NZ Graphic Memoir ‘Out of the Woods’ wins United States Award

The New Zealand graphic memoir Out of the Woods – A Journey Through Depression and Anxiety has won a silver medal at the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Awards at a ceremony in Austin Texas last weekend . 

The CEO of the Independent Book Publishers Association Angela Boyle said:
 
'Over 150 librarians, booksellers, design, and editorial experts – most of whom have decades of book industry experience – judge the books submitted to the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award™ program. The judging process takes seven months. This year's list of IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award™ winners rest at the pinnacle of professional independent publishing. These are the best of the best,' 

Author Brent Williams says, “The award is a great honour. The subject matter is challenging for many and not, I would have thought, an obvious award candidate. 

'Depression is still something we can’t comfortably face. Yet, suffers, their loved ones and society in general have to be more aware of this debilitating illness. According to the World Health Organisation depression is now the leading cause of disability worldwide.' 

Williams says 'it is a complex and difficult illness but there are good treatments available and there are many things people can do to help themselves. People can make full recovers. I come across so many people who are suffering in silence, accepting depression and being too afraid to ask for help. It is what I did for too long. I can understand why they do this; it’s part of the perverse nature of the illness. It makes you feel so ashamed, like you have personally failed, so you want to hide, but this is such a waste of life.' 

Out of the Woods not only informs the reader, it provides support and a practical roadmap for recovery. And the visual format of the book is connecting with people.

'Depression can make it difficult to concentrate on reading the back of a cereal box, let alone a book' says NZ Jornalist Linley Boniface, 'but Out of the Woods' graphic novel format makes the reading experience easy, engrossing and enjoyable. A wonderful book with a powerful message of hope.'

The Midwest Book Review described it as 'An inspiring, unique, effective, insightful, life-altering read.'

Brent Williams says the response to the book from sufferers, family members and mental health professionals in New Zealand has been humbling. He hopes the award will help the book reach more people in need. 

Out of the Woods by Brent Williams is available now.

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Contact: Brent Williams brent@reresources.co.nz  mobile: 0272891862

Out of the Woods
by Brent Williams
ISBN 9780473390068