Stephen Hawley Martin Wins Unprecedented Third Writer's Digest Book Award

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Stephen Hawley Martin, who won first prizes for fiction in 1995 and in 1998 and was the only two-time winner, has won an unprecedented third Writer's Digest Book Award for his recent title, "A Witch in the Family," the story of the trial, conviction, and execution of his seven-times great grandmother, Susannah North Martin, one of the Salem witches.

Kara Uhl, managing editor of Writer's Digest, announced today that Stephen Hawley Martin has won the $1000 First Prize in the personal stories category of the 2007 Writer's Digest Book Award for his recent title, "A Witch in the Family." A total of 2404 books were entered in the contest; 302 in the personal stories category.

The prize-winning entry by Martin is the story of his seven-times great grandmother, Susannah North Martin, who was was accused of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts, during the 1692 witch hunt. Martin offers a theory to explain what was behind the witch hysteria and writes about how growing up knowing of this injustice affected his world view and his attitude toward individuals and institutions in positions of power and authority. Susannah Martin was tried and convicted on June 29, and hanged on July 19 of that year.

In making the award, the judges wrote of Martin, "The case made for explaining the horrendous conviction against his long-departed and falsely accused relative, executed for witchcraft, makes for thoroughly engaging reading. The actual dialogue of the venerable court hearings, conveying the spirit of the times -- legally and otherwise -- is especially fascinating."

This is an unprecedented third Writer's Digest Book Award for Martin, who had previously won first prizes for fiction in 1995 for his metaphysical thriller, "In My Father's House," and again in 1998, for a whodunit, "Death in Advertising." He had been the only two time winner of the award.

Martin is a co-founder of The Martin Agency, advertising, who left the business in 1993 to devote full time to writing. In 1995 he founded The Oaklea Press, an independent book publishing company, now with more than three dozen books in print. During the week of October 22, Martin will begin a third career, hosting a weekly, hour-long radio show called "The Truth about Life" on WebTalkRadio.net. Martin's passion is unraveling life's mysteries and in this regard is the author of a highly-acclaimed and widely-read metaphysical title, "Keys to the Kingdom and the Life You Want." For more information, visit http://www.SHMartin.com.

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