Award-Winning Autobiography/Memoirs

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Genealogical research often leads to writing and publishing memoirs. Today on All Things Fulfilling we will  feature 2015 EVVY award-winning memoirs. These publications were independently published and were entered into the 21st annual book award contest sponsored by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association(CIPA).

Here are this year’s award recipients in the autobiography/memoir category:

1st Place – Not in the Pink by Tina Martel

2nd Place – Goat Lips by Matthew Taylor

3rd Place – Song of the Mountains: My Pilgrammage to Maa Ganga   by Shaku Rajagopal

3rd Place – Zero to Sixty by Bruce Allen MacMullen

Merit Award – K for Katmandu by Cynthia T Kennedy

Merit Award – Peeling Back the Layers: A Story of Trauma, Grace & Triumph  by LaWayne Childrey

Penning a book about one’s life story can be heart-wrenching or joyous and fraught with human fraility. Sometimes terms like revealing and cathartic, might be appropriate when one bares ones soul through the written word.  Some stories take more courage to tell than others.

downloadToday, I’d like to congratulate this group of award-winning authors because as a 2014 EVVY award-winning author, I know first-hand the personal fulfillment that comes with writing a publication that is autobiographical in nature. To see the full list of categories in the contest and the other award-winning authors and their publishers.

See you back here tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling.  This blog is brought to you by EVVY award-winning memorist, Sue Batton Leonard.

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Feeding the Needy through Literacy

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Harvest Book CompetitionLast Saturday I participated in The Harvest Book Reading Contest, sponsored by  MANASPIRITS.  Since Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected won in the Young Adult Category, I was given the opportunity to read aloud from my memoir during the nationally broadcast blog talk radio show. To view the e-magazine which was published in conjunction with the contest and to read about the other finalists, please follow this link.https://flipflashpages.uniflip.com/3/97499/340894/pub/.

 

kids-readingThe purpose of this event was to “feed community literary passions while helping to feed the hungry.” I was so pleased to be included in this nationally broadcast radio show. Children’s hunger is always a good cause to support.

Proceeds went to St Mary’s Food Bank Alliance http://www.firstfoodbank.org/ which is the world’s first food bank, organized in 1967. This event alone raised enough money to fund 5,000 Thanksgiving meals for people in need.

Fueling literary passions, another mission of the Harvest Book Reading Contest, is also such a worthy cause.  It has been said that “no skill is more crucial to the future of a child, or to a democratic and prosperous society, than literacy.”

In my opinion, we need opportunities no matter how small or large, to send messages to every child in America that books are the most valued material thing they can have in their lives. Above all else. And reading is the key to all understanding.

Thank you to the folks at MANASPIRITS who organized this event. I greatly appreciated being involved with it. And congratulations to all the other category winners!

This blog is brought to you by  author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her book, which is winning awards in the young adult category, please visit this link. http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt

Intuition and Writing

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Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next ~ Jonas Salk

A couple of weeks ago I gave an author talk  and book reading to the Bayshore Bookies in Dorchester County, Maryland. One of the book club members asked  “What’s next? Will you be doing any more writing?” Yes.

Follow-up question: What are you going to write?
Not sure yet, I’ve got lots of ideas stewing, a few characters “fleshed out”  and a lot of content already written. Now that the story I had been waiting to tell my whole life has been accomplished, my intuition will lead me to my next project and what form of literature I’ll use to tell it.

If you are a regular reader of All Things Fulfilling  you’ve probably noticed from my compulsion to blog so frequently finding things to write about is not a problem.

Finding a way to turn the brain off, is more the challenge. Any suggestions? Please don’t say go for a walk.

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This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information about her memoir,  Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link.http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt.  Available an EVVY award-winning audio book, paperback and e-book.

 

2014 Harvest Book Reading Competition

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Press Release

October 28, 2014

Steamboat Springs, CO

Sue Batton Leonard, EVVY award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected is a finalist in the 2014 Harvest Book Reading Competition which will be broadcast via blog radio on Saturday,  November 8th, 2014.

Manaspirits, Inc. an Arizona-based non-profit, philanthrophic organization is sponsoring the book reading. The mission of the organization is to “help to feed the hungry while feeding a community’s literary passion.” The participants look forward to having “the program listeners leave with an enduring bond with the authors and their messages while helping neighbors in need.” The event will be “modeled after East Coast public literary events and book readings.”

Sue Batton Leonard is a finalist and her book is published by http://www.bookcrafters.net,  titled Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. It is a story of multi-cultural love, faith, healing and life lessons.

Sue Batton Leonard is also founder of We Write Steamboat, a networking group for independent publishers whose mission is to foster independent publishing success. Two other EVVY award-winning authors from Steamboat, Dr. Dawn V. Obrecht and Debbie Zoub, MSW are finalists for their publications.

To listen in, tune into the nationally broadcast blog radio show through this link http://www.blogtalkradio.com/richerlife/2014/11/08/2014-harvest-book-reading. The show will be live on Saturday, November 8th at 1pm Eastern Standard Time, 12:00 pm (noon) in Central time zone, 11am Mountain Time and 10am Pacific. The award-winning authors will be announced during the airing. To call in to the show during the broadcast to speak to the host dial 347-838-8578.

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Naively Speaking

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It is well for the heart to be naive, and the mind not to be.” ~ Anatole France

tonsils removedI remember feeling slighted. It seemed like all the kids in the neighborhood had their tonsils and adenoids removed except me.  As a child, it didn’t matter to me that I had lived through pioneering heart surgery, I still wished I could get my tonsils out like many of my buddies.

