Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Barbe Awalt and Paul Rhetts Win Award

Barbe Awalt and Paul Rhetts of Los Ranchos, New Mexico, will receive the inaugural Leaphorn Award at the Tony Hillerman Writers Conference in Santa Fe, November 12, at the Hotel Santa Fe. The Award is named after Tony Hillerman’s legendary Navajo detective, Joe Leaphorn.
“We are honored to present the first Leaphorn Award to Awalt and Rhetts for their generous efforts to call attention to the world of literary talent in New Mexico,” Anne Hillerman said. “Just as Joe Leaphorn never gave up on a case, Paul and Barbe continue to work tirelessly to help our state’s writers and publishers receive the recognition they deserve.”
Awalt and Rhetts are the owners of LPD Press/Rio Grande Books and founders of the New Mexico Book Co-op with over 1,000 members. LPD Press/Rio Grande Books is a regional publisher and one of the biggest independent publishers in New Mexico. They specialize in New Mexico titles and authors. Awalt and Rhetts have won many awards for their books and work including the 2006 Laureates for the Mother Teresa Award. That year the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Dalai Lama were also recognized.
Awalt and Rhetts have also received awards for their magazine Tradicion Revista now available online. They have also received awards from the Public Relations Society of America and the National School Public Relations Association. Their books have received awards from the Border Regional Library Association, Pima/Tucson Library Association, New Mexico Press Women, and the New Mexico Book Awards. They annually present awards for New Mexican Hispanic art at the New Mexico State Fair and Contemporary Hispanic Market.
The New Mexico Book Co-op formed the New Mexico Book Awards five years ago and recognizes New Mexico books published each year. The New Mexico Book Co-op, the largest book advocacy organization in New Mexico, has promoted literacy projects, libraries, schools, New Mexico magazines and newspapers, as well as New Mexico books and New Mexico authors. Activities have included book fairs, a store in Cottonwood Mall, special events, and workshops, while the Book Co-op survives and grows with no dues. The New Mexico Book Co-op has published its’ first book Voices of New Mexico commemorating New Mexico’s Centennial with 35 contributors and the book is a Finalist in the New Mexico Book Awards. This year the Book Co-op also instituted Nuevo Books - a book publishing service for authors.
Awalt and Rhetts are particularly pleased with the Award because the books of Tony Hillerman helped them make the decision to move from Maryland to New Mexico, 22 years ago. Joe Leaphorn has always been one of their favorite characters and epitomizes the drive of New Mexicans
The Award will be presented as part of the Tony Hillerman Writers Conference and Workshop at the annual banquet.
Connie Gotsch www.conniegotsch.com Host Write On Four Corners KSJE FM, Farmington NM www.ksje.com Author two award winning youth novels ‘Belle’s Star,’ and ‘Belle’s trial,’ based on the life of a real dog and written from her point of view. Available from Artemesia Press at http://www.apbooks.net and amazon.com, and Anazon,com Belle’s Star was a New Mexico BookAward in 2009 and 2010; First Place for Juvenile Fiction New Mezxico Press Women and National Federation of Press Women Communication Contests 2010’ Silver Mom’s Choice Award 2010.
Belle’s Trial’ won First Place for Juvenile Fiction in the 2011 New Mexico Press Press Women’s Commuication Contest, and a Silver Mom’s Choice Award for 2011. The book received an Eric Hoffer Award nomination for 2011.

Sept. 2011 Casa de Snap Dragon Publishers released a reprint of Gotsch’s novel for adult, Snap Me a Future as an ebook at casadesnampdragon.com

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