Saturday, January 23, 2021
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Presented by Rox Burkey

I am a part of DEAR Texas, which hopefully you know stands for Drop Everything and Read. This organization was formed in 2014 to encourage people of ALL ages to read more, which is no easy task. The DEAR Texas Literacy program has given over $25,000 of books to schools and libraries around the state. The outreach continues even expanding outside of Texas.

DEAR Texas and Dear Indie feels it is important to recognize those who help promote those goals time and time again. Paying tribute to authors who have contributed to the DEAR community in Texas and beyond is an important element of raising the visibility of this organization in its support of literacy. Many of the authors in this room have made contributions for which we thank you. Please give yourself a round of applause.

Highlighting an author specifically for this year’s award had us looking at the contributions made over time, as well as support for other authors, and to our collective community. We authors must focus on the “better together aspects” as we help one another continually improve and gain ground with awards, promotions, and opportunities to help. It is the commitment to sharing knowledge, experiences, and fabulous storytelling with people in this room, as well as those anywhere on the Internet.

In my time connected with the DEAR program, the authors I have interviewed and met have been my most valuable experience in this community. I have spoken with nearly all of you in this audience. I admire your stories both fiction and non-fiction primarily for your commitment. I appreciate your giving nature for your time and your books. We have so many winners to consider.

One nomination kept coming forward among all of our spirited discussions. Here was someone who was active on their website promoting authors. I, and my co-author Charles, have personally been delighted to receive acknowledgement for our stories from the authors’ website and in emails. This website is one you should get familiar with as it has a variety of genres published over a very broad career of writing success. I recently learned there are more stories in the works.

While there are many individuals that have worked tirelessly helping to improve our lives, and to encourage reading of a variety of books, the main focus of DEAR, it was clear that this year’s winners deserved to be honored together. They work as a team helping each other and helping the authors they know and work with.

Over the years, they have selflessly promoted other authors works on their website without being asked to. They have helped DEAR Texas and the associated organizations to Authors promote events and programs. Their tireless work goes beyond the few years I have known them, to many years of writing and the author community support.

This years’ award winners have a saying on their website that really hits the mark. “Writing is not a competitive business. It is a cooperative venture.” Authors have a much better opportunity to succeed when we all strive to help each other reach book buyers in a difficult marketplace.

It is my great honor to ask Caleb and Linda Pirtle to please come forward to receive this award for their tremendous contributions to our community.

Pictures Shows Linda Pritle on left with presenter Rox Burkey in middle and Caleb Pirtle III on right.