More than 50 works, from comics and novels to screenplays and films, which are by, for or about members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been named finalists across 13 categories for Association for Mormon Letters awards.
The awards will be announced at the Mormon Scholars in the Humanities conference banquet on Friday. The conference is Friday and Saturday at Brigham Young University. See mormonscholars.net for information.
Also, Lavina Fielding Anderson, one of the founders of the Association for Mormon Letters and a longtime editor, will receive the Smith-Pettit Foundation Award for Outstanding Contribution to Mormon Letters and columnist and author Robert Kirby will receive the Association for Mormon Letters Lifetime Achievement Award.
Finalists for novels are “The Field is White,” by Claire Åkebrand; “Sins of Empire: Gods of Blood and Powder Vol. 1” by Brian McClellan; “Gilda Trillim: Shepherdess of Rats” by Steven L. Peck, “Prayers in Bath” by Luisa Perkins; and “Nothing Left to Lose: John Cleever No. 6,” by Dan Wells.
In the young adult category, the finalists are “Speak Easy, Speak Love” by McKelle George, “The Duke of Bannerman Prep” by Katie A. Nelson, “Last Star Burning” by Caitlin Sangster, “Now I Rise: The Conquer’s Saga, No. 2” by Kiersten White and “Goodbye Days” by Jeff Zentner.
Finalists in the middle grade category are “You May Already Be A Winner” by Ann Dee Ellis, “Under Locker and Key” by Allison K. Hymas, “Mustaches for Maddie” by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown, “Forget Me Not” by Ellie Terry and “Paper Chains” by Elaine Vickers.
Finalists in the picture book category are “Color Blocked” by Ashley Sorenson and David W. Miles, “Heroic Stories from The Book of Mormon” by Shauna Gibby and Casey Nelson and “Quiet as a Church Mouse” by Stephen Bevan and Jeff Harvey.
In the short fiction category, the finalists are "The Pew” by Alison Maeser Brimley, “Le Train à Grande Vitesse” by R.A. Christmas, “The Thicket” by Bradeigh Godfrey, “Jane’s Journey” by Heidi Naylor, and “Bishop Johansen Rescues a Lost Soul: A Tale of Pleasant Grove” by Steven L. Peck.
The comics category includes comic books, graphic novels or online comic series, according to the organization. The finalists are “Batman ’66/Legion of Super Heroes, No. 1” by Lee Allred, Michael Allred and Laura Allred, “Real Friends” by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham, “The Garden of Enid: Adventures of a Weird Mormon Girl, Vol. 2” by Scott Hales, “Comic Diaries” by Brittany Long Olsen and “Necropolis” by Jake Wyatt and Kathryn Wyatt.
The creative nonfiction category includes memoirs and collections of personal essays, according to information from the association. The finalists are “That We May Be One: A Gay Mormon’s Perspective on Faith and Family” by Tom Christofferson, “Learning to Like Life: A Tribute to Lowell Bennion” by George B. Handley, “The Burning Point” by Tracy McKay and “Open Midnight: Where Ancestors and Wilderness Meet” by Brooke Williams.
Notable mentions are “Heterodoxologies: Essays” by Matthew James Babcock, “The OCD Mormon: Finding Healing and Hope in the Midst of Anxiety” by Kari Ferguson and “Do Clouds Rest? Dementiadventures with Mom” by Michael Hicks.
The religious nonfiction category refers to a variety of LDS religious studies books, including scriptural studies, theology, social studies and devotional literature. The category does not include histories or biographies, as the Mormon History Association recognizes those books, according to the association. The finalists are “Feeding the Flock: The Foundations of Mormon Thought: Church and Praxis” by Terryl L. Givens; “What is Mormonism? A Student’s Introduction” by Patrick Q. Mason, “The Sun Has Burned My Skin: A Modest Paraphrase of Solomon’s Song of Songs” by Adam S. Miller and “Perspectives on Mormon Theology: Apologetics” by Blair G. Van Dyke and Loyd Isao Ericson.
In the anthology category, the finalists are “Moth and Rust: Mormon Encounters with Death” edited by Stephen Carter, “Seasons of Change: Stories of Transition from the Writers of Segullah” edited by Shelah Mastny Miner and Sandra Clark Jergensen, and “States of Deseret” edited by William Morris.
Finalists in the criticism category are “The Kimball Challenge at Fifty: Mormon Arts Center Essays” by various authors, “On the Problem and Promise of Alex Caldiero’s Sonosophy: Doing Dialogical Coperformative Ethnography; Or, Enter the Poetarium" a doctoral dissertation by Tyler Chadwick.
In the poetry category, the finalists are “Babbage’s Dream” by Neil Aitken, “What Was Left of the Stars” by Claire Åkebrand, “Ephemerist” by Lisa Bickmore, “Owning the Moon” by Linda Sillitoe, and “Mother’s Milk” by Rachel Hunt Steenblick, with illustrations by Ashley Mae Hoiland.
For the drama category, the judges considered written script, not the production. The finalists include “Virtue” by Tim Slover, Plan-B Theatre Company, Cathedral Church of St. Mark, Salt Lake City; “The Drown’ed Book, or the History of William Shakespeare, Part Last” by Mahonri Stewart, Zion Theatre Company, Castle Amphitheatre, Provo; “Not One Drop” by Morag Shepherd, Plan-B Theatre Company, Rose Wager Center, Salt Lake City.Comment on this story
In the film category, the judges considered several genres and sources, including feature films, documentaries, shorts and television shows. The finalists include “The Man in the Camo Jacket” a documentary written and directed by Russ Kendall, “Out of the Ground” a short film written and directed by Barret Burgin; “A Pug and Wolf Christmas” a TV pilot created by Davey and Bianca Morrison Dillard; “Socorro” a short film written and directed by Marshal Davis; “We Love You, Sally Carmichael!” a feature film directed by Christopher Gorham and written by Daryn Tufts.