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On Books

Laurie Hertzel is senior editor for books at the Star Tribune, where she has worked since 1996.

Winners announced in Minnesota Author Project awards

Sarah Hanley

Sarah Hanley

The Minnesota Author Projects awards, an honor for self-published writers, honored Steve South and Sarah Hanley on Thursday night in St. Paul.

Now in its second year, the Project honors one writer for adults and one for young adults annually with a $1,000 prize.
Winners are Steve South for his young-adult book, "The Queen of Steel and Fire," and Sarah Hanley for her novel for adults, "Matka."
South and Hanley will be honored at a reception in Nashville, Tenn.; will be included in a full-page spread in "Library Journal," and will be given the opportunity to share their books at libraries across the state.
Finalists for the prizes were Diane Dettman for "Courageous Footsteps" and Jenna Zark for "The Beat on Ruby's Street" in young-adult, and Brian Lutterman for "Nightfall" and Marcia Neely for "Deep Grass Roots" in the adult category.
The Minnesota Author Projects is a program of MELSA, the Metropolitan Library Service Agency.
Some of the finalists and winners will be at the Twin Cities Book Festival at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds on Oct. 12.

Minn. Book Awards moves toward more inclusion


Past fiction winner Marlon James announces the 2016 fiction winner, Charles Baxter, at the Minnesota Book Awards.

Past fiction winner Marlon James announces the 2016 fiction winner, Charles Baxter, at the Minnesota Book Awards.


Now in its 32rd year, the Minnesota Book Awards is making a few changes to how they do business—specifically, making the awards, the ceremony and the judging more inclusive.

So beginning with the next awards ceremony (in April 2020), the Minnesota Book Awards will change venues to the Ordway Concert Hall in St. Paul on Rice Park. More available seats will give organizers an opportunity to offer free tickets to emerging writers and to offer less-expensive tickets for everyone.

Judges, once all volunteers, will now be paid an honorarium of $350 for their work, hopefully allowing more people to apply.

And the new Moving Words program -- which has brought Minnesota Book Award winners to libraries across the state – will be expanded to bring award-winning writers to schools, as well, so that students can be connected with authors.

Begun in 1988, the Minnesota Book Awards is a program of the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library, honoring writers, illustrators and book artists each spring.