Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project!

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Our 2021 Winners

We are thrilled to announce this year’s winners for both the 2021 Soon To Be Famous Illinois Author Project and 2021 De la Página a la Fama contests. Our librarian judges from across Illinois scored the finalists to select these winning authors. Congratulations!

Adult Fiction Winner

Demon's Bane, India Powers (Gail Borden Public Library)

Young Adult Fiction Winner

All Last Summer, Stephanie J. Scott (Aurora Public Library)

De la Página a la Fama Winner

No siempre es un valle de lágrimas, Pascuala Herrera (Franklin Park Library)

2022 Manuscript Contest Open for Submissions

Announcing our fourth annual Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Manuscript Project contest.

Now open for submissions!

Starting November 15, 2021 and continuing through January 15, 2022, we are accepting complete manuscripts of adult fiction in book length (50,000 to 100,000 words) from Illinois authors only.

Visit the Manuscript Project page for details about this year's contest. And to start the submission process, visit the For Authors section of our website.


Meet our 2021 winner here.

2021 Finalists Announced

Our judges have carefully reviewed our semi-finalists, and we are excited to announce both the 2021 Soon To Be Famous Illinois Author Project and 2021 De la Página a la Fama Finalists. Congratulations to the nine Illinois authors listed below.

Adult Fiction Finalists

(Alphabetical order by author last name)
  • A Child Lost, Michelle Cox (Grayslake Area Public Library)
  • Demon's Bane, India Powers (Gail Borden Public Library)
  • Loose Ends, Terri Reid (Lena Community District Library)

Young Adult Fiction Finalists

(In alphabetical order by author last name)
  • Reverie, Zee Lacson (Grayslake Area Public Library)
  • The Keepers of the Light, Otto Schafer (Mackinaw District Public Library)
  • All Last Summer, Stephanie J. Scott (Aurora Public Library)

De la Página a la Fama Finalists

(Alphabetical order by author last name)
  • El quetzal azul, Dennis Avelar (Addison Public Library)
  • No siempre es un valle de lágrimas, Pascuala Herrera (Franklin Park Library)
  • Proudly Bilingual/Orgullosamente BilingüeAraseli Rodriguez (Crystal Lake Public Library)

A Writer’s Journey from Reporter to Fiction Virtual Event

A Writer’s Journey from Reporter to Fiction: A Conversation with writer Annemarie Mannion, winner: Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project 2021 Manuscript Contest.

Monday, November 15, 7:00 p.m.

Hosted by the Indian Prairie Public Library. Watch the final program on Facebook via RAILS.

Join us for a virtual conversation with former Chicago Tribune reporter, free-lance writer and now award-winning fiction writer, Annemarie Mannion. How did she move from newspaper and trade journal by-lines to creating a post-Civil War story of a young woman’s perseverance and resilience as she tries to make a new life for herself. We’ll discuss that, more about Annemarie’s award-winning story, Veritas, and finally, talk about the state of journalism in today’s world from an insider’s point of view. 

Also, we'll feature our announcement of the 2021 Soon to be Famous/De la Página a la Fama Contest Winners! Don't miss this informative event. Register here.

2021 Semi-finalists Announced

This year our Illinois authors submitted their works of Adult or Young Adult fiction to be considered for the 2021 Soon To Be Famous Illinois Author Project contest. After carefully reviewing these submissions, we are excited to announce our Semi-Finalists for the 2021 contest. 

Also, we're happy to announce the Semi-Finalists for the 2021 De la Página a la FamaCongratulations!

Adult Fiction Semi-finalists

In alphabetical order by author last name.
  • Long Live Rock, Leslie Baldacci (Chicago Public Library)
  • Flash Drive, Donald J. Bingle (St. Charles Public Library)
  • Northern Lights, Michael Chatlien (Zion-Benton Public Library)
  • Baby Moses, John Cowlin (Grayslake Area Public Library)
  • A Child Lost,  Michelle Cox (Grayslake Area Public Library)
  • Lies in High Places, Dana Killion (Chicago Public Library)
  • Glory Bishop, Deborah L. King (Fountaindale Public Library)
  • A Discerning Eye, Carol Orange (Chicago Public Library)
  • Demon's Bane, India Powers (Gail Borden Public Library)
  • BlowOut, Terri Reid (Lena Community District Library)
  • Loose Ends, Terri Reid (Lena Community District Library)
  • Songbird Baby, Kate Robards (Indian Prairie Public Library) Kate was our 2020 Manuscript Winner and earned semi-finalist status for her book as part of her prize award. She has since secured an agent and therefore asked that her entry be withdrawn from further judging. We wish Kate success with her novel.

