The Whitney Awards

Finalist Spotlight: Melissa McShane

Finalist SpotlightI am the author of more than forty fantasy novels, including the Crown of Tremontane books that my Whitney finalist novel is part of. I live in Utah with my family, four very needy cats, and a library that has finally overflowed its bounds. I love...

Finalist Spotlight: Charlie N. Holmberg

Finalist SpotlightCharlie N. Holmberg is the award-winning author of the Spellbreaker series, the Numina series, and many others. Her Wall Street Journal bestselling Paper Magician series, which includes The Paper Magician, The Glass Magician, and The Master Magician,...

Finalist Spotlight: Stephanie Black

Finalist SpotlightStephanie Black has loved books since she was old enough to grab the pages, and has enjoyed creating make-believe adventures since she and her sisters were inventing long Barbie games filled with intrigue and danger or running around pretending to be...

Finalist Spotlight: Mary Gray

Finalist SpotlightMary Gray balances dark and twisty plots with faith-based messages. Some of her best ideas come when she’s lurking in the woods, experimenting with frightening foods, or pushing her kids on the tire swing. She is the co-owner of Monster Ivy...

Finalist Spotlight: Victorine Lieske

Finalist SpotlightVictorine self-published her first book, Not What She Seems, in April of 2010. In March of 2011, Not What She Seems began its 6 week run on The New York Times best selling eBook list. By May 2011 she had sold over 100,000 copies. Victorine's first...

Finalist Spotlight: Sheila Nielson

Finalist SpotlightSheila Nielson was terrified of the dark as a child. Her very overactive imagination made the monsters she imagined hiding under her bed seem all too real. Then one day her mother suggested that she use her imagination to think up stories rather than...

Finalist Spotlight: Sheena Boekweg

Finalist Spotlight Sheena Boekweg grew up reading books with tree branches peeking over her shoulder. Her novels Glitch Kingdom and A Sisterhood of Secret Ambitions, both from Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan, feature fat positive girls with ambitions, love stories, and...

Finalist Spotlight: Emily Bleeker

Finalist SpotlightEmily Bleeker is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of five novels with her newest title, WHAT'S LEFT UNSAID launching this summer. Her books have reached over 1.5 million readers and her debut novel, WRECKAGE, will soon be a pilot on ABC....

Finalist Spotlight: Anette Haws

Finalist Spotlight I've been a stealth people watcher from an early age. I grew up in a small college town, and I'm convinced large metropolitan settings have nothing on small towns when it comes to intrigue, comedy, and quixotic romance. I graduated from Utah State....

Finalist Spotlight: Kevin W. Bates

Finalist SpotlightKevin W. Bates was born in Berkeley, California and, with the exception of a couple year stint in Sydney Australia and a study abroad program in Japan, was raised there. In his Martin Luther King Jr. High and Berkeley High School years, Kevin...

Finalist Spotlight: Addie Thorley

Finalist SpotlightAddie Thorley is the author of Night Spinner and An Affair of Poisons, which was chosen as a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and is a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults nominee. Sky Breaker, the conclusion to the Night Spinner...

Finalist Spotlight: Carol Pratt Bradley

Finalist SpotlightCarol Pratt Bradley is the author of four historical novels. In 2009, she earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Brigham Young University. Her history interests so far include: the Biblical Middle East, 16th century Reformation...

Finalist Spotlight: Jennifer Nielsen

Finalist SpotlightJennifer Nielsen is the New York Times bestselling author of the Ascendance series, and other fantasy and historical titles. She lives in Northern Utah with her family.Follow Jennifer Nielsen!www.jennielsen.cominstagramtwitteryoutubeJennifer Nielsen...

Finalist Spotlight: Kathi Oram Peterson

Finalist SpotlightKathi Oram Peterson loves writing romantic suspense that make readers double-check door locks and sleep with a flashlight. She spent years practicing her craft while raising her family and earning her degree. Her dream of publishing a full-length...

Finalist Spotlight: Michael Darling

Finalist Spotlight#1 bestselling author Michael Darling has worked as a butcher, a librarian, and a magician, which turned out to be an ideal set of skills for a fiction writer. He lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains with his wife and grown-up kids where he writes...

Finalist Spotlight: Sarah Allen

Finalist SpotlightSarah Allen is a poet and author of books for young readers. Her first book, WHAT STARS ARE MADE OF, was an ALA Notable Book of 2020 and her second, BREATHING UNDERWATER, is a Jr. Library Guild Selection for 2021. Kirkus Reviews called it “a...

