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Local authors named to Indiana Authors Awards shortlists

Local authors named to Indiana Authors Awards shortlists

The 2020 Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Awards announce the shortlist of books eligible for top honors in its seven literary categories. Thirty-seven books written by Indiana authors and published in 2018 and 2019 have been shortlisted for the awards, which will be announced Sept. 1.

Shortlisted books were written by lifelong Hoosiers, professors at Indiana colleges and universities, former residents and others with a deep connection to Indiana. They feature stories about life in Indiana, nature and interesting people. At turns whimsical and serious, funny and haunting, shortlist honorees address pressing topics such as race, immigration, teen pregnancy and suicide, as well as otherworldly fare such as fairies, airships and voodoo.

The shortlists are part of the new format for the prestigious awards, designed by Indiana Humanities with support from Glick Philanthropies. Awards are now made every other year. In between award years, starting in 2021, local honorees will have the opportunity to participate in a statewide tour to connect with readers, teachers and students.

“In putting together these shortlists, our judges have created a collection of books that show the world that Indiana’s literary scene is vibrant, varied and exciting,” said Keira Amstutz, Indiana Humanities president and CEO. “We are so grateful to Glick Philanthropies for helping us introduce more readers to Indiana authors and the incredible works of literature they create.”

Judges for the Indiana Authors Awards included former winners, writers, educators, scholars, local bookstore owners and librarians. Judges chose to shortlist books in the following categories: children’s, young adult, poetry, genre, emerging, nonfiction and fiction. Book winners will be announced Sept. 1 at 11 a.m. via a Facebook Live Premiere Event and on Instagram and Twitter and via an email to subscribers at 11:10 a.m. Follow @INAuthorsAwards and sign up at IndianaAuthorsAwards.org to receive the announcement. A Literary Champion – an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to Indiana’s literary community – will be announced Sept. 2 at the same time and via the same channels.

Each category winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize, a hand-crafted limestone award and the opportunity to make a $500 donation to an Indiana library of their choice.

“It is exciting to see so many authors recognized for their contributions to Indiana literature,” said Marianne Glick, chair of the Glick Family Foundation and author of Eugene and Marilyn Glick. “They both honor and build on a rich tradition, and I am confident that every Hoosier and every book club in Indiana can find a number of books on these lists that they will enjoy reading and discussing.”

Shortlisted books in each category are listed below.


  • Brian Allen Carr, Franklin, for Opioid, Indianawhich follows a teen transplant to impoverished rural Indiana who searches for a job, the whereabouts of his drug-addicted guardian and the realities of modern America.
  • Bryan Furuness, Indianapolis and a Butler University professor for Do Not Go Ona novel that’s part crime confessional and part coming-of-age tale and involves the Witness Protection Program, college application process and more.
Saundra Mitchell of Greenwood has been named to the Indiana Authors Awards shortlists for her young adult novel, All the Things We Do in the Dark. (Submitted photo)


  • Nancy Kriplen, Indianapolis, for  Irwin Millerwhich tells the life story of the remarkable man who led Cummins Engine Company from its roots as a small, family business to an international Fortune 500 company and transformed Columbus, Indiana, into a gem of midcentury modern architecture.


  • Maurice Broaddus, an Indianapolis writer, educator and community organizer, for Pimp My Airshipa steampunk, sci-fi adventure through an alternative future of Indianapolis.
  • Sofi Keren, Indianapolis, for Painted Overin which two former friends, artist Paige and soccer-star Ria, reunite and find romance.

EMERGING (Defined as a book written by an early-career Indiana author)

  • Sofi Keren, Indianapolis, for Painted Overin which two former friends, artist Paige and soccer-star Ria, reunite and find romance.
  • Chantel Massey, an Indianapolis poet, author and teaching artist, for Bursting at the Seams: A Collection of Poetryexploring the experiences of a Black woman coming of age in the Midwest.
  • Annie Sullivan, Indianapolis, for Tiger Queena fantasy featuring the adventures of a woman-warrior in an exciting retelling of the classic short story, “The Lady, or the Tiger?”


  • Callista Buchen, Franklin, for Look Look Look,a collection of prose poems exploring motherhood with honesty, in all its beauty and realities.
  • Kevin McKelvey, a University of Indianapolis faculty member, for Dream Wilderness Poems, a collection that draws from Indiana’s environmental history, particularly the Charles C. Deam Wilderness Area in Monroe County.


  • Saundra Mitchell, Greenwood, for All the Things We Do in the Darka dark, emotional thriller and Lambda Literary Award finalist that addresses challenging issues affecting young people as they come of age and how individuals work through trauma


  • John David Anderson, Indianapolis, for Grantedthe tale ofa fairy on her first wish-granting day.

For more information on the Indiana Authors Awards, visit indianaauthorsawards.org.

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