STBFnewvidSee how easy it is for libraries to submit nominations this year. The oscars go to Jeannie Dilger, Dee Brennan and Nikki Zimmermann.


What is the Soon to Be Famous Author Project?

The next Soon to be Famous Illinois Author may be perched in a coffee shop finishing off the next great novel right now. In a few months that author may be famous. The second annual Soon to be Famous Illinois Author project will kick off at the annual Illinois Library Association conference. The project is seeking an Illinois author with a self-published adult fiction book that libraries can help to make “famous.”  Last years winner, Joanne Zienty, has spoken at dozens of Illinois libraries as well as giving several interviews to big name newspapers, local radio stations, magazines and more. Are you the next Soon to be Famous author??

The Soon to be Famous Illinois Author project will be accepting adult fiction submissions from Illinois residents via their local libraries starting on October 15, 2014 and ending December 15, 2014.

Please review what you will need to apply and send in your application starting October 15th! Last day to apply is December 15th!

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Joanne Zienty recently won the Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project for her debut novel “The Things We Save.” In this episode of The Big Questions podcast — recorded in front of a live audience in Elgin’s Gail Borden Public Library — Zienty talks about how the objects we save define us, the path of the modern author and how “Jersey Shore’s” Snooki Polizzi changed her life.

 “The Big Questions” is part of Sun-Times Media Local’s Podcast Network. The show is available on iTunesYouTube and SoundCloud.

Watch it now! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9NoqhKKjC0


Soon To Be Famous Author Project 2015



2014 Soon to be Famous Illinois Author Winner Announced

MAK_9880It only seems fitting that during National Library Week (April 13-19, 2014) the winner of the first Soon to be Famous Illinois Author Project is a librarian. Joanne Zienty, a resident of Wheaton, Illinois and the library media specialist at the Forest School Library in Des Plaines, was awarded the honor for her book The Things We Save at an award ceremony held Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 2pm at the RAILS (Reaching Across Illinois Libraries) headquarters in Burr Ridge, Illinois.

Born and raised on Chicago’s South Side, Zienty’s first success as a writer came in fifth grade, when she completed a 70-page novel—an “homage” to Walter Farley’s Black Stallion series.  Her first play, a Thanksgiving melodrama, was produced at her elementary school. She has been writing ever since. Her other passion is working as a librarian combining her favorite pastimes: reading, encouraging others to read, teaching information literacy, and playing with technology.  Zienty shared, “As a writer, participating in the Soon to Be Famous Author project has been an incredibly validating experience!”

The Soon to be Famous Illinois Author project is the brainchild of library marketing professionals who were inspired after listening to a presentation by brand expert and NYU professor David Vinjamuri, who spoke at the American Library Association’s 2013 annual conference about the importance of libraries in the era of e-books and self-publishing. He challenged libraries to wield their collective influence to lift a self-published author to success to create a measurable indicator of the power of libraries and librarians to affect books and reading. Currently, 32% of bestsellers on Amazon are self-published.

One hundred three self-published adult fiction titles were nominated and more than 20 librarians across the state served as judges. After a series of eliminations, the top 3 authors were selected and were all present at the RAILS headquarters for the announcement. Vinjamuri flew in from New York to introduce the authors and present the award to the winner.

The Soon to be Famous Illinois Author project is being coordinated in collaboration with the Illinois Library Association (ILA) and Reaching across Illinois Library System (RAILS) and is supported by the American Library Association Digital Content Working Group, the Public Library Association (PLA), and Illinois Heartland Library System.

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