2023 Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award in Fiction opens for free submissions

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Kansas writers who published a full-length book between 2020 and 2022 are eligible to enter the Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award in Fiction. The winner will take home a $1,000 prize. The annual award since 2016 rotates each year between nonfiction, poetry, and fiction, with this year being fiction writers’ turn for recognition.

There is no entry fee for the award. This year’s submission deadline is April 15. Complete submission guidelines can be found online.

This year’s winner will be selected by Robert Stewart, who serves as the long-time editor of New Letters quarterly magazine, New Letters on the Air, and BkMk Press at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, according to a press release.

According to a press release, Washburn University’s Mabee Library will host the annual Kansas Book Festival Sept. 16, 2023, on the Washburn University campus. The 2023 Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award will be presented during a pre-festival ceremony on Sept. 15.

Michael Kleber-Diggs won the 2022 Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award in Poetry for his collection Worldly Things. In 2021, Rebekah Taussig earned the Award in Nonfiction for her memoir Sitting Pretty: The View from my Ordinary, Resilient, Disabled Body. Other past winners include Ben Lerner, Patricia Traxler, Louise Krug, Andrew Malan Milward, and Amy Fleury.

The award is sponsored by the Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection at Washburn University, described as “an eclectic, inclusive set of materials dedicated to the study of Kansas literature through the state’s folklore, history, geography, flora, fauna, social fabric and culture” in a press release. Sponsorship is also provided by the Friends of Mabee Library.

Categories: Culture