Winners announced June 26, social media premiere with book giveaways to follow; 74 publishers throughout the Midwest submitted books for consideration, totaling 241 entries

[Minneapolis, MN]—The Midwest Book Awards, organized by the Midwest Independent Publishers Association (MiPA), has announced the finalists for the 31st annual literary competition for books published in 2020 in MiPA’s 12-state Midwestern region: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

This year’s competition garnered 241 entries in 35 categories, submitted by 74 independent publishers and judged by a panel of nearly one hundred librarians and booksellers from throughout the Midwest.

Historically, an awards gala is held in Minneapolis to announce the winners, but this year, as in 2020, winners will be announced and celebrated online, first in a Zoom webinar open to MiPA members and finalists, and shortly thereafter in a social media premiere that can be shared with friends and family. A period of book giveaways and winner highlights will accompany the social media premiere.

“This shift to celebrating online has enabled us to engage with a larger publishing community throughout the Midwest,” said Jennifer Baum, executive director of MiPA. “The number of entries received in 2020 grew by about 25% compared to the prior year, which can be attributed to our greater online presence.”
Following the conclusion of the gala celebrations, winners will be encouraged to participate in MiPA’s second season of the Virtual Reading Series, a limited series launched last year on MiPA’s YouTube channel.

Finalist books will also be for sale in MiPA’s affiliate shop on, a website that shares proceeds with independent booksellers. Buyers can opt to select which independent store will receive the commission, or to leave it in a general pool to be distributed among independent booksellers.
Follow @MIPAMidwestBookAwards on Facebook for updates on the gala’s social media premiere and book giveaways. A complete list of finalists is included below.

The Midwest Book Awards, which began in 1989, recognizes the best independent literature to come out of the Midwest each year and is organized by the Midwest Independent Publishers Association (MiPA). Founded in 1984, MiPA exists today as a vibrant professional nonprofit association made up of traditional presses, university presses, author-publishers, hybrid presses and related support industries, such as graphic designers and printers. MiPA serves the Midwest independent publishing community through regular educational programming, networking and peer recognition.