ThreeFinalistsSTBFphotos

 

2014 SOON TO BE FAMOUS ILLINOIS AUTHOR PROJECT SEMI-FINALISTS

POSTED 3/2/2015
 Sharon Kay – Wicked Waves – Naperville Library
Emily Kaplan – Unmasked – Prairie Ridge HS Library
Donald Bingle – Frame Shop – Messenger North Aurora Library
Eileen Lynch – Angels in Play – Cary Area Library
Doug Lassiter – Paladin – Geneva Library
Jane Steen – The House of Closed Doors – Cook Memorial Library
Michael Alan Peck – The Commons Book 1: The Journeyman – CPL-Edgewater Library
Alastair Davie – A Sixth Sense – Evanston Library
Len Joy – American Past Time – Skokie Library
Loretta Giacoletto – Family Deceptions – Mississippi Valley Dist-Collinsville Library
RH Piechowski The Randy Scuffle Papers – Clarendon Hills Library
Randall Allen Dunn – The Red Rider – Gail Borden Library

We were featured in American Libraries magazine!

The Making of the Illinois Author Project

Librarians launch an award for self-published novels

http://www.americanlibrariesmagazine.org/blog/making-illinois-author-project

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 the nominations deadline is now extended to January 9th!

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

Due to some issues with the uploading of books, the nominations deadline is extended to January 9th!

We understand that a few of you are having trouble submitting through the web site and some folks are finding the submission process easy.
If you are having trouble with the web site, please email the complete information to soontobefamous_submissions@gailborden.info.

NEW MARKETING MATERIALS

Please print and distribute!

soon to be famous bookmarks 4up BOOKMARKS

soontobefamous_nov2014 _ 11 x 8.5 FLYERS

soontobefamous_nov2014- 11 x 17 (1) POSTERS

podcast logo

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

     

[fsg_gallery id=”1″]

 

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.
 

April 16, 2014

Special National Library Week Announcement
 Winner announced in Soon to be Famous Illinois Author Project

It 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.

March 30, 2014
Soon To Be Famous Illinois Author to be Named on April 16

Three finalists have been selected from the 103 self-published authors nominated by Illinois librarians for the Soon to be Famous Illinois Author Project. Robert Doyle, Executive Director of the Illinois Library Association, one of the project sponsors explained, “The purpose of this exciting project is twofold—give a talented author exposure and spotlight the importance of libraries to literature efforts.”

Rick Polad, Carol Stream, was nominated by the Phillips Library at Aurora University for his book Change of Address; Mary Hutchings Reed, Chicago, was nominated for her work Warming Up by the Mount Prospect Public Library; and Joanne Zienty, Wheaton, was nominated by the Forest School Library in Des Plaines for her book The Things We Save.

The winner will be announced at a media reception during National Library Week on Wednesday, April 16, at 2 p.m. at the RAILS (Reaching Across Illinois Library System) Administrative Offices at 125 Tower Drive in Burr Ridge.

David Vinjamuri, brand expert and NYU professor who inspired the project, will present the award.  Vinjamuri spoke eloquently about the importance of libraries in the era of eBooks and branding at the American Library Association’s annual conference last summer.  “David made the point again and again about how libraries are instrumental in promoting reading and literature. He issued a challenge to libraries to find an unknown talented Illinois author that will become a success based on librarians’ recommendations,” said Illinois Library Association Executive Director Robert Doyle.

The winning author will be interviewed by Steve Bertrand, host of Bertrand on Books on WGN Radio (720 AM).  Bertrand’s interviews with authors are featured on the Kathy and Judy Show on Saturday mornings between 10 a.m. and noon and posted on WGN’s website in their entirety.  He’s interviewed top writers including Scott Turow, Jackie Collins, Lisa Gardner, and Sara Paretsky.

The library community in Illinois is also planning to promote the winning author through special appearances, interviews, feature articles, book discussions, and Skype visits.  The committee will be encouraging libraries to purchase the winning title and feature it in displays and book discussions.  “Libraries and librarians are experts at recognizing exceptional literature and promoting the works of authors,” said Dee Brennan, Executive Director of RAILS.

