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First Place, African American Non-Fiction, July 2021

July 2021 – Speak Up Talk Radio announced the winners of 2021’s second quarter FIREBIRD BOOK AWARDS contest. One hundred thirty seven books were announced in 120 categories.

One of the winning entries was from Maryland, from author Margo Lee Williams, whose book, titled BORN MISSIONARY: THE ISLAY WALDEN STORY, won in the African American Non-Fiction category.

Authors and publishers from around the world submitted their work to the Firebird Book Awards. Two judges from a select panel of 15 judges read each book in its entirety and independently scored each entry. All judges committed to a set of standardized criteria that evaluates the quality of the writing as well as production aspects. Only entries with the highest of scores were awarded the coveted Firebird.

Patricia J. Rullo, founder of the Firebird Book Awards, says, “This quarter’s authors and genres included the most diverse entries to date, from around the world. Our judges (from the publishing and writing world) are also a diverse group of humans and represent a cross section of ages, cultural heritage, race, religion, gender, and experience.  At Speak Up Talk Radio, our mission is to offer authors a welcome place to promote themselves and their books via book awards, radio interviews, audiobook production, and podcasting services.”

Pat adds, “We’ve included a charitable component to our awards by making all entry fees tax-deductible to the author. In return, we personally make and send handmade fun and colorful pillowcases to women and children in homeless shelters via Enchanted Makeovers, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. All entry fees fund this project. In this way, authors get notoriety for their work while doing good for others. It’s been such a rewarding venture for everyone.”

The Firebird Book Awards run quarterly contests so authors can receive recognition on a timely basis. Authors from all genres, mainstream, independent, and self-published are welcome. Additional winning authors and titles as well as entry information is available at