Zariah L. Banks Wins First Place for the Novel Beauty Beheld at The BookFest® Awards Spring 2024

The BookFest recognizes and promotes excellence in literature, elevating authors and creatives who contribute outstanding work to the literary world. 


**Cleveland, Ohio—Zariah L. Banks has won the Multicultural Romance (First Place) and Contemporary Romance (Second Place) categories at The BookFest® Awards Spring 2024 for her debut book, Beauty Beheld: A Beauty is Her Name novel

Beauty Beheld: A Beauty Is Her Name Novel


Beauty Beheld: A Beauty Is Her Name Novel

Cover of Beauty Beheld: A Beauty is Her Name novel

The BookFest honors authors who create outstanding works of fiction and nonfiction. Its mission is rooted in the belief that literature has transformative power and in a desire to support and celebrate those who create it.

Desireé Duffy, Founder of The BookFest®, says, “Today, more than ever, it is important to recognize authors and creatives for the vital part they play in crafting the stories that shape our world and define our humanity. Books bring us to new worlds, take us on adventures, give us a means to evaluate our lives, and instill a sense of empathy within us. I believe that by acknowledging authors and their literary achievements, we lift literature in our world and lift each other in the process.”

First and Second Place The Bookfest® Awards

Banks expressed her gratitude: “It’s an incredible honor that my first novel was selected as a winner of two The BookFest® Awards. I’m grateful to be recognized for work that highlights women’s issues, takes the healthy route to healing and self-discovery, and centers the Black female voice. I also take pleasure in featuring Cleveland small businesses in my books to give readers  opportunities to support them whenever they visit Cleveland. I hope these awards will inspire other independent authors to pursue their literary passions.”

Duffy added, “I am delighted to announce Zariah L. Banks as the winner of the Multicultural Romance and Contemporary Romance awards at The BookFest® Awards. This year’s competition was exceptional, and Banks should be very proud of this outstanding accomplishment.”


Author Zariah L. Banks

Zariah L. Banks is a three-time award-winning contemporary romance author, best known for the first title in her Beauty is Her Name series, Beauty Beheld, and the Amazon bestselling holiday short, Mistletowed. Her stories explore themes of self-love and emotional growth, featuring relatable characters on quests for lasting love. Fans eagerly await the release of her next book, Beauty Betrothed, in the summer of 2024. Zariah is a proud Cleveland native, where she resides with her husband, son, and daughter. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys jigsaw puzzles, board games, and quality time with loved ones.


The BookFest is the leader in virtual literary events, hosting biannual awards in the spring and fall that include panel discussions, conversations, and live interactive sessions. The BookFest has earned recognition from the Webby Awards with a nomination in 2021, a gold award from the Muse Creative Awards in 2020, and a silver award from the w3 Awards in 2020. For more information, visit The

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