Essence to Honor Writers, Help Libraries

From Publisher’s Weekly:

Essence Magazine will honor African-American writers and help public libraries by launching two overlapping initiatives this winter: the Essence Literary Awards and the Save Our Libraries campaign.

The nominees for the awards–in fiction, nonfiction, children’s, poetry, commentary/public affairs, memoir and photography–will be selected by the editors of Essence and will be announced on December 19th. The winners will receive their awards during Black History Month, on Feb. 7, 2008, at a ceremony in New York city that will also kick off the Save Our Libraries campaign. Emcees Hoda Kotb of the Today Show and Dr. Ian Smith will preside over the event, which will honor the winning writers, as well as a “Storyteller of the Year.”

Terry McMillan will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to contemporary African-American literature. McMillan, who is writing her eighth novel, Getting to Happy, added, “There are so few venues for African-American writers to get attention. This is a positive way to draw attention to African-American writers whose work is of high standards and merits attention.”

“We love books,” Bass said, describing editors at the magazine as committed to coverage of African-American authors and their work since Essence launched in 1970. Essence currently dedicates at least 3-1/2 pages to authors and books each month, second among women’s fashion/beauty/ lifestyle magazines only to O: the Oprah magazine.

You can still vote. Go to http://www.essence.com/essence/literaryawards/ and pick your choice, or nominate one.