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

Duluth's Holy Cow! Press announces major new Midwest fiction prize

Linda LeGarde Grover. Photo courtesy of Brett Groehler

Duluth nonprofit publisher Holy Cow! Press is teaming up with the Lindquist & Vennum Foundation to establish a significant new fiction prize. The "First Fiction Prize" is open to writers across the Midwest and will award $5,000 and publication for a first collection of short fiction or novella.

The judge will be Linda LeGarde Grover, author of "The Dance Boots" and "The Road Back to Sweetgrass."

Lindquist & Vennum has previously established, with Milkweed Editions, a significant prize for poetry.

Here are the rules! Read closely! 

1. "First Fiction" submissions are open to residents of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin.

2. Submissions must be hard copy (no e-mail) and must be accompanied by a $20 reading fee. 

3. The submitted manuscript must be unpublished, though individual stories may have been published, and it cannot be longer than 160 pages.

4. The postmark deadline is Dec. 1. 

5. The work may not be currently under consideration by Holy Cow! Press, though it may be under consideration elsewhere. (And if it is accepted elsewhere, you must alert Holy Cow! Press.)

6. Do not include any identifying information on the manuscript.

7. Do include your name, address, email, phone, title of manuscript, number of pages, titles of stories that have been published (and where), and brief biographical information on a separate sheet of paper. 

8. Here's the mailing address: 

c/o Holy Cow Press
P.O. Box 3170, Mount Royal Station
Duluth, MN 55803

9. Further questions? Call Holy Cow! at 218-724-1653. Or check their brand-new website.


Kirkus Award finalists announced

The finalists for the Kirkus Prize have been announced --six each in fiction, nonfiction, and young readers' literature. Winners will receive $50,000 each. Any book that received a starred review in Kirkus Reviews was eligible for consideration. This year that was 515 titles in young readers' literature, 314 in fiction, and 325 in nonfiction.

Winners will be announced Nov. 3 in Austin, Texas.

Here are the finalists, with links to reviews:


  Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett (Little, Brown)
  Carousel Court by Joe McGinniss Jr. (Simon & Schuster)
  The Sport of Kings by C.E. Morgan (FSG)
  Barkskins by Annie Proulx (Scribner) 
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (Viking)
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)
At the Existentialist Café: by Sarah Bakewell (Other Press)
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond (Crown)
  The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America by Michael Eric Dyson (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  In the Darkroom by Susan Faludi (Henry Holt/Metropolitan Books)
Truevine: by Beth Macy (Little, Brown) (review forthcoming)
  Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance (HarperCollins)
Picture Books: 

Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie and illustrated by Yuyi Morales (Little, Brown)
Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan (Caitlyn Dlouhy Books/Atheneum)
Middle Grade:
We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler by Russell Freedman (Clarion)
As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds (Caitlyn Dlouhy Books/Atheneum)
Young Adult:
The Reader by Traci Chee (Putnam)
Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina (Candlewick)

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