Partners), and this charming book is not only meant to be read to babies in utero, it's shaped to fit the curve of a mother's pregnant belly! Alas, not everyone receives the gift of reading: My Dad Couldn't Read (See a Book Take a Look) explains how a reading disorder turned into adult illiteracy -- but through tutoring and perseverance father and daughter learned together and earned their high school diplomas together.

Probably the ultimate example of courage and perseverance in this new millennium is the story of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who in 2012 survived an attempted assassination by the Taliban for speaking out about girls' rights to education. Out in Front (Morgan Reynolds) is author David Aretha's stirring biography of Yousafzai, the "girl who wouldn't be silenced," whose dream is for "every child to go to school," and who someday wants to become the prime minister of Pakistan.

The Religion category gold medalist is another example of girl-power, inspired when author David R. Weiss's daughter asked him to tell her a story about When God Was a Little Girl  (Beaver's Pond Press). He explained how Creation was like one of her art projects, done with joy and love, and even with all the different colors, shapes, and sizes, it looked "just right."

Spillworthy, the self-published gold medalist in the Mature Issues fiction category, not only deals with homelessness and human trafficking, but gives voice to the young victims who rise above their trials through the powerful magic of words. Idaho-based author Johanna Harness proves that reading, writing and communication truly does heal and can save souls -- and books like hers, along with the rest of this year's Moonbeam winners -- can change the world.

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The Moonbeam Awards were created in 2007 by northern Michigan-based book marketing firm Jenkins Group, and the winners represent the best books published for children and young adults during the previous year. Jenkins Group has been involved in book packaging, marketing and distribution since 1988, and the growing influence of their children's and grandchildren's love of books inspired them to launch the Moonbeam Awards and the Traverse City Children’s Book Festival.

Learn more about the Moonbeam Awards at http://www.MoonbeamAwards.com
Learn more about the book festival at http://www.TCChildrensBookFestival.com
For more information about the Moonbeam Awards and the winning books, or to interview their creators, contact Awards Director Jim Barnes at 1-800-644-0133 x 1011 or  jimb@bookpublishing.com.


Oct 4, 2014

Moonbeam Awards!

Spillworthy won a Moonbeam Children's Book Award! And it's a gold!

I'm so excited and honored. I still don't quite know how to process this. It's amazing.

I look at the Moonbeam books and realize that this is exactly the kind of list that made me want to start writing, and it's exactly the kind of list that made me fall in love with independent publishing.

Pre-Internet, these were the books I would search for in catalogs and on pilgrimages to huge, urban booksellers. Today these books can be just as difficult to find because they get lost in the noise of publishing.

It's difficult to describe the feeling I get from these books. 

Have you ever savored a magazine with images selected because they did NOT look like stock photography? An old Mothering magazine? Or an old New Moon Girls?  I'm not talking about sloppy or unprofessional. I'm talking about real.

That's the feeling I look for in independently-published books. I'm looking for ideas that aren't changed to fit a preconceived idea of what an audience wants--the literary version of photoshopping.  I'm looking for stories and ideas that certainly could have been changed to make them more marketable, but they were tumbled into something organic and real instead.  They include a variety of characters, like those who actually exist in the world, without slimming or whitewashing or idealizing of dominant culture.  And the covers reflect the guts of the novels! They are beautiful not in spite of being real, but because they are real.

I already have a huge reading list shaped from Moonbeam lists from multiple years.  Now I must talk to librarians about getting more of these books on the shelves because my budget is too small and my list is too big.

Thank you, Moonbeam, not just for this award, but also for your dedication in bringing independent books to the attention of serious readers. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.