Local book publisher Down The Shore Publishing swept a national book awards competition last week, with most of the recognition and honors going to a very local book about Superstorm Sandy and the Long Beach Island and mainland communities.
Surviving Sandy: Long Beach Island and the Greatest Storm of the Jersey Shore, by Scott Mazzella, won more honors than any other book in the Independent Book Publishers Association’s 2014 Benjamin Franklin Awards competition. A coffee-table art book, Jersey Shore Impressionists: The Fascination of Sun and Sea, 1880-1940, also brought home honors. Both titles were published last year in the wake of the storm by Down The Shore.
|Photo by Liz Mazzella|
Scott Mazzella, author of Surviving Sandy,
accepts the gold award for the nature
and environment category.
The awards ceremony was held at New York University’s Kimmel Center in New York City on Wednesday, May 28. The 154 finalists were selected from 1,300 entries. Top honors, gold and silver awards, went to winners in 55 categories. Judges included over 160 book publishing professionals from throughout the United States, including librarians, bookstore owners, reviewers, designers, publicity managers and editors.
Surviving Sandy won the gold award in the nature and environment category, and also won silver awards in three other categories, including political/current events, regional, and cover design: large format.
“When I accepted the award, I told the audience about how Ray (Fisk) and I met in Holgate back in January of 2013 and decided then, at that moment, that we had do a book about the impact Sandy had on the Island and mainland communities,” Mazzella recounted. “Despite the fact that we had all been massively affected by Sandy, we had to do it. There really wasn’t a choice because the story had to be told.
“This book is all about our community, and it took a village to put it together and get it out by the first anniversary of Sandy,” he added. “Between myself, editor Steve Warren, layout artist and cover designer Leslee Ganss, publisher Ray Fisk, Andrew Pearson and Corinne Gray Ruff, who were a massive help with research, the professionals who gave us a superb look inside the storm and its aftermath, Carl and Susan Clark who took that heart-stopping cover shot, and, of course, everyone else who submitted photos or shared their survival stories, this book is a true testament to the power of the ongoing recovery, resiliency and strength of the people in our area. This award was handed to Down The Shore Publishing, but it truly belongs to everyone in our community.”
Jersey Shore Impressionists won the silver award in art/photography.
“The author, Roy Pedersen, has devoted years of effort to bring attention to the great Impressionist-era painters of the Jersey Shore. Those artists are recognized in this book,” Fisk stated. “Art historians should no longer ignore or dismiss the shore’s influence on American Impressionism. I’d consider that a win for New Jersey and the shore.”
–Kelley Anne Essinger
This article was published in The SandPaper.