The Midwest Book Awards

By | May 13, 2011

Yesterday was momentous—we set a world record of 267 for Score, a travel game played by counting all the yellow vehicles you come across. Every time you see one, you shout “score!” and add a point. Like all games, this one too has a catch. School buses and road construction equipment, which are commonly yellow, do not count. More precisely, they count negatively, because if in your exuberance you scored a distant vehicle that turned out to be a school bus when it got close enough to identify, you would lose a point. However, that wasn’t such a big deal for the five of us who drove together to Minneapolis yesterday, because we, being cooperative types, all played together and kept a group tally.

The five of us, who work as a writing/editing team, were on our way to Minneapolis to attend the Midwest Book Awards. Our first venture together, Whispers of the Ancients, a collection of traditional teaching and healing stories, was a finalist in six categories—the most of any of the 200-plus entries.

Now hobnobbing with the literary elite over wine and hors d’oeuvres, with a string quartet to provide the ambiance, isn’t my typical evening out. So, according to my comrades (who were all females, by the way), I didn’t have the proper attire. That was okay, though, because according to them, it showed my authenticity. They, however, were then strapped with the total responsibility for demonstrating our professionalism, which, according to them (again), meant dressing right. One of them happened to be from Minneapolis, so it became necessary to arrive a half day early at the family home in order to give the females enough time to become “professional.”

If it weren’t for the fact that the finalists and winners were preselected, I’d say that they could have influenced the judges. All in all, it turned out to be a good day: a world record (for us, anyway) in Score, tasty munchies, and three medals. One other book tied us for the most medals—Living in Two Worlds, by Charles Eastman. The author, also known as Ohiyesa, was a Lakota man raised in the Plains Buffalo culture of the 1800s. His insights on our culture and the dying culture of his people are as poignant today as when he wrote them nearly one hundred years ago. I highly recommend the book, and I consider it an honor to have had our book stand beside his last night.


Karen Walhof on September 16, 2011 at 8:41 am.


It was so wonderful to have you and your associates at the Midwest Book Awards Gala last May. We were honored to have your book entered in our awards competition. And it certainly was a good night for you! Do you have another book ready for this year’s awards? I will be watching . . .

Karen Walhof
Chair, Midwest Book Awards


Tamarack on September 18, 2011 at 9:23 am.

Greetings Karen,

It was great participating in such a well-run event, and I especially enjoyed getting to know you folks. My staff and I look forward to returning, and we do have a new book; however, we don’t know that it will qualify. I am a Midwest author and the publisher is independent, but located in Colorado. What do you think?


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