We are in the thick of awards season now, and last night it was MIPA--the Midwest Independent Publishers Association, which handed out awards in 35 categories.
Nominees came from the whole Upper Midwest, 12 states. Winners included a fair number from Minnesota, including Michael Nordskog and Aaron Hautala, authors of "The Opposite of Cold," that book that is pretty much known by its unofficial title, "The Sauna Book."
Their book, published by the University of Minnesota Press, took first place in the category of Midwest Regional Interest.
Other local winners included Beaver's Pond Press, which won no fewer than 15 prizes (both first prize, and runner up), Tristan Publishing of Golden Valley, and Bethany House.
Self-published authors, take heart; even iUniverse won a prize. A complete list of winners follows:
Macalester instructor and novelist Peter Bognanni won the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction Friday night for his novel, "House of Tomorrow." Other winners of the L.A. Times book prizes included Jennifer Egan for "A Visit from the Goon Squad," and Michael Lewis for "The Big Short.
A full list of winners can be found here.
Bognanni said on Facebook today, "At times, I'm not sure I really won. But it's in the paper!" You gotta love a guy who believes what he reads in the paper.
Bognanni's novel, about a boy who lives in a geodesic dome with his grandmother and discovers rock and roll, had previously won an Alex Award from the American Library Association, and was a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award.
To read a review of the book, go here.
OK, I am not working today--I am not even in Minnesota--but I had to do a quick post here to let you all know that Dori Hillestad Butler won the Edgar Award last night for her juvenile mystery, "The Buddy Files: The Case of the Lost Boy."
Butler lives in Coralville, Iowa, now, but has long Minnesota roots, growing up in Fairmont and living in Minneapolis, Bemidji and Rochester.
You can read my earlier post about Butler and her work here.
Between Butler and the folks from Once Upon a Crime, who won the Raven Award, I think Minnesota was well-represented.
OK, we made such a big deal about the owners of Once Upon a Crime jetting off to New York this week to receive the Raven Award during the annual Mystery Writers of America Edgar Awards that we completely neglected to tell you about another Minnesotan who will be there.
Dori Hillestad Butler, who writes a wonderful wonderful blog about the writing life (which you can read here), and who grew up in Fairmont, Minn., (where her mother still lives) and also lived in Bemidji, Minneapolis and Rochester (though, presumably, not all at the same time), is a finalist for an Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery.
Butler has been a children's author for many years, and in 1998 Gov. Arne Carlson declared Nov. 19 "Read 'M is for Minnesota' Day" in honor of one of her early books, which was published by the University of Minnesota Press.
She was recently at the heart of a fascinating controversy when a child in Texas checked one of her books out of the library--"My Mom's Having a Baby" apparently shocked the child's babysitter, who marched immediately to Fox News and complained.
(The book covers the facts of life in a rather candid fashion and is perhaps not for every kid, but it was honored by Booklist, which gave it a starred review and named it an editors' choice for 2005.) Butler, who now lives in Coralville, Iowa, ended up doing an interview on the Fox affiliate in Ames (and blogged charmingly about the harrowing limo ride that got her there barely in time).
And now her latest book, "The Buddy Files: The Case of the Lost Boy," is a finalist for an Edgar. It's the story of a mystery-solving dog named Buddy, which sounds like a great premise for a book if you ask me, especially since neither of my dogs show any ambition at all and are completley unemployable. Buddy could be their inspiration.
Winners will be named Thursday. Like with any good mystery, the suspense must be killing her.
The winners of the 23rd annual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards will be announced on May 19 at UMD. Children's author Mary Casanova will be keynote speaker.
The event will open at 5 p.m. with a book fair and dessert reception. Poet and essayist Barton Sutter will emcee the program, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. Nearly 50 books are competing in five categories; wniners will receive $200 and a glass plaque. For a list of the nominees, go here.
Casanova lives in Ranier, Minn., and has written 19 novels and picture books. She has won many awards, including two Minnesota Book Awards.
The evening is free and open to the public and will take place in UMD's Kirby Ballroom in Duluth. It is sponsored by the UMD Library, with support from Friends of the Duluth Public Library and Lake Superior Writers.
The day before, Casanova will lead a workshop on writing children's books. The workshop will be at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, in the UMD Library. The fee is $35 for members of the Lake Superior Writers, or $40 for others. email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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