Contact: Cheryl Malden

ALA Governance Office

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For Immediate Release

June 10, 2008

W.Y. Boyd Literary Award recipient named

CHICAGO - Robert N. Macomber’s novel, A Different Kind of Honor, has won the W.Y Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction for 2008.

The W.Y. Boyd Literary Novel Award recognizes the service of American veterans and encourages the writing and publishing of outstanding military fiction. The $5,000 award and citation, donated by author W.Y. Boyd, honors the best fiction set in a period when the United States military was engaged in an armed conflict or during peacetime.

"Robert Macomber has written an excellent work about the assignment of Lt. Cmdr. Peter Wake during a conflict that is little known to history, the War of the Pacific," according to award jury Chair Robert E. Schnare of the Naval War College in Newport, R.I. "This conflict lasted from 1879 to 1884, with the main players in this war being Bolivia and Peru versus Chile.

“Lt. Cmdr. Wake is sent to this area as a neutral U. S. Naval observer to report on the sea war along the west coast of South America. During his assignment, Wake is thrust into many trials and tribulations and is an eyewitness to world history. He observes the first battle between sea-faring ironclads and also partakes in many other interesting events, such as riding the world’s first deep-diving submarine, as well as observing machine guns in combat for the first time. While trying to return to Washington, D.C., via Panama, Wake has conversations with the French on the building of the Panama Canal."

Schnare said this work is a genuine contribution to understanding the events that occurred in South America during the late 19th century. It also details the rivalry for influence, on sea and land, among Britain, France and the United States.

Macomber has visited all of the areas he writes about and has spent years researching and teaching about each of his novels. A Different Kind of Honor is his sixth book in a series based on the trials, journeys, and accomplishments of Lt. Cmdr. Wake. The first book in this Honor series, “At the Edge of Honor,”is set in Florida during the Civil War and covers the little-known U.S. Naval action intercepting Confederate blockade runners.

An internationally recognized writer, lecturer, and television commentator, Macomber has received numerous awards, including the Florida Genealogy Society’s Outstanding Achievement Award for nonfiction work on Florida’s maritime history, the Florida Historical Society’s Patrick Smith Literary Award for Best Historical Novel of Florida (At the Edge of Honor), and the John Esten Cooke Literary Award for Best Work in Southern Fiction (Point of Honor).

Other members of the 2008 W.Y. Boyd Literary Novel award jury are: Lawrence Clemens, United States Naval Academy, Nimitz Library, Annapolis, Md.; Nancy Davenport, DC Public Library; Maxine Reneker, Monterey, Calif.; James Schenkel, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; and Ronald Steensland, Panama City, Fla.

The W.Y. Boyd Literary Award will be presented on Tuesday, July 1, during the American Library Association Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif.

The deadline for submission of applications for the 2009 W.Y. Boyd Literary Award is December. Guidelines and application forms are available at: