Not an April Fools Joke: The Once and Future Queen Wins the Sarton Women’s Book Prize in Non-Fiction

I’m so happy to announce that The Once and Future Queen: Guinevere in Arthurian Legend has won the Sarton Women’s Book Prize in the non-fiction category! Here’s the official press release.

This award has been two years in the making since I just barely missed the deadline for entries to last year’s awards. But it was worth the wait.

I have spoken with two of the Story Circle awards coordinators and what really got me was how much they appreciated the research that went into this book. Finally, someone understood why I wrote it. So many people seem to think the book was somehow done incorrectly because I don’t posit a lot of new information or advance a groundbreaking theory. That was never the point; the point was to gather into one volume what others have said about Guinevere and show how that fits the idea of Guinevere changing as a character as society’s views of women changed over time.

I have to say that knowing that someone understands it gives me a lot more confidence going into speaking about Guinevere at the Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies in June! As part of being a winner, I will also have the opportunity to present at the Story Circle conference next year. I’m seriously thinking about it.

PS – I also found out yesterday that Mistress of Legend is a finalist in the fantasy category of the Foreword Indies. Winners will be announced in June.

 

The Once and Future Queen is a Women’s Book Award Finalist

I think we are officially in awards season…

I just found out that The Once and Future Queen is one of two finalists for the Sarton Women’s Book Award in the non-fiction category. Here’s the full list. Winners will be announced in early April, so cross your fingers!

The awards are sponsored by the Story Circle Network, an international nonprofit community of women writers. The program is named in honor of May Sarton, who is remembered for her outstanding contributions to women’s literature as a memoirist, novelist, and poet. The awards are given annually to women authors writing chiefly about women in memoir, biography and fiction published in the United States and Canada and selected from works submitted. The awards are limited to submissions published by small/independent publishers, university presses, and author-publishers (self-publishing authors). The judging is conducted in two rounds. Professional librarians not affiliated with SCN select the winner and finalists.

Guinevere’s Tale Boxed Set Delayed, Another Honor for The Once and Future Queen

First off, breathe. Mistress of Legend is still coming out on Saturday, September 15.

We’ve had some production delays with the boxed set/compendium of The Guinevere’s Tale Trilogy. Right now, I’m not exactly sure when it will be available – sometime this month for sure – hopefully next week. It will depend on exactly when I get the final files and how long it takes various retailers to get them online. I’ll let you know more as soon as I know.

Also, last but not least, The Once and Future Queen was named a finalist in the general non-fiction category of the Reader’s Favorite Book Awards. While there is no medal for that level, it does mean it was in the top five general non-fiction books submitted to the contest. Yay!!!

More Good News and a Little Bad News on the Book Front

What a roller-coaster of a week! In addition to winning my third Book of the Year designation, I’ve had some ups and downs:

Those of you who follow me on social media, specifically Facebook, may be aware that the Historical Writer’s of America Conference that I was due to attend and teach at was canceled less than a week before the event. This made me every unhappy.

Putting everything else aside, it meant that I was not able to conduct my research for the Rose Ferron biography. However, I have not given up. I have flight credits that will pay for me to visit Rhode Island another time. The foundation is working on opening a “domestic chapel” and display of Rose’s possessions, so I hope to be able to attend the opening and blessing of that, which is estimated for late this year or early next.

BUT, I also have two more pieces of good news:

  1. The Once and Future Queen received a 4.5-star Crowned-Heart review in the June issue of InD’Tale magazine! They called it “a powerful analysis of Guinevere…[that] does not read like a regular history book.” This honor also means it is automatically nominated for the RONE Awards next year.
  2. Mistress of Legend is done! It still needs to be edited, proofread and laid out in book format, but it is finished at 97,000 words. (That is significantly shorter than Camelot’s Queen, but slightly longer than Daughter of Destiny.) There is nothing sweeter to a writer (other than perhaps holding a finished copy of a book in your hands for the first time) than typing those two precious little words: THE END. I was really surprised and pleased by some of the twists and turns it took, and I think you will be too. September 15 can’t get here soon enough!

The Once and Future Queen Named Non-Fiction Book of the Year

Holy crap, y’all. I just found out that The Once and Future Queen was named Non-fiction Book of the Year by Author’s Circle, the same group that named Camelot’s Queen Fiction Book of the Year last year.

I don’t even know what to do with this. I didn’t even know the book was in the running this year. At the time I sent my ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy) into the contest, they told me it wouldn’t be in the contest until 2019 because I missed the deadline (through no fault of my own; long story.) I guess they changed their minds.

I can’t even begin to process that this is my third Book of the Year designation. Much less out of five books. I never thought it would happen once…but three times…I don’t even know what to do with that.

As the notification came in, I was finishing the second/third (I’m not sure) draft of Mistress of Legend. No pressure on that one…not at all!

I think I’m supposed to post something all professional and humble when something like this happens. But you’re getting my real, honest-to-God reaction. If you need me, I’ll be on my patio, staring  off into space and repeating “Oh my God,” over and over…

The Once and Future Queen Wins Twice at the Next Generation Indie Book Awards

It’s contest season, and I’m thrilled to announce that The Once and Future Queen took home two awards at this year’s Next Generation Indie Book Awards! It won (in a tie) in the General Non-fiction category and is a finalist in the Historical Non-fiction category. They give out medals to both finalists and winners, so I will have a gold and silver to add to my collection!

