Nonfiction Categories

Anthologies (NEW for 2020!)
Arts/Photography/Coffee Table Books
Autobiography/Memoir
Biography
Business
Children’s & Young Adult
Cookbooks/Crafts/Hobbies
Education/Learning
Family/Parenting
Health
History, General
History, Regional
Humor
Inspiration
Nature
Recreation/Sports/Travel
Religion/Philosophy
Social Science/Political Science/Culture

Fiction Categories
Children’s
Children’s picture books
Fantasy/SciFi/Horror/Paranormal
Graphic novels (NEW for 2020!)
Literary/Contemporary/Historical
Mystery/Thriller
Romance
Short Story/Anthology
Young Adult

Poetry Categories
Anthology (NEW for 2020!)
Debut
General
Regional

Design Categories
Cover Design
Illustration
Interior Design
Total Book Design

Questions? Midwest Book Awards Chair Jennifer Baum can answer your questions and provide guidance if you are not sure how to choose the specific categories that could be appropriate for your book in the Midwest Book Awards program. Email bookawards@mipa.org.

Publishers based in the Midwest are invited to enter the 31st annual Midwest Book Awards competition for excellence in books published and copyrighted between Nov. 1, 2019 РDec. 31, 2020. The awards recognize creativity in content and execution, overall book quality, and the book’s unique contribution to its subject area.

Who May Enter

  • All entries MUST have an ISBN and have been published and copyrighted between Nov. 1, 2019 – Dec. 31, 2020.
  • All entries must have a copyright page that includes publisher’s name and address, copyright notice, and ISBN.
  • New editions (including the new ISBN) of previously published books are eligible. Reprints do not qualify.
  • Entries must be published by publishers located in the¬†12-state region: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
  • A single title may be entered in multiple categories, if applicable. Only print books may be entered. No eBook or app submissions will be accepted.

Deadline

Deadline for receipt of books and entry fees is Jan. 15, 2021.

Awards & Benefits

  • Three (3) finalists are selected in each category. From those, one (1) winner is chosen. Finalists and award winners receive certificates,¬† and winners will also each receive a bronze medallion.
  • Both finalists and winners may purchase foil seals for use in marketing efforts and will be featured in the Midwest Book Awards Gala Program, in MiPA press releases, and on the MiPA website.
  • Judges‚Äô individual book evaluation sheets will be provided to all entrants after the awards are announced.
  • Award will be presented during a virtual, regional gala held online in June 2021. More details to come.
  • Additional exposure opportunities are available to finalists and winners via our Bookshop.org bookstore and social media channels, and MiPA’s program for Midwest Book Award Winners: The Virtual Reading Series.

Judging Criteria

Each entry will be judged by three independent judges. Finalists are determined by totaling the scores from all three judges. The winning entry is the title with the top score. The judges’ decisions are final. Please note: If the entries in a category do not meet the standards for quality as set by the Midwest Book Awards, no award will be given in that category for that year.

Judges will consider the following:

  • Content and quality of writing and images
  • Overall quality and creativity in book design and production
  • Originality and contribution to the subject area

See Judging tab for more information about judging criteria.

We use a panel of more than one hundred volunteer judges who hail from each of the twelve states in MiPA’s region. Most of our judges are librarians who are subject matter experts in their assigned categories.

Each entry will be judged by three independent judges.¬†Judges‚Äô individual book evaluation sheets will be provided to all entrants after the awards are announced.¬†Judges assign a numerical score to each question. They are invited to‚ÄĒbut not required to‚ÄĒoffer additional comments, observations, and suggestions.

Numerical scores decide the finalists and winners. Comments are purely for the benefit of the publisher. One of the goals of MiPA is to help publishers produce quality books and learn best practices in the industry. We encourage you to look over the judging information listed below to get an idea of the areas on which your entry will be evaluated.

Subject Categories

The editorial criteria used for all subject category entries (fiction, nonfiction, and poetry) include the following questions:

Writing: Is the writing style engaging and the voice consistent? How well does the text follow generally accepted principles of good writing for the genre (i.e., clear sentence structure, use of active voice, strong vocabulary)?

Mechanics/Organization: Rate the mechanical correctness of the copy regarding grammar, spelling, punctuation. Is the content well organized and does it flow easily to allow comprehension and maintain interest (pace) by the intended reader audience?

Clarity/Storytelling: For fiction, is the plot engaging and original? Are characters appropriately developed? For nonfiction, is the information well presented and organized clearly? Is the topic compelling? For children’s books, is the story interesting and is the writing appropriate for the age level?

