Read an Excerpt from WD’s Self-Published Book Awards Winner, An Exaltation of Larks

An Exaltation of Larks, by Suanne Laqueur, is the grand-prize winning book in the 25th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.
Author:
Publish date:
Image placeholder title
Image placeholder title

An Exaltation of Larks, by Suanne Laqueur, is the grand-prize winning book in the 25th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. It bested more than 2,300 entries from 55 countries across eight categories to take home a prize package that includes $8,000 and a trip to the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference in New York City. For complete coverage of this year’s awards, check out the March/April 2018 issue of Writer’s Digest.

Click here for a complete list of winners from this year’s awards.

Click here for an extended Q&A with the grand-prize winner, Suanne Laqueur.

Below, read the opening passage from our grand-prize winner,
An Exaltation of Larks.

Foreign Enemies

October 1973

Santiago, Chile

The doorbell rang at three in the morning.

Alejandro Penda was awake immediately, sitting up in the double bed in his parents' room. Clementina, his mother, was slower to rise, her silhouette big and round in the moonlight.

The bell rang again. Alejo moved as close as he could to Clementina, his arm creeping across her pregnant belly.

"Cálmate, hijo," she whispered.

"It's a friend."

"Shh."

"Papi said friends ring the doorbell," Alejo whispered. "Soldiers and police bang with their fists."

"Get up," Clementina said, throwing the covers aside. "Come." She pulled on a robe, tied it above her stomach and stretched hands to her son. "Ahora, Alejito."

She pulled him toward her closet and pushed him inside.

"Stay here," she whispered as the doorbell rang again. "Just to be safe. It's me they want, anyway."

She shut the door. It was pitch dark within, a pillowy, inky blackness Alejo could sink his fingers into. It stopped up his ears, making the sound of his own heartbeat enormous, like an angry fist pounding on a door.

Friends ring the doorbell.

Enter the 2018 Self-Published Book Awards today!

Crystal Wilkinson: On The Vulnerability of Memoir Writing

Crystal Wilkinson: On The Vulnerability of Memoir Writing

Kentucky’s Poet Laureate Crystal Wilkinson discusses how each project has its own process and the difference between writing fiction and her new memoir, Perfect Black.

From Script

Approaching Comedy from a Personal Perspective and Tapping into Your Unique Writer’s Voice (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by ScriptMag.com, interviews with masters of comedy, screenwriter Tim Long ('The Simpsons') and writer-director Dan Mazer (Borat Subsequent Movie) about their collaboration on their film 'The Exchange', and filmmaker Trent O’Donnell on his new film 'Ride the Eagle' co-written with actor Jake Johnson ('New Girl'). Plus, tips on how to tap into your unique voice and more!

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Accepting Feedback on Your Writing

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Accepting Feedback on Your Writing

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is not accepting feedback on your writing.

Writer's Digest Best Creativity Websites 2021

Writer's Digest Best Creativity Websites 2021

Here are the top creativity websites as identified in the 23rd Annual 101 Best Websites from the May/June 2021 issue of Writer's Digest.

Poetic Forms

Englyn Proest Dalgron: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the englyn proest dalgron, a Welsh quatrain form.

What Is a Palindrome in Writing?

What Is a Palindrome in Writing?

In this post, we look at what a palindrome is when it comes to writing, including several examples of palindromes.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Set a Trap

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Set a Trap

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, it's time to set a trap.

5 Ways to Add a Refrain to Your Picture Books (and Why You Should)

5 Ways to Add a Refrain to Your Picture Books (and Why You Should)

Children's author Christine Evans shares how repetition is good for growing readers and gives you the tools to write your story's perfect refrain.

From Our Readers

Describe the First Time a Book Transported You to Another/Magical World: From Our Readers (Comment for a Chance at Publication)

This post announces our latest From Our Readers ask: Describe the First Time a Book Transported You to Another/Magical World. Comment for a chance at publication in a future issue of Writer's Digest.