On Valentine’s Day, I received a request to submit Your Affectionate Father, Charles F. Smith to the Mountain West Center for consideration for the Evans Biography Awards. We are extremely pleased to be asked to apply for these awards.
The Evans Biography and Handcart Awards encourage the best in research and writing about the Interior West through the giving of two annual prizes for excellence in biography.
The Evans Biography Award is a $10,000 prize given to the best biography of a person who lived a significant portion of his or her life in the Interior West, or, in the words of the awards’ founders, “Mormon Country” – that region historically influenced by Mormon institutions and social practices. The region is roughly an expanded Great Basin and Rocky Mountain region, extending south into Chihuahua and Sonora, Mexico, and north into southern Alberta, Canada.
The $2,500 Evans Handcart Award is given to a biography addressing similar subjects as the Evans Biography Award, but broadens the criteria to include family histories, and focuses on first-time and emerging authors.
All submitted books are read by a local jury of five scholars and book experts. This group selects three finalists that are then sent on to a national jury of three scholars, who choose the Evans Biography Award winner. The local jury selects the winner of the Handcart Award.
The awards are announced in the spring, and the awards ceremony is held in the fall at Utah State University. The time between the announcement and the ceremony allows us to arrange to bring the winners into USU classrooms for presentations.
Wish me good luck.