Finalists for ForeWord Firsts’ Winter 2013 competition include Wild Nights, by Friday Harbor author MaryEllen Coutney. The award contest recognizes the brightest self-published and independently published works of debut fiction. The Winter 2013 Winner will be announced May 30, 2013.
“Choosing the top finalists was a challenge this quarter,” said ForeWord Reviews Publisher Victoria Sutherland, adding “ForeWord Firsts is all about celebrating excellence, originality, and accessibility, and our finalists titles definitely reflect that.”
First fiction titles, published January through March 2013 , were eligible for judging. Debut fiction writers—either self-published or represented by small presses—were invited to submit their work. ForeWord’s panel of editors reviewed the selection of submitted titles and named the following finalists (in alphabetical order by title):
- For Those in Peril on the Sea by Colin M. Drysdale / Pictish Beast Publications
- Joshua: The Odyssey of an Ordinary Man by Dr. Theckedath Mathew / Odyssey Press
- The Butterfly Lady by Danny M. Hoey Jr. / Flaming Giblet Press
- The Stroboscopic Life of Blake Winkler and Other Stories by Stefanie Fife / Lemon Jam
- Wild Nights by Mary Ellen Courtney / PorterChanceBooks
“Age 32 is when a woman ﬁgures it out. At least that was true for Hannah Spring. Her job as a production designer was going great in Los Angeles. Her mostly crazy family was at a safe distance in San Diego. And after a rather lengthy run of bad ideas made more interesting than they deserved to be by her vivid imagination, she was dating a man with only one name. Her last man had needed an alias. Life was good. Her hope, like a promise-ﬁlled seed that drifts to earth in search of safe nurturing soil, was that it would just keep getting better. Then her beloved grandmother died and bequeathed the poet Emily Dickinson to Hannah as well as, well, a dead bird. Dead or alive, Grandma made sure Hannah knew about “Wild Nights.” At least that’s what Hannah thought a year later, after many miles and men and coconuts. By then she knew she’d never ﬁgure it all out, but knew she could ﬁgure out a lot as she went along. Which was even better.”
Wild Nights is available locally at San Juan Food Coop; Kindle and hard copies are available at Amazon. Author MaryEllen tells us she is already working on the sequel. Stay tuned, or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Watch out, this book is a racy as the title sounds!