The National Indie Excellence Awards emphasize a synergy of form and content in judging their award winners. My book, The Telling Image: Shapes of Changing Times delivers its message through its 200 images, as much as its text delivers its ideas - a synergy of form and content. So I was thrilled to be selected for its Excellence Award for both Arts and Entertainment as well as Cover Design.
As a former documentary filmmaker for NBC News, I had to find a telling image that conveyed the essence of the information that I scripted. In covering foreign cultures or national issues, I realized how important shape is in downloading the world into order and meaning. Shape itself can be a symbol that tells us the thinking, the mental map, of the culture that built a circular settlement, a pyramid, a town square, a roundabout or a downtown grid. These very shapes reflect whether a society is based on equality or hierarchy, on qualities or quantities, on flow or fixed places.
National awards for Indie books are especially welcomed as independent publishing, from university presses to hybrid publishing, are rising dramatically while traditional publishers are merging and shrinking. The more ideas that are shared, the stronger the society. Thanks to awards such as this, merit can still be recognized even within a system where all can enter. I am grateful to the National Indie Excellence Award judges for the difference their recognition makes for independent writers and excited to be recognized for excellence.