Contest Winners

2019 Awards for Books Published in 2018


Winner: Kelly O’Connor McNees, Undiscovered Country, Pegasus Books. (Author lives in Chicago.)
Honorees: David W. Berner, A Well-Respected Man, Strategic Publishing. (Author lives in Clarendon Hills, Illinois.)
Sarah Stonich, Laurentian Divide, University of Minnesota Press. (Author is from Minneapolis.)
Linda Spalding, A Reckoning, Knopf Pantheon. (Author was born in Kansas.)

The judges for Adult Fiction were Melinda Braun, Sue Harrison and Richard Reeder.



Winner: Shane Bauer, American Prison: A Reporter’s Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment, Penguin. (Author grew up in Onamia, Minnesota.)
Honorees: David Quammen, The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life, Simon & Schuster. (Author is a Cincinnati native.)
Susan Orlean, The Library Book, Simon & Schuster. (Author grew up in Cleveland.)
Eve L. Ewing, Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side, University of Chicago Press. (Author lives in Chicago.)

The judges for Adult Nonfiction were Jillian McKeown, Don Rose and Jim Schwab.



Winner: Will McGrath, Everything Lost Is Found Again: Four Seasons in Lesotho, Dzanc Books. (Author lives in Collegeville, Minnesota.)
Honorees: David W. Blight, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, Simon & Schuster. (Author lives in Flint, Michigan.)
Ken Krimstein, The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt: A Tyranny of Truth, Bloomsbury Publishing. (Author lives in Chicago.)
Art Cullen, Storm Lake: A Chronicle of Change, Resilience, and Hope from a Heartland Newspaper, Viking. (Author lives in Storm Lake, Iowa.)

The judges for Biography & Memoir were Jonathan Eig, Sue William Silverman and Mary Kay Shanley.



Winner: Samira Ahmed, Love, Hate & Other Filters, Soho Teen. (Author lives in Chicago.)
Honorees: Gloria Chao, American Panda, Simon Pulse. (Author lives in Chicago.)
Chad Sell, The Cardboard Kingdom, Knopf Books for Young Readers. (Author lives in Chicago.)
Jeff Newman, Found, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. (Author lives in Milwaukee.)

The judges for Children’s Fiction were Debbi Chocolate, Shari Frost and Brian E. Wilson.



Winner: Patricia Hruby Powell, Struttin’ With Some Barbecue: Lil Hardin Armstrong Becomes the First Lady of Jazz, Charlesbridge Publishing. (Author lives in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.)
Honorees: Patricia Sutton, Capsized! The Forgotten Story of the SS Eastland Disaster, Chicago Review Press. (Author lives in Madison, Wisconsin.)
Kate Hannigan, A Lady Has the Floor: Belva Lockwood Speaks Out for Women’s Rights, Calkins Creek. (Author lives in Chicago.)

The judges for Children’s Nonfiction were Patricia Kummer, Janet Riehecky and Carol Saller.



Winner: Claire Wahmanholm, Wilder, Milkweed Editions. (Author lives in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.)
Honorees: Aaron Coleman, Threat Come Close, Four Way Books. (Author has lived in Kalamazoo and West Bloomfield, Michigan.)

The judges for Poetry were Lisa Fay Coutley, Joseph G. Peterson and Leland James Whipple.