Friends, I just received the commentary for my first novel, the Age of Elijah, from the 3rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self Published e-book awards, Inspirational category. I am delighted to say that the book earned a score of “5” in each scoring category!! Let me explain: this writing contest has different divisions, such as: fiction/mainstream; fiction/genre; non-fiction; etc. The division I entered the book was “Inspirational”. Although Age did not earn the top prize, we did well across all criteria. The judges use a scale of 1-5. A score of 1 means “needs improvement”. A score of 5 is “outstanding”. The Age of Elijah earned all 5’s! Thank you to those of you who inspired me, bore with me, and encouraged me. If you have not purchased the book yet, it is never too late to purchase a copy, since the book has been *revised*, prior to its entry into this contest. The Kindle version (e-book) is only $3.99 on Amazon (please see buy link at the end of this post). And remember, a tenth of all proceeds from the book go to support Leket Israel, an organization which feeds the poor in Israel.
Here are the categories used for judging, with their scores and the written commentary, verbatim, sent to me by the judge :
Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 5
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 5
Production Quality and Cover Design: 5
Plot and Story Appeal: 5
Character Appeal and Development: 5
Voice and Writing Style: 5
Judge #60 wrote:
A fascinating look into this religious culture. We learn so much about their lifestyle and devotion to their practices, aided by the smartly provided glossary. This is indeed an immersion into a culture we may not know much about, a reminder that we are richer in our own faith by exploring others. The author demonstrates a tremendous ease in explaining the many details of her religion’s lifestyle, with an engaging voice filled with knowledge. We’re seeing and *experiencing* so many of the rituals and rules of her people. Author provides excellent sensory details, and shows a great economy of words in sharing the backgrounds of her faith life. Well done. We are in good hands here. This allows us to connect on a deeper level.
Watch out for very long paragraphs, which occasionally happen in this book. Long paragraphs, especially those filled with a tremendous amount of detail and new lessons, can feel heavy visually, and cloak some of the details within. Breaking up big text blocks lets your material breathe and shine.
A strength of this book is the author’s recounting of Elijah the prophet. There was a different energy there, a greater depth of detail than in the other wonderfully recounted stories, which I interpreted as the author’s feeling particularly connected to this story. Well done. Author shows a life with great dedication to her faith, and we’re very present in her world through excellent creation of settings, beautiful dialogue from well-differentiated characters, and a lovely pace that progresses us through her story. Well done.