Yesterday, I received an interesting email from Robison Wells. It invited me to be a voting member of the Whitney Academy for the 2007 Whitney Awards. I can't even tell you how much this made my day. From the first time I heard about the organization of the Whitney Awards, I've been telling everyone I know to read more LDS fiction and nominate the books they love. My excitement even pushed me to make a list of eligible books for last year. So to be asked to vote on the final nominees has allowed me to be involved in one more step of the process.
When the list of finalist came out last week, I immediately started tracking down the books so I could read as many of them as possible before attending the banquet in March. Now I have to read all the books before Feb 20th. From the list of nominees, I have already read five of them, that leaves 21 books to read in the next month (26 if I want to read the first books in a series so the nominated books make sense). It's a good thing I'm a very fast reader. I'm still working on finding copies of all the books. The local library system has quite a few of them, I own a some, and I received one email with a complete book, so I'm well on my way.
I have my work cut out for me but I'm so excited to be given the opportunity to vote with the Academy. I believe the Whitney Awards will provide a great boost to LDS fiction, providing a way to honor the best in LDS fiction and giving the rest of us something to aim for. I can't wait to finish this year's list, so I can start reading and nominating books for the 2008 Whitney Awards.