Laurie Hertzel is senior editor for books at the Star Tribune, where she has worked since 1996. She is the author of "News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist," winner of a Minnesota Book Award.

Posts about Awards

Maryland writer wins annual Maud Hart Lovelace Award

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: April 24, 2011 - 2:09 PM

 

Betsy Ray on Murmuring Lake. Illustration by Vera Neville; copyright HarperCollins

Betsy Ray on Murmuring Lake. Illustration by Vera Neville; copyright HarperCollins

 

Maryland author Mary Downing Hahn has won this year's Maud Hart Lovelace award for her children's book, "Deep and Dark and Dangerous." Hahn has been a children's writer for more than 30 years and has twice before won the Lovelace award, which is presented by the Minnesota Youth Reading Association, a group of librarians and teachers.

The award is named for Maud Hart Lovelace, who wrote the beloved Betsy-Tacy series that was set in Mankato in the early 1900s. (And if you didn't grow up on those books, can you consider yourself a true Minnesotan?) It is given every year on April 25, Lovelace's birthday.

 

Mary Downing Hahn

Mary Downing Hahn

 Hahn, a former librarian, once said that she gained courage to write by reading to her daughters. You can read a Q&A with her here.

Sharpen your quill pen! PEN announces new award for emerging writers

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: April 21, 2011 - 5:29 PM

 

 

PEN American Center has announced a new award for fledgling writers.The PEN Emerging Writers Award--funded by an anonymous donor--will go to three new writers: a fiction writer, a nonfiction writer, and a poet. Each will receive $1,660 and be honored at a ceremony in New York in October.

Candidates cannot apply but must be nominated by the editors of literary journals where they have been published.

A glittering gala for the Minnesota Book Awards

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: April 19, 2011 - 7:27 AM

 

Last year's winner, Marlon James, announced this year's winner, John Reimringer. Photo by Laurie Hertzel

Last year's fiction winner, Marlon James, announced this year's fiction winner, John Reimringer, for his novel, "Vestments." Slightly blurry and crooked photos by Laurie Hertzel

As mystery writer Wendy Webb said, as she accepted the Minnesota Book Award for genre fiction (for "The Tale of Halcyon Crane"), It's good to have an event that forces writers to get out of their pajamas and to interact with the real world.

Saturday night's gala event on the riverfront in downtown St. Paul was a glittery celebration of all things book: Writers, readers, book artists, librarians, English professors, poets and book reviewers all dressed up (mainly in black) and drank champagne; sought (and gave) autographs; bought books; ate berry-and-whipped cream desserts; drank more champagne. 

Live-tweeted by folks from the Red Balloon Bookshop (who also sold books), filmed by multiple cameras (for broadcast at a later date on public access television), attended by Mayor Chris Coleman, former Mayor George Latimer and other dignitaries (730 other dignitaries; I'm thinking everyone at the event was a dignitary of some sort), the gala was four hours of literary happiness.

 

Memoir finalist Amie Klempnauer Miller, and memoir winner Bonnie J. Rough

Memoir finalist Amie Klempnauer Miller, and memoir winner Bonnie J. Rough

There were stories; there are always stories when writers are around. Memoir winner Bonnie J. Rough ("Carrier: Untangling the Danger in My DNA") flew into Minneapolis just eight days after giving birth to her second child. Finalist Doug Grow ("We're Gonna Win, Twins") showed up with an arm in a sling, leaning on a cane; his dog had tripped him and he had fallen and broken some bones. (Dogs are nothing but trouble.) And poetry winner Lightsey Darst (" Find the Girl") told the crowd that had she expected to win, she wouldn't have worn such a short skirt.

 

 

University of Minnesota Press senior acquisitions editor Todd Orjala had a great night; five of his books were in the running, and three won. Shown here with nominee Doug Grow.

University of Minnesota Press senior acquisitions editor Todd Orjala had a great night; five of his books were in the running, and three won. Shown here with nominee Doug Grow.

 

Host for the evening was Jeff Kamin of the popular book club "Books and Bars," and presentation of the awards was interspersed by short, funny stories by the RockStar Storytellers, and lovely poetry by Irish poet (and this year's O'Shaughnessy award winner) Leanne O'Sullivan.

Previously announced awards were presented; St. Paul poet laureate Carol Connolly received the Kay Sexton Award (and a bouquet of roses), and Regula Russelle received the Minnesota Book Artist Award.

It was fun to see so many writers, a little stiff in their good clothes, a little serious in their acceptance speeches, but happy, celebrating the happy power of the written word.

A full list of winners is here.

Egan wins Pulitzer for "Goon Squad," Chernow for Washington biography

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: April 18, 2011 - 3:06 PM

 

Jennifer Egan

Jennifer Egan

 

Jennifer Egan won the Pulitzer Prize in fiction today for her much-lauded novel, "A Visit from the Goon Squad." Her book had previously won the National Book Critics Circle Award. You can read the Star Tribune review here.

Ron Chernow won in the biography category for his "Washington: A Life"; you can read our review here.

And Kay Ryan won for poetry. Siddhartha Mukherjee won in general nonfiction for "The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer."

Read a list of all winners, and finalists, here.

Authors Karen Tei Yamashita, Margi Preus, win Asian Pacific awards

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: March 31, 2011 - 11:42 AM

 

Karen Tei Yamashita 

Karen Tei Yamashita

Margi Preus

Margi Preus

 

Karen Tei Yamashita, author of "I Hotel," published by Coffee House Press of Minneapolis, is this year's winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in fiction.

And Margi Preus, the Duluth author of "Heart of a Samurai," is the winner in children's literature. Preus's book was also a Newbery Honor Book this year.

The awards will be given in June in New Orleans. You can read the Star Tribune review of "I Hotel" here. And you can read theStar Tribune review of "Heart of a Samurai" here.

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT