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Intellect

Former BYU professor wins major publishing award

Marilyn Arnold, professor emerita of English at Brigham Young University, recently won the Mayhaven Publishing Award for adult fiction for her manuscript "Minding Mama."

"Minding Mama" is a hilarious and insightful look at a daughter who keeps a promise she made to her mother that she would bury her with her husband.

When her mother dies, the daughter travels across the United States in a pickup truck with her dead mother in the front seat, meeting and interacting with numerous eccentric and entertaining characters along the way.

Arnold will receive national publication of the manuscript as well as ongoing royalties for her first-place award. It is her first venture into the national market after publishing five other novels in regional markets.

"I'm tickled to death to have that exposure," Arnold said. "I do not have to beat the bushes for a publisher, which is the hardest part of writing."

Given annually by Mayhaven Publishing, the award was created in 1997 to honor top work in adult's and children's fiction.

While at BYU, Arnold served as dean of Graduate Studies, director of the Center for the Study of Christian Values in Literature and editor of the journal "Literature and Belief."

From 1975-1979, she served as assistant to former BYU President Dallin H. Oaks. In 1983, Arnold was selected by her students as the English Professor of the Year and in 1992 she was the BYU commencement speaker.

Arnold has worked with the Women's Research Institute at BYU and recently co-edited a book titled "A Chorus for Peace: A Global Anthology of Poetry by Women" with Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, director of the Institute, and Kristen Tracy, instructor of creative writing at Western Michigan University.

The anthology contains about 130 poems from contemporary women in more than 60 countries and focuses on violence versus peace in the family and community.

The book contains poetry written by women throughout the world who are united in their desire for peace. It has been nominated for the Susan Koppelman Award.

For more information, call Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill at (801) 422-5294.

Writer: Thomas Grover

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