I’m so happy that is book got recognition from my peers. I wrote it out of passion for Guinevere and to make a contribution to Arthurian scholarship, knowing it wouldn’t likely sell much because the topic is so niche. To have it honored gives me a great boost of confidence going into my next non-fiction books and is great reassurance I didn’t write this book for nothing. (We writers can be so insecure, you know.) Plus, it will be displayed at the American Library Association (ALA) Conference, which is huge.

Two Honors for The Once and Future Queen

I’m happy to be able to say that The Once and Future Queen recently received two awards:

  1. First in category for Instructional & Insightful Non-Fiction Books at the Chanticleer Book Awards.
  2. The Indie BRAG Medallion, which honors the best in independently published books. This is my fourth Indie BRAG Medallion.

Here are some comments from the Indie BRAG reviewers:

“When I chose this book, I wanted to send out a warning to the author “I LOVE Guinevere stories and have read a great many of them. Well, good for you Ms. Evelina, this was not a disappointment! This is a very well researched book told in a very fluid and readable way. I will certainly be looking forward to the next book in this incredible story. Thank you.”

“This is a very thorough examination of Queen Guinevere in literature for at least 1000 years. It is well-researched and well-documented with an abundance of footnotes. There is a clear line discussing the changes in the character through the years. I enjoyed the book very much.”

“Extremely well-researched with comprehensive footnotes. An excellent compendium of scholarly research and fictional sources, both ancient and modern. A useful reference book to have in the library of anyone interested in this period.”

“This is a very well researched book with a number of new, to me, insights. I will be interested in reading what the author does next.”

Arthurian Non-Fiction

  • Non-fiction Book of the Year – Author’s Circle

Guinevere’s journey from literary sinner to feminist icon took over one thousand years…and it’s not over yet.

Literature tells us painfully little about Guinevere, mostly focusing on her sin and betrayal of Arthur and Camelot. As a result, she is often seen as a one-dimensional character. But there is more to her story. By examining popular works of more than 20 authors over the last one thousand years, The Once and Future Queen shows how Guinevere reflects attitudes toward women during the time in which her story was written, changing to suit the expectations of her audience. Beginning in Celtic times and continuing through the present day, this book synthesizes academic criticism and popular opinion into a highly readable, approachable work that fills a gap in Arthurian material available to the general public.

Nicole Evelina has spent more than 15 years studying Arthurian legend. She is also a feminist known for her fictional portrayals of strong historical and legendary women, including Guinevere. Now, she combines these two passions to examine the effect of changing times and attitudes on the character of Guinevere in a must-read book for Arthurian enthusiasts of every knowledge level.

Preview the book.

Buy print and ebook:      

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Other Awards

Winner

Finalist – Next Generation Indie Book Awards (Historical Non-fiction category)

Praise

“A powerful analysis of Guinevere…engaging, informative and compelling…this does not ready like a history book.” – Ind’Tale Magazine, 4.5 star, Crowned Heart review.”

“I could not wait to get my hands on this book…I want to hug the author breathless. I walked away loving Guinevere more after reading Nicole Evelina’s work than I had previously. She did justice to her subject, showed her gift for research and her talents as a writer. Definitely a new favorite on my bookshelf, as well as an author who’s work I will keep an eye out for!” – Stacey, book blogger, Pursuing Stacie

“A useful survey for those interested in this complex figure.” – Historical Novel Society

“An in-depth and well-researched look into the role Guinevere plays in the story of Arthur and Camelot, as well as her role as queen, a woman, and an individual. Nicole Evelina is clearly passionate about the topic and brings to light several aspects of the legendary queen’s evolution over time. It’s an intriguing concept to see such a notable character, mostly known for either her relationship with Arthur or her affair with Lancelot, as her own independent character.” –  Liz Konkel for Readers’ Favorite (5-star review)

“When I chose this book, I wanted to send out a warning to the author ‘I LOVE Guinevere stories and have read a great many of them.’ Well, good for you Ms. Evelina, this was not a disappointment! This is a very well researched book told in a very fluid and readable way. I will certainly be looking forward to the next book in this incredible story. Thank you.” – Indie BRAG Medallion reviewer

“Arthurian buffs [will] find use for Evelina’s study as a readers’ advisory tool.” – Publisher’s Weekly

Formats: ebook, paperback
Publisher: Lawson Gartner publishing
ISBN: 

  • 978-0-9967632-2-6 (print)
  • 978-0-9967632-3-3 (ebook)

My New Article on Guinevere on Medievalists.net

I’m thrilled to say my second article Medievalists.net is up! “Will the Real Guinevere Please Stand Up” is about the twin Guineveres, sometimes called The True and The False, which originated in the Welsh Triads and were expanded on in the Middle Ages by the Cistercian monks.

More information on this is available in my book The Once and Future Queen: Guinevere in Arthurian Legend.

Hope you enjoy!