Winning my First Award in Literature

Updated: Aug 9, 2020

Hello and welcome to my very first blog post.

Throughout the course of this blog, I will cover a couple of things. An introduction of who I am, what I’m currently working on, and winning my first literary award.

Let’s get started!


Introduction


My name is J.J. Savaunt. A few fun facts about me, I'm an all-around creative person. I enjoy the process of taking raw materials and transforming them into something else entirely. In addition to writing, I love to draw, sing, dance, and study language. In high school I went to an all arts school, I auditioned for drawing to get in and, ever since, I have been exploring different avenues of creative expression.


Genres


I write all types of genres:

Poetry The Reflection Within The Mirror

Suspense Say Her Name



However, the genre I want people to associate with my name is Social Justice Suspense.


I enjoy that genre because it is the best of both worlds. Intense plots with dynamic characters facing adversity from external and internal forces. I like to write fiction that feels like it could be happening in real time, but also, I like telling fantastical stories never been seen before. No matter what time period or setting, with my books you'll see modern issues with a twist. One of my current works in progress, BARREN, touches on human trafficking in a way similar to the movie Get Out. One of my beta readers described it as a crossover between How to Get Away with Murder and Grey's Anatomy. Mind you, I've never seen either of those shows. BARREN I plan to publish traditionally, so I'll be sharing it with you periodically. See more below.


Current Work In Progress


My current work in progress is, and many of you may already know this, entitled The Birth Crisis, but I changed the name to BARREN so the title isn't confused for non-fiction. Here’s a snippet:

BARREN is a fictional tale grounded in real-life issues. In the perfectly gentrified city of Brentwood, a virus both as old and as lethal as the Black Plague approaches, and only a high-priced vaccine stands in the way of death. However, when the disease arrives, it exposes two secrets of the thriving metropolitan. First, a scheme designed to purge the one percent of its poverty problem backfires. Second, and most alarming, an infertility epidemic arises turning the luxurious city into a high-functioning human trafficking ring. Tearing families apart and putting relationships to the test, BARREN, is a struggle between the rights of some over what is best for all.


If this sounds interesting to you, and you would like to read a few chapters as a beta reader, send me an email here.

And now what you all have been waiting for…


My First Literary Award




In December 2018, I finally pushed the PUBLISH button for the first time and self-published my book of poems entitled The Reflection Within The Mirror. After I published it, I submitted my book to countless organizations that I believed would be interested in the subject and that had my target audience in their back pocket. From December to March, I applied to magazines, publishers, national organizations, and literally anything that would let me apply. Most returned with rejections, saying I had quality work, but it didn't fit their theme. I'll admit it was discouraging. Until I got a message via chat message on my website:






Now as you could imagine, when I first saw this message I was skeptical. Some random person from the internet saying I won something, surely, I assumed next they would ask for money. As the conversation progressed, I realized this was not only the real deal, but this was something much bigger than myself. A group of well-read individuals reviewed my poetry book submission and deemed it worthy enough to win an actual award. And now the Chairman from the committee reached out to me to notify me. This was a HUGE deal, especially, for a first-time self-published author. (See below)









On June 23rd, 2019, the Black Caucus American Library Association and Biblioboard handed me my firt literary award. There I met tons of like-minded authors who had been pursuing their careers for longer than two decades. It was an honor to be among talened writers. As you could assume, I was feeling a serious wave of Imposter Syndrome, like, surely they got the wrong person, maybe there was another author with the same book they meant to give this to, but nope, it was me. My name on a plaque. My bio they read before calling me up to accept my award. It was mind-blowing watching these authors deliver speeches about how long they had been writing. I was the last recipient and concluded the night with a short speech.

Motto of this story: If you're a writer set up a website ASAP, make sure you set up the chat feature. If I didn't have my page up and running, I wouldn't have learned about my award. Secondly, just go for it. I didn't know if my book was good enough, but I submitted it anyways! Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. The greater the risk, the greater the reward.


Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I will update my blog on a bi-weekly basis. Expect blog post soon. Now that you know more about me, I have a question for you. What would you like to see as my next topic? Drop a comment below.

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