Production: Rate the production quality of the book (formatting, consistency in design, printing quality).

Overall Reaction: Rate your overall impression of the content and quality of the book.

Design Categories

The design criteria used for evaluating entries in cover design, interior design, illustration, and total book design include the following questions. These questions are fine-tuned for the specific category. For example, cover design judges will only receive questions pertaining to cover design.

Cover Appearance:¬†Does the total cover design create interest‚ÄĒdo you want to pick up the book and examine it more closely? Does the cover fit the genre?¬†Are the photographs or illustrations appropriate, of good quality, and reproduced well?¬†Does the choice of color on the cover stimulate interest¬†and fit with the subject?

Cover Layout: Is the typeface attractive, readable, and appropriate for the subject matter? Does the organization of cover elements create a coherent look? Are front and spine copy legible in all formats (i.e., bookstore shelves and online thumbnails)?

Interior Appearance: Is the book layout (i.e., the organization of heads, subheads, indents, and breaks in copy) consistent and does it facilitate reading? Are font styles and typographic composition easy to read and complementary to each other?

Interior Layout: Are margins well spaced? Do the letter, line, and word spacing create a pleasing reading experience? Is the printing well done throughout and does the paper stock fit the book’s design? If there are illustrations or photographs in the interior, are they appropriate, of good quality, and reproduced well?

Overall Reaction: Rate your overall impression of the design of the book.

Congratulations to the winners of the 30th Annual Midwest Book Awards!

Arts/Photography/Coffee Table Books

                                                                                                                                                                     

  • Saint Paul Almanac (Arcata Press)¬†Silver seal
  • Guardians of Detroit: Architectural Sculpture in the Motor City by Jeff Morrison (Wayne State University Press)¬†Gold seal
  • Tulips, Chocolate & Silk by Marguerite Ragnow and Natasha D’Schommer (James Ford Bell Library)¬†Silver seal

Autobiography/Memoir

                                                                                                                                                    

  • Tucker Lake Chronicle by Joan Crosby (Nodin Press)¬†Silver seal
  • The Color of Love by Marra B. Gad (Agate Bolden) Gold seal
  • Rebel Poet by Louis V. Clark III (Wisconsin Historical Society Press)¬†Silver seal

Biography

                                                                                                                                                                          

  • The Question is “Why?” by Eric Steven Zimmer (Vantage Point Press)¬†Silver seal
  • Roses of the Prairie by Lawayne Leno (Beaver‚Äôs Pond Press)¬†Silver seal

Business

                                                                                                                                                                         

  • Soar: Indie Author Business Planner by Delia Remington (Eagle Heights Press)¬†Silver seal
  • Measure Their Feet by John Schuler (Nodin Press) Gold seal
  • Let Me In by Elaine Koyama (Beaver‚Äôs Pond Press)¬†Silver seal

Education/Learning

                                                                                                                                                                        

  • Raising Will by Katherine Quie (Wise Ink Creative Publishing) Gold seal
  • Lisa Murphy on Being Child Centered by Lisa Murphy (Redleaf Press)¬†Silver seal
  • Acting Out! Avoid Behavior Challenges with Active Learning Games and Activities by Rae Pica (Redleaf Press) Gold seal

Family/Parenting

                                                                                                                                                                             

  • Raising Will by Katherine Quie (Wise Ink Creative Publishing)¬†Silver seal
  • Facing Cancer as a Friend by Heather Erickson (Connected to the Vine Publishing)¬†Silver seal
  • #Lookup: A Parenting Guide to Screen Use by Judy Stoffel (Wise Ink Creative Publishing) Gold seal

Fiction‚ÄĒChildren‚Äôs

                                                                                                                                                                          

  • Esther’s Gragger by Martha Simpson (Wisdom Tales Press) Gold seal
  • A Letter from Saint Nicholas by Jay Hornbacher (Beaver‚Äôs Pond Press) Silver seal
  • New Moon’s Family by Erika Adams (Beaver‚Äôs Pond Press)¬†Silver seal

Fiction‚ÄĒFantasy/SciFi/Horror/Paranormal

                                                                                                                                                   

  • What Haunts Us by Loren Niemi (Moonfire Publishing) Gold seal
  • Gardeners of the Universe by Ronald Peterson (PTB Books)¬†Silver seal
  • Wireless and More Steam-Powered Adventures by Alex Acks (Queen of Swords Press)¬†Silver seal
  • The Traveling Triple-C Incorporeal Circus by Alanna McFall (Atthis Arts)¬†Silver seal