Authors’ Personal Statements

PoladsmlRick Polad, Carol Stream
Author, Change of Address

After a career as a Geologist, I am now teaching Earth Science and Astronomy at the college level. I spend summers volunteering with the Coast Guard on Lake Michigan and playing golf – sometimes with success. I have been an avid mystery reader since I learned to read and, over the many years, I developed my own character. I wrote a story for my parents and friends but, given the hurdles of the publishing industry, never considered that route. After a suggestion from a friend to e-publish, I published the first book in the Spencer Manning series, “Change of Address.”  The third book is due out shortly. The hardest part of this venture is marketing. I am very excited to be a part of the “Soon to Be Famous Author” project. This is wonderful exposure for “unknown” authors and libraries.

 

Reed_Mary_Final2smlMary Hutchings Reed, Chicago
Author, Warming Up

Warming Up started out as a novel exploring why some incredibly talented people never step into the spotlight and others with less talent never shy away, but it was soon hijacked by a fearless street kid who once charmed sixty dollars from me.

What is exciting about STBF Author Project is not the prospect of becoming “famous,” but the opportunity to reach new readers.  Technology has made it possible for writers to become their own publishers, but access to on-demand printing and internet marketing only ensures availability.  With ever-increasing choices, the selection process for readers has become overwhelming.  Projects like STBF celebrate the critical role of libraries and librarians in curating the public culture and making it truly accessible.  Readers trust their librarians to guide them, and there is no greater compliment to a writer than to have a librarian recommend her novel as “a good read.”

JZienty color (2)smlJoanne Zienty, Wheaton
Author, The Things We Save

Born and raised on Chicago’s South Side, I vividly remember the “glow of industry” that lit the night sky with an orange haze and perfumed the air with acrid odors of coke ovens and blast furnaces, although the steel mills have been shuttered for decades. My first success as a writer came in 5th grade, when I completed a 70-page novel—an “homage” to Walter Farley’s Black Stallion series— and had my first play – a Thanksgiving melodrama – produced on stage at my elementary school.   I’ve been writing ever since. My other passion is working as a library media specialist, combining my favorite pastimes:  reading, encouraging others to read, teaching information literacy and playing with technology.  I live in Wheaton, Illinois with my very supportive husband, two amazing daughters and two naughty cats. As a writer, participating in the Soon to Be Famous Author project has been an incredibly validating experience!

The entire judging committee will read all three books.  The winner will be announced on Wednesday, April 16, at 2 p.m. at the RAILS office at 126 Tower Drive in Burr Ridge.  Please join us for a reception, light refreshments, and the reveal of our Soon to Be Famous Author!

 

February, 2014
Congratulations Round 2  Authors and Nominating Libraries

Paul J. Bartusiak – Source*Forged  Armor – Lake Forest Public Library
Bruce Briley – The Case of the Vatican Murder – Paul V. Galvin Library, IIT
Mary Driver-Thiel – The World Undone – Lake Forest Public Library
Dianne Gallagher – Too Dark to Sleep – Chelsea School Library (Frankfort)
Loretta Giacoletto – Chicago’s Headmistress – Collinsville Memorial Library Center
Mary Hutchings Reed – Warming Up: a novel – Mount Prospect Public Library
Sharon Kay – Wicked Wind – Naperville Public Library
DL Larson – Promises My Love – Earlville Library District
K.D.Lassiter – Parable of the Tooth – Messenger Public Library of North Aurora
Katherine Lato – Making Family – Warrenville Public Library District
Cat Mann – A Beautiful Fate – Springfield HS Library
Amanda Meredith – Dark Mountains – Deer Creek District Library
Rick Polad – Change of Address – Philips Library, Aurora University
David Wozniak – The Gardener of Nahi – La Grange Public Library
Joanne Zienty – The Things We Save – CCSD 62 Forest School, Des Plaines

There were 103 nominations received from these locations in Illinois.
There were 103 nominations received from these locations in Illinois.

 

NEW MARKETING MATERIALS

soon to be famous bookmarks 4up BOOKMARKS

soontobefamous_nov2014 _ 11 x 8.5 FLYERS

soontobefamous_nov2014- 11 x 17 (1) POSTERS

In Print

On Radio

Online

Videos

Watch the announcement of the winner
See the three finalists make their remarks about the project and see the announcement of the winner, Joanne Zietny, in our Awards Ceremony Video!

