Whistler Independent Book Awards – Participant Feedback

“I was so pleased when Vivalogue opened the way for Canadian authors to enter their self-published books in the Whistler Independent Book Awards. At last, recognition for independent authors and their literary endeavours in fiction and non-fiction.

I entered two novels in the 2016 competition and was delighted and encouraged by the helpful comments on both books. I was doubly encouraged by the fact that “while many authors submitted more than one title, … [I was] the only author to receive recognition for both.”

I would urge all self-published authors to submit their books to WIBA. Even if not recognized in the short list of nominations or in the top placed works, the comments writers receive from qualified readers is invaluable.”

Ron Duffy – Author of Crossed Lives (2011) www.ronduffywriting.com/index.html

“I have found the Whistler Awards one of the most pleasant and exciting professional experiences I’ve had in the last few years, and I would encourage any self-published writer to apply for it.

After sending three books to the Vivalogue committee and experiencing the whole gamut of responses (apart from winning), since one was rejected, one short-listed, the third a finalist, I can vouch that it is well worth the small amount of money and the effort of submitting my work.

In every case I have been grateful for the comments I received. They were helpful in pointing out weaknesses and underlining strengths and far removed from the reactions one usually receives from friends and family: in other words, they were totally honest and unbiased. Naturally, deep down, we may not always agree with the verdict, but the evaluation criteria are clearly stated and seem sensible to gauge the response our books might receive from potential readers.

I also attended the Writers Festival. Writing is such a solitary occupation, so alienating at times, that suddenly finding oneself among others of similar ilk–exchanging advice and opinions, and comforting one another that we were certainly not in it (“it” being the writing “business” for the money)–was like going to holiday camp: a new environment but full of like-minded people who understand you half-way.

Finally, if you are lucky enough to be invited to offer your book for sale at Whistler, I cannot think of more devoted and energetic promoters of our work than Lynn Duncan and Kilmeny Jane Denny.”

Monique Layton – Author of Notes From Elsewhere: Travel and Other Matters (2011) www.moniquelayton.com/

“I was very impressed by the thoroughness and insight of the written feedback provided by the judges… their coaching will certainly improve my writing going forward. Of course winning was a great thrill and honour too!”

Paul Shore – Author of Uncorked: My Year in Provence (2017) www.seatoskybooks.ca/writing

“The Whistler Independent Book Awards are the first independent publishing awards to be offered in Canada. They recognize that self-published books can achieve the same high literary quality and professionalism as traditionally published works. The independent book market is growing exponentially yet recognition for the literary merit of self-published works is lagging. Lynn Duncan and Kilmeny Denny, the powerhouse pair behind Vivalogue Publishing which offers the Awards, must be applauded for their support of self-published authors.

As a finalist for the 2017 Non-fiction Award, I am especially appreciative of the recognition I received and for the time dedicated by experienced writers to judge and provide supportive and useful critiques. I strongly urge writers to submit their work for consideration.”

Patricia Sandberg – Author of Sun Dogs and Yellowcake: Gunnar Mines – a Canadian Story (2016) www.patriciasandberg.com

“Participating in the 2016 Whistler Independent Book Awards was thoroughly worthwhile. The judging process provided me with useful and instructive feedback on not only my writing and approach but also on the layout, editing, and design of my non-fiction book. The exposure of being nominated for the award and the attractive book stickers I received to promote my nomination were a great bonus. I would recommend that independent authors take advantage of this great opportunity.”

Bretton Loney – Author of Rebel With A Cause: The Doc Nikaido Story (2015) www.brettonloney.com

“Winning the best fiction prize at the Whistler Independent Book Awards (2017) was a wonderful experience. This is a prestigious award for independent writers. My work was judged on three tiers — shortlisted, finalist and winner. As a finalist I had an opportunity to give a presentation and do a short reading at the Whistler Public Library a night before the award ceremony. It was a warm and welcoming evening. And as a winner, I had an opportunity to be one of the panelists at the Whistler Writers Festival. Vivalogue owners were most caring. We had book sales and I met so many wonderful people at the event. I received positive reviews from the judges, which included a Giller prize finalist. This award has earned me: write-ups about The Beggar’s Dance, a TV interview, the opportunity to present at a Writers Festival, and an increase in book sales.”

Farida Somjee – Author of The Beggar’s Dance (2015) faridasomjee.blogspot.co.uk