Fiction‚ÄĒLiterary/Contemporary/Historical

                                                                                                                                                                           

  • The Light from the Dark Side of the Moon by Norman Gautreau (Amphorae Publishing) Gold seal
  • Beneath the Flames by Gregory Lee Rentz (Three Towers Press)¬†Silver seal
  • Irreversible Things by Lisa Van Orman Hadley (Howling Bird Press)¬†Silver seal

Fiction‚ÄĒMystery/Thriller

                                                                                                                                                                       

  • Death Spoke by Leonard Krishtalka (Anamcara Press) Gold seal
  • Looking for Garbo by John James Miller (Amphorae Publishing)¬†Silver seal
  • Figure Eight: A Northern Lakes Mystery by Jeff Nania (Little Creek Press) Gold seal

Fiction‚ÄĒRomance

  • Last Call by Frank Weber (North Star Press) Gold seal

Fiction‚ÄĒShort Story/Anthology

                                                                                                                                 

  • Shades: Detroit Love Stories by Esperanza Cintron (Wayne State University Press)¬†Silver seal
  • Unblinking by Lisa Lenzo (Wayne State University Press) Gold seal
  • Dark Conjurings: A Short Fiction Horror Anthology by Delia Remington (Eagle Heights Press)¬†Silver seal
  • On the Banks of the River Sarayu by Bharati Sen (Amphorae Publishing)¬†Silver seal

Fiction‚ÄĒYoung Adult

  • Cady and the Bear Necklace by Ann Dallman (Henschel Haus) Gold seal

Health

                                                                                                                               

  • The Healing Nature Trail by Tamarack Song (Snow Wolf Publishing)¬†Silver seal
  • Not Another Breastfeeding Book by Chelsie Knight (Beaver‚Äôs Pond Press) Gold seal
  • Facing Cancer as a Friend by Heather Erickson (Connected to the Vine Publishing)¬†Silver seal
  • Truthspeaking by Tamarack Song (Snow Wolf Publishing)¬†Silver seal

History‚ÄĒGeneral

                                                                                                                           

  • The Interior Borderlands by Jon Lauck (Center for Western Studies) Gold seal
  • Spirit of the Indian Warrior by Michael Fitzgerald (World Wisdom)¬†Silver seal

History‚ÄĒRegional

                                                                                                                                                                          

  • Wisconsin Post Office Murals by David W. Gates Jr. (Post Office Fans)¬†Silver seal
  • Ensemble: An Oral History of Chicago Theater by Mark Larson (Agate Midway)¬†Silver seal
  • Stringing Rosaries by Denise Lajimodiere (North Dakota State University Press) Gold seal

Humor

                                                                                                                                                                          

  • Astonishing Tales by Matt Geiger (Henschel Haus)¬†Silver seal
  • Tales from the Beach House by James Aylott (Beautiful Arch) Gold seal
  • The Crooked Lake Chronicles by Mike Lein (Jackpine Writers Bloc)¬†Silver seal

Inspiration

                                                                                                                                                                                

  • Wonder-Full: Activate Your Inner Superpowers by Kelly Radi (Beaver‚Äôs Pond Press) Gold seal
  • Survivor’s Obligation: Navigating an Intentional Life by Chris Stricklin and Joel Neeb (Elva Resa Publishing)¬†Silver seal
  • Facing Cancer as a Friend by Heather Erickson (Connected to the Vine Publishing)¬†Silver seal

Nature

                                                                                                                                                                               

  • The Healing Nature Trail by Tamarack Song (Snow Wolf Publishing)¬†Silver seal
  • One Size Fits None by Stephanie Anderson (University of Nebraska Press) Gold seal
  • For Love of a River: The Minnesota by Darby Nelson (Beaver‚Äôs Pond Press)¬†Silver seal

Nonfiction‚ÄĒChildren‚Äôs

                                                                                                                                                                        

  • Sport: Ship of the Great Lakes by Pamela Cameron (Wisconsin Historical Society Press) Gold seal
  • Hildegard of Bingen by Demi (Wisdom Tales Press)¬†Silver seal
  • Hugh Armstrong Robinson: The Story of Flying Lucky 13 by Billie Holladay Skelley (Amphorae / Goldminds Publishing)¬†Silver seal

Picture Books‚ÄĒChildren‚Äôs

                                                                                                                                   