Finalist Spotlight: Chalon Linton

Finalist SpotlightChalon Linton is an air force spouse, a mother of four, and a fan of all things romance. Jane Austen has long been a favorite, because who can resist handsome men in tailcoats? Manners, wit, and true love, combined with a faith in God, guide her...

Finalist Spotlight: Sara B. Larson

Finalist SpotlightSara B. Larson is the best-selling and critically acclaimed author of the YA fantasy DEFY trilogy (DEFY, IGNITE, and ENDURE), the DARK BREAKS THE DAWN duology, and the SISTERS OF SHADOW AND LIGHT duology (TorTeen/Macmillan). She can’t remember a time...

Finalist Spotlight: Heidi Eljarbo

Finalist SpotlightHeidi Eljarbo is the bestselling and award-winning author of historical novels. To date, her books have been set in WWII or the seventeenth century, and some have dual timelines. Heidi lives on an island in beautiful Norway and enjoys walking her dog...

Finalist Spotlight: Leah Garriot

Finalist SpotlightThough she earned degrees in math and statistics, Leah Garriott lives for a good love story. She’s resided in Hawaii and Italy, walked the countryside of England, and owns every mainstream movie version of Pride and Prejudice. She’s currently living...

Finalist Spotlight: Rachel Huffmire

Finalist SpotlightRachel Huffmire grew up surrounded by wheat fields and gardens. Her mother paid her a dollar per classic novel she read, so in a quest to amass a small fortune Rachel finished over 200 classic novels in elementary school. In college, she ran to the...

Finalist Spotlight: Sarah M. Eden

Finalist SpotlightSarah M. Eden is a USA Today best-selling author of witty and charming historical romances, including 2019’s Foreword Reviews INDIE Awards Gold Winner for Romance, The Lady and the Highwayman, and 2020 Holt Medallion finalist, Healing Hearts. She is...

Finalist Spotlight: KayLynn Flanders

Finalist SpotlightKayLynn Flanders has a degree in English Language and editing, and has been a freelance editor and book designer for over twelve years. Her debut novel, Shielded, was published by Delacorte Press/PRH, with the sequel forthcoming. KayLynn and her...

Finalist Spotlight: J. L. Esplin

Finalist SpotlightJ. L. Esplin is a writer of books for kids and teens. She lives on the edge of town in Las Vegas, Nevada with her husband and kids. Besides writing, she enjoys teaching guitar and traveling to new places with her family. 96 Miles is her debut novel....

Finalist Spotlight: Ora Smith

Finalist SpotlightOra Smith, a genealogist who writes Heritage Fiction, creates fascinating stories about her ancestors based on true events. She loves nothing better than to be whisked off to past eras to meet those whose lives are worth sharing. As an author,...

Finalist Spotlight: Teri Bailey Black

Finalist SpotlightTeri Bailey Black may write about troubled people in dark places, but she grew up in a large, happy family, surrounded by books, art, and California sunshine. She's happiest when she’s creating things, whether it’s with words, fabric, or chocolate....

Finalist Spotlight: Becky Wallace

Finalist SpotlightBecky Wallace is the award-winning author of FAR FROM NORMAL, STEALING HOME, and the fantasy duology THE STORYSPINNER and THE SKYLIGHTER. She’s a sucker for slow-burn romances, near-miss kisses, and ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Becky...

Finalist Spotlight: Martha Keyes

Finalist SpotlightMartha Keyes was born, raised, and educated in Utah—a home she loves dearly but also dearly loves to escape to travel the world. She received a BA in French Studies and a Master of Public Health, both from Brigham Young University. It wasn't until...

Finalist Spotlight: Keira Dominguez

Finalist SpotlightKeira Dominguez graduated from BYU in ye olden times. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and assorted children. She wonders if this pandemic will ever end and if, when it does, she will have to stop wearing strechy pants all the...

Finalist Spotlight: Heather B. Moore

Finalist SpotlightHeather B. Moore is a USA Today bestselling author of more than seventy publications. Her historical novels and thrillers are written under pen name H.B. Moore. She writes women's fiction, romance and inspirational non-fiction under Heather B. Moore....

Finalist Spotlight: Gary Darby

Finalist SpotlightGary Darby is a graduate of the University of Utah with a B.S. in Political Science and an M.S in the Analysis of Strategic Intelligence from the Defense Intelligence College. A retired military intelligence officer, he and his wife, Pamela, and...

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