Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project!

The Soon To Be Famous Blog

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.

 

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.

From Imagination to Reality: Turning your story into a professional quality eBook

In this video presentation, you'll discover

  • Step-by-step guidance to take your work from first draft all the way to file formatting and cover design
  • How to submit your work to the Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project, Indie Illinois and Indie Author Project Select
  • How to possibly earn royalties based on circulation for books selected for IAP Select

Excuse me, did you say royalties?

The amazing free tool that can lead authors through all these steps is inkie.org.

Anna Behm of RAILS and Lucy Tarabour of the Clarendon Hills Public Library recently introduced the wonders of inkie.org in “How Your Library can be your Local Author’s Best Friend” through the ILA Noon Network webinar series.

Writers and librarians, watch this webinar and check out inkie.org! Please help us spread the word among your fellow wordsmiths too.

Having trouble watching this video here? Use this link to watch video on YouTube directly.

Sponsored by Bibliolabs, creator of BiblioBoard, the Indie Author Project has taken the Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project and run with it, sparking the creation of similar state-wide contests in 13 other states as well as one Canadian province. (Kudos to Ontario for being the Canadian pioneer!) Taking the project one step further, the Indie Author Project established an international contest choosing the Indie Author of the Year from the winners of all the state/province contests. For 2020, the winning author is Jacki Castle of Asheville, NC.

Will 2021’s winner be you? Take the first step—go to inkie.org!


Our 2020 Winners

We are excited to announce this year’s winners for the 2020 Soon To Be Famous Illinois Author Project. Our librarian judges from across Illinois scored the finalists to select the authors, in two categories (Adult and YA fiction) below.

Adult Fiction Winner: The Color of Trauma, Hollie Smurthwaite

Young Adult Fiction Winner: The Secret Journal, God Stones Book 1, Otto Schafer

Pandemic Prose III: Writing in the time of COVID

Join us for the third installment of our series. Indie authors and Soon to Be Famous Manuscript contest winners, Kate Robards and Hollie Smurthwaite, discuss how the pandemic and conflict in our world today has affected their writing. They’ll discuss what challenges or advantages working from home presents, what effect current events have on what they’re writing, advice they have for other authors and more. We’ll also provide information on some powerful, free tools available to all writers in Illinois.

2020 Finalists for Illinois Author Project Announced

We are pleased to announce our Finalists for the 2020 Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project contest.

Adult Fiction Finalists

In alphabetical order by author last name.
  • War, Spies, and Bobby Sox: Stories About WW2 At Home, Libby Hellmann
  • The Color of Trauma, Hollie Smurthwaite
  • Children of the Revolution, Joanne Zienty

Young Adult Fiction Semi-finalists

In alphabetical order by author last name.
  • ROAN: The Tales of Conor Archer, Vol. 1, Eric Barr
  • The Influencers, Kassandra Garrison
  • The Secret Journal, Otto Schafer

Congratulations to these six authors listed above. 

Pandemic Prose II: Writing in the time of COVID

Join indie authors Joanne Zienty and Daniel Rosenberg as they discuss how the pandemic and conflict in our world today has affected their writing. They’ll discuss what challenges or advantages working from home presents, what effect current events have on what they’re writing, advice they have for other authors and more. We’ll also provide information on some powerful, free tools available to all writers in Illinois.

2020 Semi-finalists for Illinois Author Project Announced

This year 52 Illinois authors submitted their works of Adult or Young Adult fiction to be considered for the 2020 Soon To Be Famous Illinois Author Project contest. After carefully reviewing these submissions, we are excited to announce our Semi-Finalists for the 2020 contest.  Congratulations!


Adult Fiction Semi-finalists

In alphabetical order by author last name.
  • Seeking Grace In Beulah Land, Lu Clifton
  • The Whistle Stop Canteen, Barb Warner Deane
  • A Sparrow Alone, Mim Eichmann
  • Crossing Over, Daniel Frank
  • Kelli's Pine, Jay Grochowski
  • War, Spies, and Bobby Sox, Libby Hellmann
  • Ruby Island, Anita Rodriguez
  • Cause of Death: ???, Kristen Salustro
  • The Color of Trauma, Hollie Smurthwaite
  • Children of the Revolution, Joanne Zienty

Young Adult Fiction Semi-finalists

In alphabetical order by author last name.
  • ROAN: The Tales of Conor Archer, Vol. 1, Eric Barr
  • The Influencers, Kassandra Garrison
  • Gumshoe and the Mysterious Mushrooms, Laura Hawks
  • August Raven, LeAnn L. Morgan
  • The Secret Journal, Andrew Schafer

Congratulations to these 15 authors listed above. We thank everyone who took the time to submit their work. And if you didn’t make it to the second round this year, we encourage you to keep writing and editing. And perhaps, try again next year. 


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