Enjoy our video: It’s A Writingful Life
The STBF committee created a spoof of It’s A Wonderful Life, starring Bob Doyle, Dee Brennan, Veronda Pitchford, and Nikki Zimmerman.  We’re so proud of everyone’s efforts.  The video was written, edited, and performed by the Illinois library community.

Its_aWritingful_iconkmEnjoy  “It’s a Writingful Life” and check out the cameo posters by Illinois library directors!

Thank you to Indian Prairie Public Library and its staff, Karen McBride, a host of library/system directors, and many more.

 

 

 

October 30, 2013
Undiscovered Author Needed by Illinois Libraries to Become Famous
Illinois libraries hope to discover an unknown self-published author whose work will jump off the page for readers. The Soon to be Famous Illinois Author project will be accepting adult fiction submissions from Illinois residents via their local libraries. The Soon to be Famous Illinois Author will be announced during National Library Week, April 13 to 19, 2014.

It is the perfect fit for Illinois libraries to discover an exciting work of fiction, as libraries have been a keystone in creating enthusiasm for reading for centuries. Even in this digital age, everyday, library staff across the state of Illinois, recommend written works as well as host author talks and book clubs.

“Libraries and librarians are experts at recognizing exceptional literature and promoting the works of authors. We are just taking this role a step further and transforming it into an exciting project for writers and libraries,” said Dee Brennan, Executive Director of RAILS (Reaching Across Illinois Library System).

“IHLS is pleased to partner with a project that connects libraries to the communities they serve. It’s a perfect match–libraries seek out and promote literary resources, and patrons look to them to offer engaging and enticing options. Imagine discovering the latest literary genius in your backyard!” added Leslie Bednar, Executive Director of the Illinois Heartland Library System.

The Soon to be Famous Illinois Author project is the brainchild of library marketing professionals from RAILS. They were inspired after listening to a presentation by brand expert and NYU professor David Vinjamuri, who spoke about the importance of libraries in the era of eBooks and branding at the American Library Association’s 2013 annual conference.

“David made the point again and again about how libraries are instrumental in promoting reading and literature. He issued a challenge to libraries to find an unknown talented Illinois author that will become a success based on librarians’ recommendations. So we are taking up the challenge! The purpose of this exciting project is twofold—give a talented author exposure and spotlight the importance of libraries to literature efforts,” Illinois Library Association Executive Director Robert Doyle.

A staff member from any type of Illinois library, public, academic, school or special, can submit a book for the project. The author must be an Illinois resident, with a self-published book of adult fiction in print and/or digital, be willing to provide copies of the book to the judging committee members, and be willing to promote his/her book at libraries and other venues in person or via Skype.

“This project fits well with the ALA Digital Content Working Group’s efforts to step up engagement with authors, publishers and others in the e-book ecosystem to ensure readers have access to literature and knowledge in all formats through libraries,” said Larra Clark. “Self-publishing is exploding, so the Soon to be Famous Illinois Author project comes at a great time to benefit readers and writers across the state. I can imagine many other states taking up the challenge, and I hope they will.”

PLA president and Illinois librarian Carolyn Anthony stated that, “Public libraries have a real role to play in encouraging local authors, helping them learn about options for self-publishing, giving their works visibility in the library, and spreading the word when a rising star emerges. PLA is delighted to support this effort and looks forward to helping to build on this wonderful idea!”

Nominations can be sent to soontobefamous@gailborden.info. Submissions should include author name, author title of book and link to book or a copy of the book and must be submitted by January 6, 2014.

In addition, the Soon to be Famous Illinois Author project is looking for Illinois librarians to vet author submissions and help choose the winner. Those interested can email their name, title and contact information to Julie Stam at StamJ@EisenhowerPLD.org.

The Soon to be Famous Illinois Author Project is being coordinated in collaboration with the Illinois Library Association and Reaching Across Illinois Library System and is supported by the American Library Association Digital Content Working Group, the Public Library Association, and the Heartland Library System.

Questions?

  • Sue Wilsey, Helen Plum Library, 630-627-0316
  • Christine Cigler, Fox River Valley Public Library District, 224-699-5884
  • Julie Stam, Eisenhower Public Library District, 708-867-2290
  • Donna Fletcher, Donna E. Fletcher Consulting, Inc., 847-432-1972
  • Nikki Zimmermann, LaGrange Public Library, 708-215-3277
  • Denise Raleigh, Gail Borden Public library, 847-429-5981