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!

April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 11

Write a poem every day of April with the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today's prompt, write a prime number poem.

Stephanie Dray: On Writing Women's Legacies

Stephanie Dray: On Writing Women's Legacies

Bestselling and award-winning author Stephanie Dray shares how she selects the historical figures that she features in her novels and how she came to see the whole of her character's legacies.

From Script

Taking Note of the Structure of WandaVision and Breaking in Outside of Hollywood (From Script)

In this week’s round-up from ScriptMag.com, learn about the storytelling techniques used in the nine-part Disney+ series "WandaVision," outlining tips for writing a horror script, and breaking in outside of Hollywood as a writer and filmmaker.

April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 10

Write a poem every day of April with the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today's prompt, write a get blank poem.

take two 3 mistakes writers make in act i

Take Two: 3 Mistakes Writers Make in Act I

Without a solid foundation, our stories flounder. Jeanne Veillette Bowerman shares insights into the three mistakes writers make when creating the first act.

David Jackson Ambrose: On Balancing Magic and Practicality

David Jackson Ambrose: On Balancing Magic and Practicality

Novelist David Jackson Ambrose discusses the initial themes he wanted to explore in his latest novel, A Blind Eye, what the editing process was like, and how his books always surprise him in the end.

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Knowing When to Shelve a Project

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Knowing When to Shelve a Project

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 knowing when to shelve a project.

April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 9

Write a poem every day of April with the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today's prompt, write a persona poem (for an inanimate object).

4 Tips for Writing Engaging Frenemies

4 Tips for Writing Engaging Frenemies

No matter what genre you write, if you're planning to write characters as frenemies, you'll need to know how to do it well. Bestselling romance author Lorraine Heath shares her top tips.