The Minnesota Book Awards

This Friday the finalists for the 28th Annual Minnesota Book Awards will be announced. To be an author is to anticipate. It is to compete against fellow writers that you know and love. To be an author is to wait. And hope. And dream. And sometimes, it is to be disappointed.

So Many Africas: Six Years in a Zambian Village qualified for this year’s MN. Book Award because I live and write in Minnesota and because it was published in 2015. It’s a one time deal. Next year’s award will be given to books published in 2016.

This year there are 9 awards being given. And a total of 261 books entered. 

  • Children’s Literature: 21
  • General Nonfiction: 37
  • Genre Fiction: 39
  • Memoir & Creative Nonfiction: 28
  • Minnesota Book: 30
  • Novel & Short Story: 31
  • Poetry: 35
  • Young People’s Literature: 32
  • MN. History Award: 8

IF you are interested, here’s a list of the CURRENT NOMINEES: Author names, book titles and presses. It’s actually a pretty fun list to browse through for some new reading materials! 

After the finalists are announced, they will be invited to attend the 28th Annual Gala where winners are announced and awards given out. This year’s Minnesota Book Awards Ceremony will be held  Saturday, April 16, 2016. Union Depot. 7 p.m. What a night to enjoy a very bookish celebratory event! TICKET INFORMATION.

Three years ago, to celebrate the 25th Awards, a wonderful video was produced with snippets of various authors over the years at the gala celebration. I watched it expecting pomp and prestige. While there was plenty of that, the video is also testament to a lot of author humor. I thoroughly enjoyed it. VIDEO

To be a finalist means to be chosen as one of the top four books in your genre. So Many Africas is entered in the category of Memoir & Creative Nonfiction. Of the 28 entries, I know several of the authors personally. And one of them is a dear friend and writing colleague. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could share this honor together!

Here’s hoping. Here’s to dreaming. And here’s to not falling too hard. 


Jill Kandel
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