It's been a wonderful year at DWA. As we close the chapter on a transformative 2023, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to each of you who has supported the Dominican Writers Association. Your passion for literature and dedication to honing your craft have been the driving forces behind our successful year of workshops, cultural immersion, and literary recognition.
Our Sunday Writers Salon thrived with the participation of nearly 450 writers, and the DWA Writers Retreat provided 16 writers with a profound experience of cultural connection and literary inspiration in our homeland.
After considerable effort, we are delighted to announce the 'Dominican Literary Publishing Trends' for 2023, a testament to a year marked by the exceptional work of Dominican authors spanning a multitude of genres. This data has been meticulously compiled from our in-house research and extensive surveys, through which we track Dominican publications and actively encourage authors to register their works with us. The DWA takes pride in these collaborative efforts that spotlight the growing literary contributions of our community.
With 28.6% delving into children's literature and 25.7% engaging audiences with adult fiction, the breadth of Dominican storytelling is evident.
Our gender diversity statistics shine a light on the inclusive nature of our literary community. This year, 74.3% of our published authors identify as women, while men, non-binary, and genderqueer authors represent significant shares of 11.4% and 2.9% respectively, highlighting a landscape of varied identities and perspectives.
In 2022, there was a significantly higher number of traditionally published authors compared to self-published ones. In 2023, the number of traditionally published authors slightly decreased, while the number of self-published authors significantly decreased compared to the previous year.
We strongly encourage Dominican authors to register their books with us. This crucial step contributes to our annual data collection, which informs our understanding of publishing trends and the impact of Dominican literature. By registering, authors ensure their work is preserved by the Dominican Studies Institute and cataloged in the WorldCat database, significantly increasing its visibility to a global audience of researchers and scholars. This process not only facilitates academic study but also guarantees the worldwide recognition and accessibility of Dominican voices in literary academia.
We extend our sincere gratitude to the authors who have participated in this process. Your active involvement has led to a richer archive at the DSI and broader exposure in the WorldCat database, allowing your work to reach readers and scholars across the globe. As we move forward, we look with excitement to the new stories that await us and the continued sharing of our rich Dominican heritage through the written word.
The year also saw Family Lore by National Book Award-winning author Elizabeth Acevedo emerge as the most celebrated read, thanks to your support in reading, sharing, and reviewing our books.
A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK!
Shortlisted for The Center for Fiction 2023 First Novel Prize
From National Book Award-winning author Elizabeth Acevedo comes the story of one Dominican American family told through the voices of its women
As we turn the pages of another chapter in our literary history, we pause to acknowledge the exceptional talents within our community who have been honored this year. DWA takes great pride in celebrating the distinguished authors who have received prestigious accolades for their work. The following is a tribute to the 2023 award-winning Dominican authors whose stories and voices have not only captivated readers but have also been recognized by esteemed literary institutions.
2023 Dominican Literary Honors:
Pura Belpré Award Winners:
Frizzy by Claribel Ortega (2023 Pura Belpré Children's Author Award Winner)
Burn Down, Rise Up by Vincent Tirado (2023 Pura Belpré Young Adult Author Award Winner)
High Spirits by Camille Gomera-Tavarez (2023 Pura Belpré Young Adult Author Honor Book)
Wash Day Diaries by Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith (2023 Alex Award Winner)
International Latino Book Awards:
Esu by Eddaviel (Winner of Best Graphic Novel, Best Spiritual Book, and Best Use of Illustrations in a Book)
You Are Beautiful by Dora Abreu (Mariposa Award for Best First Book)
A Touch of Moonlight by Yaffa S. Santos (Finalist)
Neruda in The Park by Cleyvis Natera (Winner of Best First Book-Fiction)
School Library Journal Recognitions:
Plátanos Go with Everything by Lissette Norman (Named one of the Best Picture Books of 2023)
Jennifer Jones & Lissette Norman for their compelling contributions (Listed in Best Books 2023)
Moonbeam Children's Book Award:
From Across the Street by Wanda Vásquez Garcia & Sócrates Garcia
The Best Children's Books of the Year [2023 Edition]:
Hasta Que Alguien Me Escuche by Lissette Norman
2023 Latin American Book Fair:
Alyssa Reynoso-Morris – Author of the Year
2023 Finalist for the Aspen Words Literary Prize and the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, and longlisted for the Joyce Carol Oates Prize:
How Not To Drown in a Glass of Water by Angie Cruz
2023 First Novel Prize Finalist from The Center for Fiction:
Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo
2023 Audie Award for Erotica:
On The Hustle by Adriana Herrera
As we close this chapter and look ahead, I want to take a moment to express how deeply your engagement with our books has moved me. Each page you turn and every story you immerse yourself in adds to the grand narrative of our Dominican heritage. It's through your readership and the stories we dare to tell that we build our literary canon, ensuring that our voices echo in the halls of history.
As we stand on the threshold of 2024, I am filled with hope and excitement for the new works that will join this legacy. May we continue to write, publish, and share our unique tales, showing the world the depth and vibrancy of our existence. Here’s to the stories yet to be told and the pages yet to be filled. Let us carry the torch of our narrative forward, illuminating the path for generations to come.
Happy New Year to you and your loved ones! Here's to embracing more Dominican books and stories in the year ahead. Your engagement and contributions are what make our community truly remarkable.
With immense gratitude,
P.S. Remember to review our books! Doing so offers our authors more visibility and possibilities to continue being published.