SALT LAKE CITY — Josi Kilpack’s “As Wide as the Sky” is the 2018 Whitney Award winner of best novel of the year from the adult fiction categories and Jennifer A. Nielsen’s “Resistance” is the youth novel of the year, according to the winners list provided by the Whitney Award committee. The awards were presented May 10.
Forty-five novels, the work of some 40 authors, were named as finalists across nine categories that recognize novels by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In “As Wide as the Sky,” written under Kilpack’s pen name Jessica Pack, Amanda Mallorie is trying to move forward with her life after her son’s execution on death row. As she packs up his things, she finds a class ring she’s never seen before and it doesn’t belong to her son. It starts of journey of discovery, healing and forgiveness. It also won the Whitney Award in the general fiction category.
In “Resistance,” a middle grade novel, a Jewish teenager in Nazi-controlled Poland is determined to make a difference and works with the underground resistance movement. It also won the Whitney Award in the middle grade fiction category.
In the youth categories, Nielsen’s “The Traitor’s Game” won in the young adult fantasy category. In the young adult speculative fiction category, “First Kisses Suck” by Ali Cross won.
In the young adult general fiction category, “Girl at the Grave” by Teri Bailey Black won. It also won best novel by a debut author.
In the adult categories, “Perfect Set” by Melanie Jacobson won in the romance category, and “See Miss Heartstone” by Nichole Van won in the historical romance category.
In the mystery/suspense category, “A Familiar Fear” by Kathi Oram Peterson won, and “Witchy Winter” by D.J. Butler won in the speculative fiction category.
Authors Elana Johnson and Lisa Mangum were presented with the Outstanding Achievement Award. Johnson was recognized for publishing career and also for “her generosity in sharing her knowledge and skills with the writing community,” according to the news release.
Mangum received the award for her contributions to the writing community, through teaching and helping others in a variety of settings and “for ensuring all writers feel welcomed and included in the writing community,” according to the news release.
The Whitney Awards were founded by Robison Wells in 2007 and named after early Latter-day Saint apostle Orson F. Whitney.
To nominate at novel by a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published in 2019 for a Whitney Award, see whitneyawards.com.
Panels of judges select five finalists in each category. Winners are then selected by an academy of industry professionals, including authors, publishers, bookstore owners, distributors, critics and others.
See whitneyawards.com for more information on the awards.