The 2018 Realm Awards: Category Finalists Announced

The 2018 Realm Awards: Category Finalists Announced

Ladies, Gentlemen, Timelords and Jedi.

The scores are in! The judges have spoken, fate has been decided…and it is my honor to share with you the top three books in each category! 

To those who are moving forward, we offer you our highest congratulations! 

(*throws confetti and chocolate*)

In no particular order (but do make note, because this is an incredible list)…





  • Alara’s Call –Kristen Stieffel
  • The Button Girl – Sally Apokedak
  • Breakwater – Catherine Jones Payne



  • The Mapmaker’s Daughter – Joanna Emerson
  • Firstborn – Tosca Lee
  • Relent – Kat Heckenbach



  • The Mapmaker’s Daughter – Joanna Emerson
  • The Button Girl – Sally Apokedak
  • Milky Way Rising – Sharon Keller Johnson



  • Music in the Night – Michelle Levigne
  • Renegades – Thomas Locke
  • Man Behind the Wheel – Steve Rzasa



  • Alara’s Call – Kristen Stieffel
  • The Genesis Tree – Heather L. L. FitzGerald
  • The Songweaver’s Vow – Laura VanArdenonk Baugh



  • Willoughby and the Terribly Itchy Itch– Pam Halter
  • Dusty’s Adventures – Tim Akers
  • Snowman – Mark Andrew Poe


Readers, Nerds, Fanpeople—please join me in congratulating these authors! Each of these titles is now competing for category winner, and the top five scores overall will compete for our Realm Award: Book of the Year! 

Share this post and give the authors virtual hugs, fist bumps and a good clap on the back. The amount of hard work and heart they’ve poured into these stories is worth the recognition. Our way of saying, “We see you!” They’ve all done so well. 

All winners will be announced at the Realm Makers Conference in Saint Louis, MO this summer.

See you there!



About the Awards Director:


As the daughter of missionaries, Kara Swanson spent sixteen years of her young life in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped suddenly into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the speculative genre and was soon penning stories herself. She published her first novel at seventeen and recently released the INSPY-Award semi-finalist The Girl Who Could See. Kara received the Mount Hermon Most Promising Teen Writer Award in 2015, and has published pieces in magazines, short story collections, and newspapers. She loves working with other authors and young writers and has had the honor of serving as faculty for several writers conferences and workshops. When she’s not placing characters in peril or binging Marvel movies, you’ll find her playing with her huskies, or attempting to lip-sync along with Wicked, Newsies or Hamilton.


You can connect with her at


This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. David R. Wendel

    Great picks!!

  2. Mary Jo Powell

    Congratulations to all finalists.

Leave a Reply