Young Adult Fiction Semi-finalists

In alphabetical order by author last name.
  • Throw Away Sisters, Debbie Deutsch (Freeport Public Library)
  • Reverie, Zee Lacson (Grayslake Area Public Library)
  • The Keepers of the Light, Otto Schafer (Mackinaw District Public Library)
  • All Last Summer, Stephanie J. Scott (Aurora Public Library)
  • Crossing Lines, Melanie Weiss (Oak Park Public Library)

De la Página a la Fama Semi-finalists

In alphabetical order by author last name.
  • El Quetzal Azul - El Mundo Desde El Cielo, Dennis Avelar (Addison Public Library)
  • De Zorros y Erizos, Raul Dorantes, (Lincolnwood Public Library)
  • No Siempre Es Un Valle De LagrimasPacuala Herrera (Franklin Park Library)
  • Grandes Aventuras de un pequeño viajero, R. C. Ontiveros (Gail Borden Public Library)
  • Por Que Lo Hiciste Cain? Hijos Fuera de Control, Ferney Ramirez (Fountaindale Public Library)
  • No Quiero Ser Adolescente. Reflexiones de una adolescente desesperada, Ferney Ramirez (Fountaindale Public Library)
  • Proudly Bilingual/Orgullosamente Bilingüe, Araseli Rodriguez (Crystal Lake Public Library)

Congratulations to the authors listed above. We thank everyone who took the time to submit their work. And if you didn’t make it to this round this year, we encourage you to keep writing and editing. And perhaps, try again next year. 

Meet Our 2021 Manuscript Contest Winner

Once again, it is our pleasure to announce the winner for the 2021 Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Manuscript Contest. Meet Annemarie Mannion who won for her unpublished work, Veritas. In this video, she talks about her writing. Don't miss her reaction when we tell her she won, too.

Annemarie's prizes include working with an editor and having a professional cover designed. More details about our Manuscript Contest can be found here. The next manuscript contest starts November 2021.

Congratulations Annemarie!

Catching up with Kate Robards

We check-in with our 2020 Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Manuscript Winner, Kate Robards. In this video, she discusses her prizes including working with an editor and getting a professional cover design and what's next for her novel, The Songbird Baby.

 

For more information about Kate, visit her website.

Click here for details about the 2021 Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Manuscript contest.

Launching Our Spanish Language Writing Competition

Join us for the De la Página a la Fama Contest Live Launch

Missed the live presentation? Watch the recording below or on Facebook.

De a Pagina a la Fama is a new contest opening on April 1, 2021 for Illinois indie authors of adult and young adult fiction in Spanish. All local authors, readers and Spanish-speakers are cordially invited to attend the live kick-off event on Tuesday, March 30 at 7 pm on Facebook Live. A panel of librarians and authors will discuss judging guidelines and criteria, steps for writers to submit their works and more:

• cash, royalties and recognition prizes
• why this contest is important for Latino writers, readers and our communities
• our favorite reads in Spanish - and participate with yours too!

“I am a woman, and I am a Latina. Those are the things that make my writing distinctive. Those are the things that give my writing power.” -- Sandra Cisneros

For the past eight years, the Soon to be Famous Illinois Author Project (STBF) has leveraged the power and credibility of libraries to identify and promote excellent indie-published authors.


De la Pagina a la Fama es un nuevo certamen para reconocer a los autores de Illinois que escriben novelas de ficción para adultos y jóvenes en español y que se inicia el 1 de abril de 2021. Unase al este evento en vivo donde compartiremos:

• Los requisitos y pasos para presentar una obra
• Los premios en efectivo, de regalías y reconocimiento
• Por qué este certamen es importante para los hispanohablantes y nuestras comunidades
• Nuestros libros preferidos en español, ¡y participa compartiendo los tuyos!

“Soy una mujer y soy latina. Esas cosas hacen que lo que escribo sea distintivo. Esas cosas me dan mi poder.” -- Sandra Cisneros

 A lo largo de los últimos ocho años, el proyecto Soon to Be Famous (STBF) ha partido del poder y la credibilidad de las bibliotecas del estado para identificar y promover la excelencia de autores que publican su obra de manera independiente.

Click here to submit.

 

2021 Manuscript Contest Finalists Announced

We are pleased to announce our finalists for the 2021 Manuscript Project. These top three manuscripts (listed below in alphabetical order by author last name) now compete during our final round of judging. Only one will win the top prize. Who will it be? Watch this blog in mid-April to learn this year's winner.

  • Veritas by Annemarie Mannion

  • The Daughter of Ruin by Danny Sain

  • The Lake House by Patti Sherry-Crews

Details about our Manuscript Project are found here.

2021 Manuscript Contest Semi-Finalists Announced

Once again, our judges have finished their initial review of the 2021 Manuscript Project submissions. We're excited to announce the entries that comprise our semi-finalists for this year's contest. These manuscripts (listed below in alphabetical order by author last name) move on to compete for the top three finalist spots in the next round of judging. Congratulations to these Illinois writers and their work.

  • They Left One Tree by Carl Armstrong

  • Flash Drive by Donald J. Bingle

  • Three's a Crowd by Ande Breunig

  • Eastville by Chris Gerrib

  • At First Sight by Deborah Kahn

  • Veritas by Annemarie Mannion

  • The Daughter of Ruin by Danny Sain

  • The Lake House by Patti Sherry-Crews

  • Westlanders by Meg White

Details about our Manuscript Project are found here.

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