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Association for Mormon Letters Award finalists for 2014 announced

About 60 works, including books, stories, films and screenplays by, for or about members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, have been named finalists across a dozen categories for Association for Mormon Letters awards.

The religious nonfiction category is new this year to highlight scholarly works, not including historical or biographical studies. Also, the awards for criticism, poetry and short stories include works published in both 2013 and 2014, and awards for both years will be presented for poetry and short stories.

In the creative nonfiction category, the finalists are “To the Mountain: One Mormon Woman’s Search for Spirit” by Phyllis Barber; “Hemingway on a Bike” by Eric Freeze; “Way Below the Angels: The Pretty Clearly Troubled by Not Even Close to Tragic Confessions of a Real Live Mormon Missionary” by Craig Harline; and “Hippie Boy: A Girl’s Story” by Ingrid Ricks.

Finalists in the criticism category for both 2013 and 2014 include “Ender’s World: Fresh Perspectives on the SF Classic Ender’s Game” edited by Orson Scott Card; “Of Many Hearts and Many Minds: The Mormon Novel and the Post-Utopian Challenge of Assimilation” by Scott Hales; and “Toward a Mormon Literary Theory” by Jack Harrell.

In the drama category, the finalists include “The Weaver of Raveloe” by Erica Glenn and Melissa Leilani Larson; “Pride and Prejudice” by Melissa Leilani Larson; “Single Wide” by George Nelson and Jordan Kamalu; and “Evening Eucalyptus” by Mahonri Stewart.

Finalists in the film category are “Inspired Guns” directed by Adam White; “The Last Straw” directed by Rob Diamond; “Meet The Mormons” directed by Blair Treu; “Mitt” directed by Greg Whiteley; and “Saints and Soldiers: The Void” directed by Ryan Little.

For the best middle grade novel, the finalists are “The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place” by Julie Berry; “Almost Super” by Marion Jensen; “Time of the Fireflies” by Kimberley Griffiths Little; “Sky Raiders” by Brandon Mull; and “The End or Something Like That” by Anne Dee Ellis.

Finalists in the novel category are “A Song for Issy Bradley” by Carys Bray; “The Bishop’s Wife” by Mette Ivie Harrison; “Words of Radiance” by Brandon Sanderson; “The Thieves of Summer” by Linda Sillitoe; and “City of Brick and Shadow” by Tim Wirkus.

In the picture book category, the finalists are “The Princess in Black” by Shannon and Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham; “Girls Who Choose God: Stories of Courageous Women from the Bible,” by McArthur Krishna and Bethany Brady Spalding, illustrated by Kathleen Peterson; “Fetch” by Adam Glendon Sidwell, illustrated by Edwin Rhemrev; “The World According to Musk Ox,” by Erin Cabatingan, illustrated by Matthew Myers; and “The Tooth Fairy Wars” by Kate Coombs, illustrated by Jake Parker.

For poetry published in 2013, the finalists are “sonosuono” by Alex Caldiero; “Salt” by Susan Elizabeth Howe; and “Genius Loci” by Lance Larsen. For poetry published in 2014, the finalists include “Picture Dictionary” by Kristen Eliason; “Uncommon Prayer” and “Made Flesh: Sacrament and Poetics in Post-Reformation England” by Kimberly Johnson; and “In the Museum of Coming and Going” by Laura Stott.

Finalists for religious nonfiction are “Re-Reading Job” by Michael Austin; “Seeking the Promised Land” by David Campbell, John Green and Quin Monson; and “Wrestling the Angel” by Terryl Givens.

For short stories published in 2013, the finalists are “The Chaplain’s Legacy” by Brad Torgersen; “The Righteous Road” by Ryan Shoemaker; “Expiation” by Richard Dutcher; “Duplex” by Eric Freeze; and “The Gift of Tongues” by Annette Haws. For short stories published in 2014, the finalists are “Recollection” by Nancy Fulda; “Two-Dog Dose” by Steven Peck; “Anatomy” by Tim Wirkus; and “Jesus Enough” by Levi S. Peterson.

Finalists in the young adult general novel category are “Death Coming up the Hill” by Chris Crowe; “Forbidden” by Kimberley Griffiths Little; “On the Fence” by Kasie West; “Signed, Sky Harper” by Carol Lynch Williams; and “Stronger Than You Know” by Jolene Perry.

In the young adult speculative novel category, the finalists are “Atlantia” by Ally Condie; “The Paper Magician” by Charlie Holmberg; “The Unhappening of Genesis Lee” by Shallee McArthur; “Ruins” by Dan Wells; and “Illusions of Fate” by Kiersten White.

Winners for each category, an award for comics and the Smith-Pettit Foundation Award for Outstanding Contribution to Mormon Letters will be announced at the Introduction to the Mormon Lit conference, which is tentatively scheduled for March 28 in Orem. Judges determined the finalists and winners, according to

Also, the Association of Mormon Letters has a tradition of not honoring a writer in the same category for two years in a row, which is why works by last year’s category winners Melissa Dalton-Bradford in creative nonfiction for “Global Mom,” Scott Hales for his comic strip “The Garden of Enid,” Sarah Eden in the novel category for “Longing for Home,” and Cindy Hogan, who won in the young adult fiction category for “Gravediggers,” were not considered for certain categories this year, according to information on

Also honored last year were Dean Hughes with a Lifetime Achievement Award, Charlotte Hawkins England with the Smith-Pettit Foundation Award for Outstanding Contribution to Mormon Letters Award, Garret Batty in the film category for “The Saratov Approach,” Brandon Sanderson in the young adult speculative fiction category for “The Rithmatist” and Ariel Mitch for her play, “A Second Birth,” according to

The AML Awards have been awarded since 1977.

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