– Winner –
This is How I Save My Life: From California to India, a True Story of Finding Everything When You are Willing to Try Anything
by Amy B. Scher
Amy B. Scher is an award-winning and bestselling author. She’s been featured in Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, CNN, CBS, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus and more. Scher was also named one of Advocate’s “40 Under 40.” Amy’s books have been translated into thirteen languages and endorsed by notable authors such as Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love); Vikas Swarup (Slumdog Millionaire); and Sanjiv Chopra, MD, MACP, Harvard Medical School and (Brotherhood with Deepak Chopra).
With a background in both publishing and marketing, Amy has been recognized for her unique ability to bridge the gap between the craft of writing and the business of being an author. She is proud to serve on the associate board for Literacy Partners in New York City, an organization that chose her memoir (This Is How I Save My Life / Simon & Schuster) as part of NYC’s Subway Reads initiative.
Amy lives in New York City with her beautiful wife and bad cat.
– Runners-up –
by Obie Scott Wade
You Let Some Girl Beat You?: The Story of Ann Meyers Drysdale
by Ann Meyers Drysdale & Joni Ravenna
TV writer, author, playwright and journalist, Ravenna was editor of the OC Woman section of Parenting Magazine from 2004 to 2014 while also producing the TV series “Earth Trek” for PBS National. She has had the honor of working with such luminaries as David Lynch, Forrest Whitaker, Sean Astin, Deepak Chopra, and many others. Her TV writing credits include: “Great Sports Vacations,” (a 36 part Cable-Ace nominated TV series for the Travel Channel), “The Donovan Concert, Live at the Kodak” for PBS, “Hello Paradise”, (a 72 part series for KVCR-PBS), “Judy, Frank and Dean” and “Latin Legends at the Orpheus.” (PBS). Over the years, Ravenna has interviewed leaders in various fields including: Sean Connery, Marianne Williamson, Jim Brown, Julius Erving, Johnny Bench, Sugar Ray Leonard, Elgin Baylor, Dyan Cannon, Kirk Douglas, and Brad Pitt to name a few. She found the most inspiring of all, however, to be Ann. When Ravenna learned that most people didn’t recognize the name Ann Meyers Drysdale – a woman who has shattered more glass-ceilings than any other, ever – Ravenna knew she had to change that. “You Let Some GIRL Beat You? – The Story of Ann Meyers Drysdale,” (Behler, 2012) was called “A stunning portrayal of one of today’s legendary women’s basketball treasures,” by Alan Glass, Forbes Magazine.
Some of Ravenna’s notable plays, include, The Green Grocer (Winner Best Play, Dublin Festival) For Pete’s Sake (Brooklyn Publishers under the name JR Sussman at Chance Theatre in Anaheim – Winner Best Play, CV-Weekly; Best New Play Palm Springs Writers Guild; Nominated Best New Play, OC Weekly; Finalist, Playwrights’ Circle International Playwriting Competition). Her play Beethoven and Misfortune Cookies (New Works of Merit Honoree) is based on the true story of black, music-appreciation professor, Kabin Thomas, who was fired after a white student complained about the inclusion of a graphic image depicting a lynching in connection with his lesson on Billie Holiday and the song, Strange Fruit, has been produced all over the country. Due to COVID, it was produced in 2020 by Open Door Playhouse in North Hollywood as a podcast starring Amir Abdulla (Empire, Chicago Fire).
Joni’s articles on health and wellness appear regularly in the international Epoch Times Newspaper, NYC.
Ann Meyers Drysdale
At 5’9”, Ann Meyers Drysdale looked more like a model than an athlete, yet she went on to become one of the greatest female athletes of all time. Time Magazine named her on of “The Ten Greatest Female Sports Pioneers.” From an early age, she competed with her brothers, then went on to beat the boys in grade school, whether that was on the track, football, baseball or basketball field. Meyers could do it all.
She’d become the first high school student to compete in the Nationals, the first female student to play on the championship high school boys’ basketball team, and the first female to receive a full athletic scholarship to a Division one school (UCLA). She’d become the first female four-time All American, started on the first Olympic Women’s Basketball Team helping bring home the Silver, and she’d led UCLA Women’s Basketball to what remains their one and only Championship. She is still the only woman ever to sign a no-cut contract with the NBA (Pacers). Today Meyers-Drysdale is a broadcaster having worked with every major TV network while also acting as VP of The Phoenix Suns and the Phoenix Mercury. Meyers-Drysdale continues to break barriers, reminding women everywhere that the way to the Boardroom is through the Locker Room. But it’s never easy. Her life had heartache as well as triumph. Her husband, Dodger great, Don Drysdale died suddenly in ’93, leaving her with two young sons and a new-born daughter to raise. She was only 38 years old. Through it all, she never stopped.
“Sure, life is filled with suffering and heartbreak and great loss; but it’s also filled with so much joy and so many good things. And it’s those good things we must celebrate and remember.” When asked how it feels to have been the first woman to have done this or that, she is quick to say that others have come before her to open up doors, then adds, “What matters is not that I was first, but that I not be the last.”
“Annie was one of the best players ever. I didn’t say male or female; I said, ever.” – Celtics Great, Bill Russell
– Finalists –
by Laura Preble
Burn My Shadow: A Selective Memory of an X-Rated Life
by Tyler Knight
Confidante of ‘Tyrants’
by Eva Golinger
Dragons in the Snow, Avalanche Detectives and the Race to Beat Death in the Mountains
by Edward Power
Invisible Martyrs: Inside the Secret World of Female Islamic Radicals
by Farhana Qazi
Simone LaFray and the Chocolatiers’ Ball
by S.P. O’Farrell
Witness for My Father
by Barbara Bergren