  • Esther’s Gragger by Martha Simpson (Wisdom Tales Press)¬†Silver seal
  • Hundredth Day Disaster by Bridget Reistad (Beaver‚Äôs Pond Press) Gold seal
  • Fly-in to the Boonies by Bob Allen (Beaver‚Äôs Pond Press)¬†Silver seal
  • New Moon’s Family by Erika Adams (Beaver‚Äôs Pond Press)¬†Silver seal

Poetry‚ÄĒGeneral

                                                                                                                                                                          

  • Hitman-Baker-Casketmaker by Klecko (Paris Morning Publications) Gold seal
  • Native Species by Todd Davis (Michigan State University Press)¬†Silver seal
  • Teacher/Pizza Guy by Jeff Kass (Wayne State University Press)¬†Silver seal

Poetry‚ÄĒRegional

                                                                                                                                                                     

  • An Hour From Now by Laurie Allmann (Nodin Press) Gold seal
  • Native Species by Todd Davis (Michigan State University Press) Gold seal
  • Hunter’s Log: Volumes II & III by Timothy Murphy (North Dakota State University Press)¬†Silver seal

Poetry‚ÄĒDebut

                                                                                                                      

  • Dear Descendent by Carol Masters (Nodin Press)¬†Silver seal
  • Animal/Flame by Michelle Lewis (Conduit Books & Ephemera) Gold seal

Recreation/Sports/Travel

                                                                                                                     

  • Dairylandia by Steve Hannah (University of Wisconsin Press) Gold seal
  • Changing Places by Jeff Appelquist¬†Silver seal

Religion/Philosophy

                                                                                                                                                                       

  • Wormwood and Gall by RW Holmen¬†Silver seal
  • Still by Rebecca Bender (North Dakota State University Press) Gold seal
  • Esoterism as Principle and as Way by Frithjof Schuon (World Wisdom)¬†Silver seal

Social Science/Political Science/Culture

                                                                                                                                                                            

  • Stringing Rosaries by Denise Lajimodiere (North Dakota State University Press)¬†Silver seal
  • Proxmire: Bulldog of the Senate by Jonathan Kasparek (Wisconsin Historical Society Press)¬†Silver seal
  • We’ve Been Here All Along by R. Richard Wagner (Wisconsin Historical Society Press) Gold seal

Illustration‚ÄĒGraphic

  • Fly-in to the Boonies¬†by Bob Allen (Beaver‚Äôs Pond Press)¬†Designer: Erin Boe Gold seal

Design‚ÄĒCover Design

                                                                                                                                                                         

  • Stringing Rosaries¬†by Denise Lajimodiere (North Dakota State University Press)¬†Designer: Jamie Hohnadel Trosen¬†Silver seal
  • Irreversible Things¬†by Lisa Van Orman Hadley (Howling Bird Press)¬†Cover illustrator: Jonny VanOrman¬†Silver seal
  • Detroit: Engine of America¬†by RJ King (Momentum Books)¬†Cover art: Kevin Martin and Stephanie King Gold seal

Design‚ÄĒInterior Design

                                                                                                                                                                     

  • Spirit of the Indian Warrior by Michael Fitzgerald (World Wisdom) Silver seal
  • Sport: Ship of the Great Lakes by Pamela Cameron¬†(Wisconsin Historical Society Press)¬†Designer: Renee Graef Gold seal
  • For Dear Life: Women’s Decriminalization and Human Rights by Carol Jacobsen¬†(University of Michigan Press)¬†Designers: Carol Jacobsen and Shaun Bangert Silver seal

Design‚ÄĒTotal Book Design

                                                                                                                                                                      

  • Saint Paul Almanac (Arcata Press) Silver seal
  • Sneakyart of Eau Claire by Nishant Jain (Beaver‚Äôs Pond Press) Gold seal
  • Stories from the Wreckage¬†by John Odin Jensen (Wisconsin Historical Society Press)¬†Designer: Percolator Graphic Design Silver seal

Additional Details

Books are accepted for the annual Midwest Book Awards from any independent publisher in the 12-state Midwest region published during the 2019 calendar year. For each category, three judges independently score each entry in criteria relevant to that genre. Scores are tallied with the top three books (four, if a tie) above a minimum threshold named as finalists. Winners in each category will be announced during the live online awards gala, and on social media during the event.

Follow the Midwest Book Awards on facebook for more information and news.

Thanks to our sponsors

for helping to make the Midwest Book Awards possible

Gold seal

 

 

 

 

Thanks to our sponsors: