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Public Information and Communication

September 19, 2017

Mary Jo Ryan

Celebrate Nebraska’s 2017 Book Award Winners at October 21 Celebration 

Celebrate Nebraska’s 2017 Book Award winners with author readings and an awards presentation ceremony at the Nebraska Center for the Book’s Celebration of Nebraska Books on October 21 at the Nebraska State Historical Society’s Nebraska History Museum, 131 Centennial Mall North, in downtown Lincoln. Winners of the 2017 Nebraska Book Awards will be honored and the celebration will include readings by some of the winning authors, designers and illustrators of books with a Nebraska connection published in 2017. And the winners are:

Anthology: Not Quite So Stories by David S. Atkinson. Publisher: Literary Wanderlust

Children’s Picture Book: Choose Your Days by Paula S. Wallace. Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press  

Young Adult: Keeping Captain by N. L. Sharp. Publisher: Prairieland Press  

Young Adult Honor: The Ghost Juggler by Nona Brooks Morrison. Publisher: Prairieland Press

Cover/Design/Illustration: Okoboji: Over 160 Years of History and Images by Cristy Clarke Hedgpeth. Editing and content design by Sandra Wendel and Ellie Pelto. Graphic Design by Rachel Moore. Production by Lisa Pelto, Concierge Marketing. Publisher: Hedgpeth Publishing

Illustration Honor: Leaves of Absence: An Illustrated Guide to Common Garden Affection by Laura Madeline Wiseman. Art by Sally Deskins. Publisher: Red Dashboard    

Fiction: The Bones of Paradise: A Novel by Jonis Agee. Publisher: William Morrow

Fiction Short Story Honor: Where We Land: Stories by Daryl Farmer. Publisher: Brighthorse Books

Nonfiction Biography: A Warrior of the People: How Susan La Flesche Overcame Racial and Gender Inequality to Become America’s First Indian Doctor by Joe Starita. Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Nonfiction Folklore: Why I’m an Only Child and Other Slightly Naughty Plains Folktales by Roger Welsch. Publisher: University of Nebraska Press

Nonfiction Memoir: Bread: A Memoir of Hunger by Lisa Knopp. Publisher: University of Missouri Press

Nonfiction Photography: Last Days of Red Cloud Agency, Peter T. Buckley’s Photograph Collection (1876-1877), by Thomas R. Buecker. Publisher: Nebraska State Historical Society Books

Nonfiction Reference: Great Plains Indians by David J. Wishart. Publisher: University of Nebraska Press

Nonfiction Travel: Trespassing Across America: One Man’s Epic, Never-Done-Before (and Sort of Illegal) Hike Across the Heartland by Ken Ilgunas. Publisher: Blue Rider Press

Poetry: Homing: The Collected Poems of Don Welch (1975-2015) by Don Welch. Edited by Dwaine Spieker. Publisher: Rogue Faculty Press  

Poetry Honor: I Have Nothing to Say about Fire by Marjorie Saiser. Publisher: Backwaters Press  

Poetry Honor: Singing and Dying by Glenna Luschei. Publisher: Penciled In  

The Celebration of Nebraska, free and open to the public, will also honor winners of the 2017 Jane Geske and Mildred Bennett awards. The Mildred Bennett Award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to fostering the literary tradition in Nebraska, reminding us of the literary and intellectual heritage that enriches our lives and molds our world. The Jane Geske Award is presented to a Nebraska organization for exceptional contribution to literacy, books, reading, libraries, or literature in Nebraska. It commemorates Geske’s passion for books, and was established in recognition of her contributions to the well-being of the libraries of Nebraska.

he 2017 One Book One Nebraska selection, Black Elk Speaks (University of Nebraska Press) by John G. Neihardt will be featured in a keynote presentation by Timothy G. Anderson, author of the biography Lonesome Dreamer: The Life of John G. Neihardt (University of Nebraska Press) at 2:45 p.m.

The Nebraska Center for the Book Annual Meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m.—just prior to the 2:30-6:30 p.m. Celebration. An awards reception honoring the winning authors, book signings, and announcement of the 2018 One Book One Nebraska book choice will conclude the festivities.

The Celebration of Nebraska Books is sponsored by Nebraska Center for the Book and Nebraska Library Commission, with support from the Nebraska State Historical Society’s Nebraska History Museum. Humanities Nebraska provides support for One Book One Nebraska. The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the national Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and the Nebraska Library Commission.

As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, “bringing together people and information.”


The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission Website, .



For more information, contact Tessa Terry.