Jennifer Smith Turner’s ‘Child Bride’ earns book award

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Jennifer Smith Turner with her new book, Child Bride: A Coming of Age Novel. — Lexi Pline

“Child Bride” by Jennifer Smith Turner has been announced as the winner in the fiction category for the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) and the BiblioBoard’s 2020 Self-Publishing EBook Award.

Turner’s book, her first novel, is about a young girl named Nell who grows up in the segregated South in the mid-1900s. She is married away at a young age and is forced to adjust quickly to becoming a woman and an adult.

A writer throughout her life, Turner is currently preparing her third poetry collection for publication. She moved to the Vineyard full-time from Connecticut in 2012. Turner has published two books of poetry, “Perennial Secrets” and “Lost and Found, Rhyming Verse Honoring African-American Heroes.” She is a member of the Cleaveland House Poets and a board member for Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard. Turner is a volunteer and contributor to Featherstone, Noepe Center for Literary Arts, and the M.V. Film Center, where last summer she exhibited photos from a trip to Africa. She has studied at the M.V. Institute of Creative Writing, whose director, Alexander Weinstein, helped edit “Child Bride.”

Times’ freelance writer Whit Griswold wrote a review of “Child Bride” in February, before its April release.