Playing Soldier Wins 2021 Indiereader Discovery Award For Memoir

On Thursday June 2nd, IndieReader, one of the original review services for self, hybrid and independently published authors, announced the winners of the tenth annual IR Discovery Awards (IRDAs) for 2021. Playing Soldier by F. Scott Service won in the Memoir category.

IndieReader launched the IRDAs in 2011 to help notable indie authors receive the attention of top publishing professionals, with the goal of reaching more readers.  Noted Amy Edelman, author and founder of IR, “The books that won the IRDAs this year are not simply great indie books; they are great books, period.  We hope that our efforts via the IRDAs ensure that they receive attention from the people who matter most.  Potential readers.”  

Past and present sponsors for the IRDAs include Amazon, Reedsy, Smith Publicity and NY-based literary agents Dystel, Goderich & Bourret.  Judges have included publishers (from Penguin Group USA and Simon & Schuster), agents (from ICM, Dystel), publicists (from Smith Publicity), and bloggers (from GoodeReader). 

Playing Soldier received the following verdict by IndieReader’s reviewers: “What’s particularly telling about Playing Soldier is that Service’s most terrifying experiences are not as a combatant, but as a veteran; Service’s account of his time in Iraq are vague blobs of scenes and vignettes, but his memories of combat — the sound of mines exploding, the whirr of the planes, constant gunfire — are much more defined and much more harrowing. Service describes the inner conflict welling up within him with expertly conveyed fear and horror, culminating in an admission that he wouldn’t give a dying comrade in Iraq a few moments of his time to listen when the comrade asked to talk to him. Having let him die without reciprocating him, Service reveals himself and his vulnerabilities at his most heartbreaking moment.

Playing Soldier is a gripping memoir of life, war, loss, and recovery that effectively conveys the fear and horror of a shell-shocked veteran who had once romanticized the idea of being a soldier.”

A former sergeant with the Army National Guard, Scott is a full-time author. His first memoir, Lines in the Sand: An American Soldier’s Personal Journey in Iraq, is a transcription of the handwritten journals he kept during his tour of duty and details not only the turmoil of war, his divorce, but how he became a conscientious objector. It has been awarded a Readers’ Favorite Five-Star rating and a Pacific Book Review Star for a memoir of excellent merit.

In addition to winning the 2021 IndieReader Discovery Award, Playing Soldier was also a Finalist in the 2021 Book Excellence Awards for memoir.

Having earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional/Technical Communication and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, Scott has also had experience with editing, journalism, and desktop publishing.

He lives in New England and you may connect with him at:

“I’m truly honored. As with all writing projects, Playing Soldier took an awful lot of hard work and I’m thankful that it’s received some recognition. Thank you to the folks at IndieReader and to all inspired and helped me along the way.” – F. Scott Service

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