You can ask any writer if they would like to win a book award, and the answer would be a resounding YES! Book awards help create an air of authenticity and adds to the legitimacy of their work. It also helps overall sales in most cases. But what makes up an award-winning book? All great books have five different areas of excellence.
Let’s look at five areas of a good book:
A Strong Beginning…
I’ve always been an avid reader. If there was captivating writing on that first page, I was hooked and wouldn’t put the book down until the last page was read. In high school I was introduced to some of the classics during my English class. The beginning lines of TALES OF TWO CITIES stopped me in my tracks and set me on a journey back in time to a land and time I had never experienced before. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” has challenged millions of readers over the years and certainly deserved any awards it may have won along the way.
Another great classic story I read that same year in English was SILAS MARNER. From the little orphaned baby left on the doorstep of a solitary bachelor, all the way to that imposing man himself, author George Eliot created universal characters who connected with readers all around the world. Captivating characters can be found in any award-winning books.
A Compelling Storyline…
When I was eleven, I won first place in a summertime writing contest at my local library. The prize was a book titled MISTY OF CHINCOTEAGUE by Marguerite Henry. I had a fascination with horses back then, but had never read this story. From the very beginning, Ms. Henry’s story about the wild mustangs of Chincoteague Island captured my attention. Her vivid imagery and action-packed storyline broadened my horizons and fed my hunger to one day visit the ancestors of those might Spanish horses. This childhood favorite rightfully won awards for its author’s literary talent.
After reading Ms. Henry’s book, I stumbled upon another classic. BLACK BEAUTY by Anna Sweell was a stunning masterpiece in creating a world where the reader could step inside the mind of one horse, while experiencing all the tragedies…and triumphs…one beast of burden could endure. My young imagination could feel every cruel lash, and every straining muscle as Black Beauty dealt with the harsh realities of his world. The inner dialogue of this main character led this manuscript to winning awards which still resonate with readers many years later.
A Unique Style…
Back in 2004, there was a lot of talk about a new book written by author Alice Sebold. I don’t typically jump on the band wagon when it comes to the latest and greatest in anything, but there was something unique about THE LOVELY BONES that captured my interest. A new twist where the main character takes the reader on a quest to find out more about them…including who murdered them! It was certainly a strange point of view in which to write a story and the book ended up not only winning coveted awards but was eventually made into a movie.
With the millions of “stories” being lived out each and every day, there will always be ways to draw that reader into a magical world they had never experienced before.
As Story Catcher Publishing expands this Fall by opening up to submission for writers of children’s books through some young adult and specialty books, we will be looking for strong stories with these five components to support and bring to life for the authors who choose to work with us. We are eagerly anticipating all the fabulous manuscripts we will get to read come September, 2023!
Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.
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c/o Story Catcher Publishing
P O Box 27788
Knoxville, Tn 37927