The Phi Theta Kappa Experience for alumna Jean Foster Akin has proven to be both rewarding and empowering, giving the 46-year-old the confidence she needed to finally pursue her dreams.
As a returning adult student at Herkimer County Community College in New York, Akin joined the Upsilon Epsilon Chapter and entered her short story, “The Sacred,” in the Nota Bene writing contest. Phi Theta Kappa’s literary honors anthology, published annually, piqued Akin’s interest; she said she started writing fiction “quite poorly” when she was 8 years old, but she never stopped dreaming that one day she would write books that would delight readers.
Akin’s story was judged the best overall entry in Nota Bene, earning her the 2010 Citation Scholarship.
“Phi Theta Kappa has truly boosted my confidence as a writer,” she said, adding that learning she had won the competition was “some of the most exciting news of my adult life. For me, winning first place and being featured in the Anthology was an accomplishment I will never forget.”
And the news kept getting better for Akin: she soon received word that her manuscript for middle readers, The Filigree Slippers, had been accepted for publication. Copies of the book landed in retail stores toward the end of 2011.
The Filigree Slippers is the story of a talented violinist and a shy silversmith. The book can be ordered through its official website, thefiligreeslippers.com, where readers can also view reviews of the book, peek at some beautiful illustrations, read character sketches, purchase signed copies and contact the author directly. Soft-cover editions are available from amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Books-a-Million.com and from Tate Publishing.
“As a proud Phi Theta Kappa member, and as an even prouder recipient of the 2010 Nota Bene Citation Scholarship, I wanted to tell you once again how (Phi Theta Kappa) has truly boosted my confidence as a writer,” Akin said, noting that she acknowledged the award on her book cover.
For more information about the Nota Bene literary competition, visit ptk.org/benefits/nota-bene.