Welcome to the

14th Annual Whitney Awards Gala

Thank you for joining us this evening. 


We ask that you join us in sharing the awards ceremony on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media outlets. Please use the #WhitneyAwards hashtag and if you can, tag
@WhitneyAwards and the author in any positive posts.

A $50 gift card to The King’s English (ships free in the U.S.) will be awarded to the best pic* of the gala!
*Whitney Awards Committee members and official Whitney Awards photographers
are ineligible to win the photo contest


Committee Members

Genre Categories

First Round Judges

Finalist Titles

Official Nominees

Titles Nominated

Whitney Academy Judges

Our Purpose and History – Founded in 2007

“It all started at a Thai dinner with Dan Wells and Brandon Sanderson, where we were discussing how LDS fiction could gain status that we felt it heretofore didn’t have but deserved.” After that dinner, Robison Wells set out to showcase the best of LDS fiction – at first, fiction aimed specifically at an LDS market and later fiction written by anyone who identifies as LDS.

The Whitney Awards are named for Orson F. Whitney, who prophesied, “We will yet have Miltons and Shakespeares of our own. Above all things, we must be original. Our mission is diverse from all others; our literature must also be.” These awards are intended to honor novelists within the LDS faith and showcase their talents and their unique contributions to literature.

“Since then things have blossomed into a magnificent program that honors the best of the best, national, indie-pubbed, LDS pubbed, and everything in between. And I couldn’t be prouder.” 

Robison Wells



Opening Prayer:
Sheena Boekweg

Welcome & President’s Remarks:

Kara Reynolds – President of the 14 th Annual Whitney Awards

Presentation of Youth Fiction Awards

Middle Grade – Presented by Angie Taylor
Young Adult Speculative – Presented by Elisa McLean
Young Adult Fantasy – Presented by Gina Denny
Young Adult General – Presented by Taryn Skipper

Outstanding Achievement Award – Presented by Taffy Lovell

Martine Leavitt has published ten novels for young adults, most recently Calvin, which won the Governor General’s Award of Canada. My Book of Life by Angel was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and winner of the Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book of the Year. Other titles by Leavitt include Keturah and Lord Death, a finalist for the National Book Award, Tom Finder, winner of the Mr. Christie Award, and Heck Superhero, a finalist for the Governor General’s Award. Her novels have been published in China, Japan, Korea, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and the Netherlands. Currently she teaches creative writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts, a short-residency MFA program. She lives in High River, Alberta.

Presentation of Adult Fiction Awards

Historical Romance – Presented by Angie Taylor
Romance – Presented by Gina Denny
Mystery/Suspense – Presented by Taryn Skipper
Adult Speculative – Presented by Elisa McLean
Adult General – Presented by Jamie McHenry

Outstanding Achievement Award – Ann Cannon Presented by Taffy Lovell

A.E. Cannon is an award-winning writer of fiction for children
and young adults. She is also a newspaper columnist, creative writing
teacher and the mother of five sons. Her first young adult novel, Cal
Cameron by Day, Spider-Man by Night, won the Delacorte Press Prize
for an outstanding first young adult novel. Since then, she has
published a number of books, including a collection of her newspaper
columns. Subsequent Young Adult novels have been named to the
American Library Association’s Best Books lists, while her weekly
column in the Salt Lake Tribune has found a wide on-line readership.

Presentation of Novel of the Year Awards

Debut Novel of the Year – Presented by Gina Denny
Youth Novel of the Year – Presented by Taffy Lovell
Adult Novel of the Year – Presented by Jamie McHenry

Closing Prayer:
Emily Inouye Huey

Special Thanks to:

Our Photographer

Thank you to Brekke Felt for taking photos of the 14 th Annual Whitney Awards Gala. A link with high-resolution images will be sent out by May 31 st . If you have not received that link by then, please contact registration@storymakersconference.com for more information

Our Technical Director

Thank you to Don Carey for constant, quality technical support. We could not do this without you, Don. Truly, thank you for all you do.

14 th Annual Whitney Committee

Kara Reynolds – President
Elisa McLean – Judging Coordinator
Taryn Skipper – Website Manager
Jamie McHenry – Social Media Manager
Taffy Lovell – Author Contact
Gina Denny – Author Contact & Sponsor Outreach
Angie Taylor – Publisher Contact
Emily Paxman – Publisher Contact

Publicity and Marketing at these Publishing Houses

Kristen at 47 North
Stephanie M. at Algonquin Books
Denelle Catlett at Amazon Publishing
Samantha Millburn at Covenant Communications
Melissa Warten at FSG Books
Emma Heggem at Future House Publishing
Allison Weintraub and Sara Schonfeld at HarperCollins
Rachel Huffmire at Immortal Works
Jalisa Corrie at Lee and Low Books
Morgan Kane and Cynthia Lliguichuzhca at MacMillan
Jillian Cline at Montlake Publishing
Emily Temple at North Star Editions
Lizzy Mason at Page Street Publishing
Kris Kam at Penguin Random House
Karlene Browning at Revello Press
Elisabeth Ferrari at Scholastic
Heidi Taylor Gordon, Callie Hansen, and Troy Butcher at
Shadow Mountain Publishing
Laura Etzkorn, Annaliese Merz, and Saraciea Fennell at Tor Books
Jessica at WiDō Publishing

First Round Judges

Kevin Bates
April Clausen
Becky Coleman
Andrew Damstedt
Jenny Durda
Angela Ewing
Kyrsten Haas
Emily Inouye Huey
Stacey Leybas
Amie Lyans
Dwayne Madry
Torri Mahoney
Jill McNiven
Naomi McNiven
Sarah Naylor
Maycee Nufer
Cheer Papworth
E. Drew Peck
Kimberlee Ramirez
Leslie Rodgers
Erin Rushforth
Nashelie Sanchez
Lee Ann Setzer
Shelley L. Spackman
Ashley Tasker
Lynne Ursenbach
Amy Warner
Jill Warner
Krista Warner
Alene Wecker
Rebekah Wells
Mike Whitmer
Cheryl Wilde
Johanna Wood

Thanks to our Sponsors