Books by Ottawa Authors Winners in 2013 International Latino Book Awards held in New York
"I am Happy", "Soy Feliz" and "Caminando por la Paz, un camino interior" by Ottawa authors Alberto Agraso and Mony Dojeiji chosen as Winners in the 15th Annual International Latino Book Awards, the largest awards in the USA celebrating achievements in Latino literature.
Their children’s tale Soy Feliz, illustrated by Alberto, introduces us to Angela, a little girl who sees the world through eyes of love. It received an HONORABLE MENTION in the Best Children’s Fiction Picture Book (Spanish) category.
Its original English version, I Am Happy, won the Mariposa Award for Best First Book (Children and Youth). This award is given to a Latino writer who has achieved excellence with his or her first book.
The winners were announced at a gala event at the prestigious Cervantes Institute in New York City on May 30, 2013. Actor and producer Tony Plana served as the master of ceremonies. Presenters included golf legend Chi Chi Rodriguez (who presented the authors with their Mariposa Award), various national leaders within the Latino community and book industry leaders. The authors’ books were displayed at BookExpo America taking place that same weekend in New York, with additional copies donated to the Institute’s “Jorge Luis Borges” library.
“We are honoured by the recognition that our work has received,” say the authors, “and grateful that the positive vision and hopeful message that our books convey have resonated with the judges.”
“Peace in the world begins with peace within,” they add, speaking about their pilgrimage for peace that inspired the book. “We are all looking for the easy answers, for someone else to solve our problems. We don’t realize that the power to create change in the world resides within us.”
Told from a deeply personal perspective, in a refreshingly honest narrative, Walking for Peace, an inner journey speaks to the longing in the heart of each one of us to create meaningful lives and make the world a better place. It also reminds us that it’s never too late to listen to our hearts and follow our dreams.
“Our children’s tale is a labour of love,” continue Mony and Alberto. “It was inspired by our daughter Sylvana, and the values we are trying to instill in her. Love of self, above all else. Gratitude for all that exists in her life. And never forgetting that wonder and magic fill our world – when we look for them.”
Alberto is a self-taught artist and author who set aside his innate abilities to work in the responsible and respected insurance industry. Family and social pressures kept him there for many years until a personal “dark night of the soul” impelled him to leave everything behind in search for a life with meaning. His seeking would lead him to the Spanish Camino de Santiago, where he would providentially meet his now-wife and fellow adventurer on the path, Mony.
Mony formalized her studies in Canada with an MBA from Queen’s University and, for ten years, pursued a marketing career in the lucrative software industry before abandoning it all in 2001 to embark on a search for self. She met Alberto on the Camino and together, they embarked on their 5000-kilometre pilgrimage for peace. This walk would reveal itself to be a path of self-discovery, an inner journey that they continue to tread to this day and one whose revelations and insights they share in their many publications.
Walking for Peace, an inner journey is WINNER of the 2012 Global Ebook Awards in the Action/Adventure, non-fiction category, and a FINALIST in the New Age category. It received an HONORABLE MENTION in the category of Religion/Faith. It was also chosen FINALIST in the Adventure category of the 2012 National Indie Book Excellence Awards.
The couple has lived in Cadiz, Spain, and now live in Ottawa with their nine-year-old daughter Sylvana.
To learn more about their walk and publications, please visit their website http://www.walkingforpeace.com.
The International Latino Book Awards, one of the oldest Latino literary award competitions and by far the largest, honoured over 190 authors and publishers during these awards. The event, which is presented by Latino Literacy Now, begins with the call for submissions from Latino/Latina authors from around the world and culminates in the presentation of awards in New York City during BookExpo America.
Founded in 1997, Latino Literacy Now is a California non-profit organization that promotes literacy and literary excellence in the Latino community. In addition to the International Latino Book Awards, the organization hosts the Latino Books into Movies Awards, the Latino Literacy Now Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in publishing and, in association with Edward James Olmos, noted actor, director and community activist, the Latino Book & Family Festival series.
Additional photos and book images available upon request.
Page Updated Last on: Jun 04, 2013