How to Write Awesome Acknowledgments
Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant
I love to read book acknowledgment pages. I feel as if I’m peeking into the Who’s Who in the creation of the work. But the acknowledgments I like best are those in which the author shows that he/she has the mojo to cast a creative eye on this page that often tends toward the unimaginative.
In actuality, acknowledgments are a great place to stretch your writing muscles and allow your voice to be full-throated.
My mind recently turned to stellar acknowledgments when I checked out Cynthia Ruchti’s resounding commendations in her An Endless Christmas novella. Her approach was original and wouldn’t fit any other book she’s written. Let’s take a look at what she did as a lesson in how to write awesome acknowledgments.
The first sentence, like all good writing exercises, announces the acknowledgments’ theme: “An Endless Christmas was a Joy-to-the-World kind of project.” In the rest of that paragraph, Cynthia explains how the novella came into existence, much like the joyous fanfare surrounding Christ’s birth.
In the second paragraph, the theme continues to unfold: She thanks the publishing team for their contributions to the book’s existence and then writes: “They shepherd book projects well.” Ho-ho-ho, how clever. We’re headed down the Christmas story path, the reader realizes.
The Christmas song by Michael W. Smith, All Is Well, is referenced in the next paragraph when Cynthia thanks Jamie Chavez, her freelance editor, and Cynthia announces that she sings “All is Well” when she gets to work with Jamie.
In the fourth paragraph Cynthia waxes playful when she thanks her agent, Wendy Lawton, and the other agents of Books & Such. “Hark the Herald Agents Sing! Wendy Lawton, you and the entire Books & Such Literary Management team are a perpetual source of blessing and encouragement. Thank you for championing this story.”
Do You Hear What I Hear? O Come All Ye Faithful, and The Hallelujah Chorus chime in for the other people mentioned in the ensuing paragraphs. You can read all of Cynthia’s acknowledgments here. But I’m sure she’d much rather you read them by buying the book!
A completely different take on writing acknowledgments–all over the place but funny and clever, just like the author–is found in Rainn Wilson’s The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith and Idiocy.
I appreciate his creative touch for completely different reasons from the tightly-written and neatly-focused Cynthia Ruchti direction.
So, when it comes time for you to write acknowledgments for your WIP, don’t afraid to just…be you, the clever, smart writer you are. Make your acknowledgments the perfect topper for a rewarding reading experience, as these two examples were.
What acknowledgments have you read that made you appreciate the author all the more? Why?
What questions do you have about acknowledgments for me?
What makes book acknowledgments awesome? Click to tweet.
How to creatively express yourself in book acknowledgments. Click to tweet.