I was just reviewing our blog entries throughout 08 and discovered that one of the most popular posts dealt with the New England Book Festival. On August 20 I posed the following questions:
- Have you heard of the New England Book Festival?
- Have any of you published authors won the New England Book Festival Award?
- Which books have won awards?
- What wonderful things happened to winning authors?
- How significant are these awards?
Since posting these questions we've received 14 comments and they run the gamut from caution to celebration. Because many of you had GOOD experiences with the New England Book Awards, I want to bring these to light. (No one came back with negative comments or horror tales, by the way.)
Rick Robinson, author, said, "I have participated in their events and have found them beneficial. The Hollywood Book Festival in July was a great event."
K. Patrick Malone said, "I have entered and gotten Honorable Mentions for both my books from both the New York and Hollywood Book Festivals in both 2007 and 2008. I also attended both New York Book Festival Awards. I found that it seems to be a growing business. The 2007 New York Book Fest Awards was in a small NYC pub, nice fun, met some people, got fed for free and had some drinks. It was fun LOL. This year the 2008 event was held at the Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan, a hotel with a real literary reputation, once again, got well fed and had more than a few drinks, met some really fun people and had an all around great time. Was it the red carpet at the Oscars, of course not, but it has certainly been a worthwhile venue for the exposure of small and independent press publishing, and not for nothing, any good recognition small press authors can get is good recognition. And particularly with small and independent presses, the little gold, silver and bronze stars it allows us to put on our books does attract readers attention...I say go for it."
Editor's Note: Algonquin Hotel? My favorite. I like to drink tea with authors there. Very Dorothy Parker.
Steven J. Harper said, "My book, "Crossing Hoffa: A Teamster's Story" (Borealis, 2007) won Honorable Mentions at the New York and Hollywood Book Festival; the audiobook won Honorable Mention at the London Book Festival--all JM Media sponsored-events. I agree with Patrick that the program is worthwhile."
John Graham said, "I just won first prize in the Biography/Autobiography section of the 2008 New England Book Festival for my memoir, Sit Down Young Stranger. I'll let you know what comes of it."
I think we can safely conclude that The New York/New England Book Festivals are on the level. So, if you don't mind parting with the $50 entry fee, go for it. And, by all means, let us know how you fare.
I'd be interested in hearing about other awards and contests you all recommend!