San Juan author earns ‘indie’ award for debut

Mary Ellen Courtney   - Contributed photo
Mary Ellen Courtney
— image credit: Contributed photo

Talk about an auspicious debut.

San Juan Island author Mary Ellen Courtney’s first novel, “Wild Nights”, catapulted to the top of the 2013 National Indie Excellence Awards, recently named the winner in the NIEA category of New Fiction.

The NIEA contest recognizes self-published books that rival those printed and circulated by mainstream publishers. The competition is judged by independent experts associated with the indie book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, designers and professional copywriters. Finalists and award-winners are chosen based on overall excellence.

“Not only did we receive an unprecedented number of entries, but the quality and sophistication of the books submitted were at a whole new level of excellence,” said Ellen Reid, CEO of NIEA.

Courtney lives on San Juan Island with her husband, Wayne Fitzgerald, a former film industry professional. Her award-winning debut novel, “Wild Nights”, is available at,, and at Griffin Bay Bookstore and San Juan Island Co-op.


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