We are excited to announce the finalists in the fourth group of categories of 2015 Association for Mormon Letters awards, Drama, Comics, and Criticism. We previously announced Creative Non-Fiction and Religious Non-Fiction, Novel, Short Fiction Collection, and Short Fiction, Young Adult and Middle Grade Novel, Lyrics, Picture Book, and Poetry and soon will announce Film. The final awards will be announced and presented at the AML Conference on March 4 at BYU Hawaii.
Matthew Ivan Bennett. A/Version of Events. Premier run: Plan B Theater Company, Rose Wagner Theatre, Salt Lake City, March 5-15.
Lisa Hall Hagen (adaption) and Shannon Hale (original book). Princess Academy. Premier run: Pardoe Theatre, BYU, Provo, May 29–30, June 4–13.
Melissa Leilani Larson. Pilot Program. Plan B Theater Company, Rose Wagner Theatre, Salt Lake City, April 9-19.
Brian Andersen, creator. James Neish, Illustrator. Stripling Warrior. #1 and #2. So Super Duper Comics.
Brittany Long Olsen. Dendo: One Year and One Half in Japan. Self.
Noah van Sciver. My Hot Date. Kilgore Books.
Terryl L. Givens and Philip L. Barlow, editors. The Oxford Handbook of Mormonism. Oxford University Press. Includes several articles on Mormon literature and culture, written by Jana Reiss, Eric A. Eliason, Paul L. Anderson, Michael Austin, and Michael D. Hicks.
Eric W. Jepson, editor. Dorian, Nephi Anderson: A Peculiar Edition With Annotated Text & Scholarship. Peculiar Pages, March. Includes articles by Scott Hales, Mason Allred, Jacob Bender, A. Arwen Taylor, Sarah C. Reed, and Blair Dee Hodges.
About the Awards
The AML Awards have been presented annually since 1977. You can see the list of past awards here. Besides the main categories, there are also the Smith–Pettit Foundation Award for Outstanding Contribution to Mormon Letters and the Lifetime Achievement Award.
I am the Awards Committee chair this year, which means I picked the judges, a mixture of authors, scholars, and reviewers, who at least during the judging process remain anonymous. The judges and I worked together to come up with long lists of potential finalists, but I am not involved in any of the decisions on finalists and winners. Works “by, for, or about Mormons” were considered. Authors/creators who are non-Mormon or ex-Mormon are considered if their works deal with Mormonism. Many of the judges created their own panel of assistant judges who shifted through the many applicable works. Then the judges and their panels chose the finalists. Those same judges/panels will pick the final awards this month.
There was previously an established AML practice that an author/creator could not be awarded in the same category two years in a row. That practice was discontinued this year.
Congratulations to all of the finalists!