At INDEPENDENT AUTHORS ACADEMY we take great pride in the distinguished panel of judges who play a crucial role in recognizing excellence within the independent literary community. Our judges are accomplished writers, translators, critics, librarians, and booksellers who bring a wealth of expertise and a passion for independent voices.

Our panel represents a diverse range of voices and perspectives, ensuring a comprehensive and inclusive evaluation process. With expertise in categories such as fiction, nonfiction, poetry, children’s, young people’s literature and journals, our judges bring a nuanced understanding of the unique challenges and triumphs within each genre.


Shenequa Williams

Shenequa Williams is an ambitious and reliable educator with 10+ years of teaching and curriculum development expertise.

Education: Master of Science in Educational Leadership — Western Governors University

Michele Harris

Michele Harris is a teacher/tutor, freelance writer, and a blog creator. She currently resides in Plainville, CT.

Education: Master’s Degree in Business/Education
Central Connecticut State University

Angela Heis

Angela Heis completed her Master’s in Creative Writing and is a book copyeditor.

Education: Master’s degree in Creative Writing — University of Hull, UK

MaryLou MacKay

MaryLou MacKay is a seasoned editor with a focus on self-published books. Before retiring, she held positions as an energy attorney.

Education: Juris Doctor (JD)
College of William & Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law

Carmen Williams

Carmen Williams always had passion for learning and books. In high school and college, she aided other students in ACT test prep, English proofreading and was always involved in computer science. She graduated with a 4.0 GPA.

Education: Degree in Psychology
Camden County
Business and Dental Admin
Northwest Career

Jordan Morral

Jordan Morral, a recent graduate from Penn State University with a profound passion for words and literature.

Education: Bachelor’s Degree in English — Penn State University


Independent Authors Academy is dedicated to empowering and honoring self-published and indie authors from around the world. Our mission is to provide a platform that recognizes outstanding literary achievements, fosters a sense of community, and encourages writers to pursue their dreams with confidence.

Celebrating Excellence

We understand the challenges that independent authors face in a competitive literary landscape. That’s why we have established a distinguished set of book awards that highlights excellence in various genres. Our awards celebrate not only the written word but also the dedication, perseverance, and unique voices that independent authors bring to the literary world.

A Global Community

Independent Authors Academy is more than just an awards or learning platform; it’s a vibrant community of like-minded individuals who share a passion for literature. Through our events, forums, networking opportunities, and our learning center we aim to connect authors with readers, fellow writers, and industry professionals. Building a supportive community is at the heart of what we do.

Our Commitment to Diversity

Independent Authors Academy is committed to celebrating diversity in literature. We actively seek out and promote works from authors of all backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. Our goal is to create a platform where every unique voice has the opportunity to be heard and appreciated. Become a member today.

Get Involved

Whether you’re an aspiring author, a dedicated reader, or an industry professional, there are numerous ways to get involved with Independent Authors Academy. Explore our website, attend our events, and join the conversation on our social media platforms. Together, let’s celebrate the power of independent storytelling.

Thank you for being a part of Independent Authors Academy, where we honor the spirit of independence and the magic of storytelling. Join us on this literary journey as we continue to champion and elevate the voices of independent authors worldwide.


Submit your book for our William Shakespeare Awards and get recognized for your hard work.