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Unpublished Writers Find Recognition From San Diego Book Awards

December 21, 2016 1:30 p.m.

Unpublished Writers Find Recognition From San Diego Book Awards


Jean Forsythe, president, San Diego Book Awards Association

Jeanne Ferris, vice president, San Diego Book Awards Association

Related Story: Unpublished Writers Find Recognition From San Diego Book Awards


This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

Writing is not a social activity so writers can sometimes get a bit isolated with their craft. The San Diego book awards is a good excuse to come out of your Dan and test the waters with an audience of writers and readers dedicated to encouraging San Diego writers. The Deadline for submitting entries in the San Diego book awards for unpublished writers is coming up, that is December 31. To talk to us about the San Diego book awards and why you should submit your entry is Jean Forsythe who is the president of the book awards Association. And Jeanne Ferris who is the vice president. Jeanne Ferris come out of the book awards get started?
It was founded by Chet Cunningham, 22 years ago. He wrote some spy novels and felt that the unpublished writer needed to be celebrated and recognized.
Why did he want to give out awards to people who were unpublished? Did he have personal experience?
I think his main reason for doing it is because he wanted to encourage new writers. I have to agree with him. I think new writers should be very much encouraged.
Let me ask you, Jean did you have an experience yourself, writing and not have anybody reading it in wanting more exposure?
Up all the time. I wrote I cannot tell you how many things I wrote that I never show to anyone except my mother. Your mother is not always the best judge of how good it is. That is one of the reasons for the book awards is because you do get.
You actually one and awards.
I did pick up on the unpublished novel for children, young adults. I think the difference it made for me was the fact that someone, people who are totally anonymous they had no idea who I was picked they were not my friends, they were not my family. They said I had done a very good job and they gave me an award. It made a huge difference for me. Chat was right he did encourage me to keep writing. I have completed three novelists and some and I have sold some short pieces. I had never heard of the book awards before.
What are some the roadblocks. It is that easy to get published these days is a?
No. Even with shell -- self-publishing you need capital. Any capital to bring.
You also need a good marketing plan to get anything sold in you have to have a very good product which is why if people are planning on self-publishing it is so important not to just read it yourself or have your friends and family. Being a good writing group. We have wonderful writing groups in San Diego. We have wonderful writing conferences. Also from the book awards stand point we give wonderful feedback to unpublished authors. If you are thinking of self-publishing said it into the unpublished competition and we will let you know if you are ready not only to send it out to an agent or a traditional publisher but if you are ready to self publish and have a really good book that you are proud of.
At tell us what you are looking for in the submissions. What he looking for when you are judging these awards?
A compelling story. Great characters, great setting, wonderful plot. Can't put it down.
Exactly but the same thing you would look for if you are buying a book. We have a two page judging form. Every entry whether it is published or unpublished is read by three separate judges. It always amazes me how close the judges are on their scores.
Jeanne Ferris is there anything you would say as a warning to unpublished writers? Any mistakes they should