About the Whitney Awards


What are the Whitneys?

The Whitneys are an awards program for novels written by LDS authors. Elder Orson F. Whitney, an early apostle in the LDS church, prophesied “We will yet have Miltons and Shakespeares of our own.” It is our hope to be a part of that journey toward excellence by honoring the LDS writers also working toward that goal.

The Whitney Awards honor novels in the following categories: General Fiction, Romance, Suspense/Mystery, Speculative Fiction, Speculative Young Adult Fiction, General Young Adult Fiction, Middle Grade, Historical, Best Novel of the Year, Best Novel in Youth Fiction, and Best Novel by a New Author. Novels can be nominated by any reader (via this website or by mail), and nominees are voted on by an academy of industry professionals, including authors, publishers, bookstore owners, distributors, critics, and others.

The awards were founded in 2007 and operate as an semi-autonomous subsidiary of LDStorymakers.


What rubrics or content guidelines are followed in the determination of finalists and winners?

We do not give a rubric to our judges or to the Academy awards because this is a reader based award rather than a literary one. We choose judges who are sophisticated and critical readers and allow them to make their own judgements on writing quality and content. Doing otherwise (screening nominees based on content and writing quality) would be both time-consuming and based on subjective reasoning, therefore we have only required that the author be a member of the LDS church. All other factors such as content, language, and craft, are to be judged by each individual person voting in the award process.


Who are we?

The 2015 Whitney Awards Committee is comprised of:

  • Jaime Theler (President)
  • Kaylee Baldwin
  • Marion Jensen
  • Nancy Campbell Allen
  • Heather Justesen
  • Kimberly Vanderhorst

For more information about the roles and responsibilities of the committee, see the official rules.

The Whitney Awards are sponsored and endorsed by LDStorymakers, the authors guild for the LDS market.


The 2015 Whitney Awards will be presented:

May 14th, 2016 at the Whitney Award Gala, Provo Marriott Hotel, Provo, Utah.


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