National Writer Selected As Recipient Of UVU’s Marilyn Brown Novel Award
April 23, 2012
For Immediate Release
University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807
Written by: Marilyn Brown (801) 489-4980
The Association for Mormon Letters selected nationally known writer Paul Colt of Lake Geneva, Wisc., as the recipient of the Marilyn Brown Unpublished Novel Competition for his work, “Boots and Saddles: A Call to Glory” on April 21 at Utah Valley University.
The literary competition, established from an endowment given by Bill and Marilyn Brown to UVU, was begun in 2000 when Marilyn Brown was president of the Association for Mormon Letters. Because her own awards have been her main encouragement through her quest for a literary career, she wanted to inspire and reassure other serious writers. The award recipient receives $1,000.
“I have seen some of my best award winners never reap economic success with their writing. I think it’s because our region is not ready for classic literary work. So I feel that good writers should get some recognition, even though they can’t sell their non-science fiction, non-fantasy, or non-romance novels on the market,” Brown said. “I hope to buoy up good writers, especially those who take on the West and the Mormon culture in an honest and representative way.
Because the parameters for competition submissions include any revelations about our western region, this year’s committee reviewed several manuscripts other than Mormon, and was delighted to give the Marilyn Brown Novel Award to Paul Colt’s well-written historical fiction.
“Boots and Saddles” recounts a little known chapter in American Gen. George Patton’s early career. History does not remember Patton as a cavalry officer and saber master, nor widely acknowledge General John J. Pershing’s significance as a mentor to young Patton in the skirmish to capture Pancho Villa. “Boots and Saddles” is also the story of the last United States cavalry campaign. It is a story about heroic patriots who were eager to defend the right.
Paul Colt grew up “as comfortable on the back of a horse as most kids are on a bicycle,” according to his bio. Jen Walhquist, the Marilyn Brown Novel Award committee chair and UVU associate professor of English, was thrilled to discover the quality of Colt’s work and his dedication to accurate western history.
“He is known for developing characters that carry the reader with page-turning excitement,” Walhquist said.
Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah, and is home to more than 33,000 students. UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since has evolved into a technical school, community college, state college and, finally, a comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utah’s largest institutions of higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high-demand master degrees, with emphasis on undergraduate education.