A few years ago, when I was in the business world, my mentor asked why I had not recommended myself for the 40 under 40 in Government. My response, "I thought someone else had to recommend me." Ever since, I have been actively seeking opportunities. Since I published my first novel in 2018, I look for literary awards to apply for. Not very many are geared toward the African-American Author. But even as I find other opportunities, I am not seeing AA authors submitting their work.
I recently won the 2020 Author Elite Award for Best Romance (clean). From a field of over 20, narrowed down to 10 finalists, I prevailed. There is no entry fee (which I have heard is a deterrence). Entries are reviewed by select judges and evaluated on popular vote, social contribution and overall presentation. Among the top 10 finalist in my category, only 2 of us were black. The other categories (15) were similar make-ups. Of all winners only 3 are black. That is less than 20%
I want to see more people of color nominated for these awards.
Why are you not submitting yourself for awards?
What did I do? I read other authors bios, find what awards they have won and research the criteria. Many of these awards still reject the indie author, but that doesn't stop me. Google is also a great resource. I am still a novice to the publishing world, but I want to share everything I know.
Award-winning author, Lisa Washington, is a Christian Fiction/Romance writer, currently with five published books. She is a Detroit native currently residing in Georgia with her family. Education is vital to her success, having earned degrees from Wayne State University, Averett University, and Butler University. She is the 2020 winner of the Author Elite Award for Best Romance (clean) and the winner of the 2018 African American Literary Award Show for Best Christion Fiction.