Apparently, according to this article, twice as many tonsillectomies were performed in the 1950s and 1960s as today. http://seattletimes.com/html/health/2015264059_med10.html.

To a kid, getting tonsils and adenoids removed  meant eating ice cream! And lots of it! Ice cream was one of the few foods that I really adored when I was growing up. And to go to the soda fountain counter at S.S. Kresges or Reads Drugstore for a scoop in an ice cold silver dish with a doily between the dish and a small saucer was a special treat.

Remember the litttle plastic cups of ice cream with the wooden spoons? They reminded me of tongue depressors the doctors used. And then there were the ice-cream pop-ups.

 

icecream cups

 

icecream orange popups

 

vintage doctors kit

In my memoir I share both a child’s perspective of my “operation” at Johns Hopkins and  my adult insight into why perhaps I fared so well.

This blog brought to you by author Sue Batton Leonard. Her memoir, “an anthology of short stories,” is a  two-time award winner in the Colorado Independent Publishers Association EVVY Book Awards. For information and ordering, please follow this link.

Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected is available in audio book (that holds the real treasure), paperback and e-book.

 

Book Award Results!

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Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul.” ~Alexander Pope

“Sue,” my sister said, peaking out of our guest room door yesterday morning, “what are you doing up at this hour?”

I was sitting on the sofa with the computer on my lap. “It’s 4:30 in the morning. I thought we had agreed that you’d wake me at 5:30 to leave by 6:00 am to go to the Denver airport. Go back to bed!” my sister said, not too pleased that she had been awoken when she heard the teapot whistling.

“I couldn’t wait any longer to check my email,” I said to my sister. “I want to see the results of the EVVY Book awards.” My twin sister was visiting from Maryland and we were spending our first birthday in more than 30 years together. Since family rates first in my book, I decided to give my twin sister the gift of not shortchanging her vacation by trekking into Denver for the EVVY book awards over the weekend. My publisher Joe McDaniel of http://www.bookcrafters.net had promised to email me after the book awards were over with the results.

“Did you win anything?” my sister asked, peaking over my shoulder, rubbing her sleepy eyes as she looked at my computer.

“Yep!” I said, as I read directly from Joe McDaniel’s email. ” Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected was awarded 2nd prize in the Audio book category and Merit Award in the Anthology category.”  Of course, hugs followed.

“That’s so, so great, Sue, two prizes!” My sister said.

“I can’t believe it!” I replied, “I am so glad I decided to publish the story.” What started as recording  just a few childhood memories to send to my family somehow became a full-fledged anthology of published stories contending among 274 other entries in the 20th annual Colorado Independent Publishers Association EVVY book award contest!

Although I wrote the story, I’d like to say “Congratulations to my twin sister Jan, and the rest of my family too” because in part, it’s their life story too! My life and the tale would not be nearly as fulfilling without all of them in it.

And then, there’s the real star – Fanny. What a character. She left an indelible mark on my life and is leaving the same kind of impression on the readers’ hearts. The voice in this award-winning memoir holds the real treasure. But I am more confident than ever that if you prefer to read the paperback or e-book format, you’ll still enjoy the story!

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. Please return tomorrow. I will be posting some information about people who were very instrumental in helping me to publish a high quality publication, worthy of merit and two awards.  I wish to say thank you.

Eggs in the grass

Finally!  A birthday together after more than 30 years! (Jan on left, Sue on right).

quotes about life storiesThis blog brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on the memoir “Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected,” please visit this link http://amzn.to/1tIG0PI

Validating Quality Writers

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The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential…these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence. ~ Confucious

CIPA is one of the most active and top independent publishing associations in the country, and they have worked hard to gain their admired reputation. The Colorado Independent Publisher’s Association’s educational programs afforded me the opportunity to learn so much about the parts of the publishing process that I wasn’t well-versed in while writing my memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfillment in the Unexpected. It is soon to be released.

Writers write for all kinds of reasons – to inspire, influence and educate others. Aside from strong book sales, book awards validate that an authors work is worthy of respect and notice.

I encourage my clients to seek book awards whenever possible. A prestigious EVVY award from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association goes along way in recognizing an author for their excellence.

It is a very special year for the Colorado Independent Publishers. The EVVY book award contest is in it’s 20th year. It’s grown to include submissions from authors in countries that are far removed from the United  States. Last year contestants came from Dubai and Russia!

2014 CIPA awards    You need not be a CIPA member anymore to enter the contest, the submission guidelines have    changed. Here is what just one award winner, Teresa Funke, has to say about the contest. “I’ve been the lucky recipient of five CIPA EVVY awards over the last eleven years for my novel, my short story collection, and two of my children’s books. Why do I continue to enter the contest? Because CIPA is doing something very important with these awards . . . they are recognizing and honoring high-qualify self-published books of all genres and bringing credibility to the efforts we make as independent authors. CIPA was providing positive attention to our books long before many credible sources would even consider looking at self-published authors. Each year, my competition in the contest has grown stronger and more impressive, proof that we, as an industry, are moving forward. I’m proud to be a CIPA EVVY winner not just because it means that my books are good, but also because it puts quality indie books on a par with those that are traditionally published.  And, frankly, it’s fun once in a while to get dressed up and go celebrate our achievements with fellow authors who have worked just as hard as we have!” 

Here is a link to the website so you can read about the submission guidelines, the fees and the various deadlines. http://www.cipacatalog.com/pages/CIPA-EVVY-Awards.

Heads up! The submission deadline is May 17! Join in and don’t miss out!

See you on Monday on All Things Fulfilling. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com,