N.B. This award will not be given out at the Portland 2017 Conference.
The English Historical Fiction Authors Facebook group was buried for days with expressions of shock and grief when the death of member M.M. Bennetts was announced. Perhaps you had never heard of her? That would be sad.
M.M. Bennetts, after twenty years as a book critic for The Christian Science Monitor, had two fabulous literary historical novels published. Then she got a rare, aggressive cancer. Her publisher turned her books back to her, leaving her to make her own name as she fought the disease. It was hard to do both, and after eight years, she died.
I tear myself away from talking about this wonderful woman to introduce the memorial Award now founded in her name, the M.M. Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction. But I do hope you will look her and her work up on her witty and informative blog, Amazon, and the English Historical Fiction Authors blog.
There are others who write wonderfully, and it is a struggle to make your work known in the ever growing sea of novels. There is only so much time for social media and other self-promotion while committing yourself to your craft. In M.M.’s name, we wish to offer authors an opportunity to be made known and honored as one of the best.
Submissions of novels published in 2014 are being accepted through January 31, 2015 at the M.M. Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction website. The long list is sure to be a collection of great reads. It will be announced in early March. The short list will be published in May, and we hope all the placing authors will be able to attend the HNS Conference to hear the winning announcement at the Saturday Luncheon.
As the books come in, we also need readers knowledgeable in various areas of the world historically speaking. If you could join our panel of judges for the first round or have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To M.M. Bennetts, and to all the Best in historical fiction, past and present.
by Debra Brown President of the M.M. Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction Association