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Finalists Announced for 2020 Minnesota Book Awards

For the second consecutive year, and for the third time in the last four years, five writers connected to Hamline's creative writing programs have been named finalists for Minnesota Book Awards.

The Minnesota Book Awards is a year-long program run by The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library that connects readers and writers throughout Minnesota with the stories of our neighbors. The process begins in the fall with book submissions and continues through winter with two rounds of judging. Winners are announced at the annual Minnesota Book Awards Ceremony each spring. Woven throughout the season are various activities and events that promote the authors and connect the world of Minnesota books - writers, artists, illustrators, publishers, editors, and more - to readers throughout the state. 

Hamline's creative writing programs have enjoyed a wonderful amount of representation at the Minnesota Book Awards Ceremony through the years. Here's a bit more information about each of this year's finalists from the Hamline creative writing community:

Nancy J. Hedin (MFA Alum) is a finalist in the Novel/Short Story category for her latest book, Stray (NineStar Press)the sequel to her debut novel, Bend (Anglerfish Press), which received a number of accolades including being named Debut Novel of the year by Golden Crown Literary Society. 

Geoff Herbach (MFA Alum) is a finalist in the Young Adult Literature category for his novel, Cracking the Bell (Katherine Tegen Books). Herbach was a finalist in this same category a year ago for his novel, Hooper (Katherine Tegen Books), and his 2013 novel, Nothing Special, won the Minnesota Book Award for young people's literature. 

Ed Bok Lee (Adjunct Faculty) is a Poetry finalist for his collection, Mitochondrial Night (Coffee House Press), which has also been named a 2019 Midwest Booksellers Choice Award in Poetry; one of 50 Must-Read Poetry Collections of 2019 by Book Riot; and on of The Best New Books of March 2019 by the Chicago Review of Books.

Sheila O'Connor (BFA/MFA Faculty) is a finalist in the Novel/Short Story category for Evidence of V: a Novel in Fragments, Facts, and Fictions (Rose Metal Press). O'Connor won the Minnesota Book Award in this category in 2004 for her novel, Where No Gods Came (University of Michigan Press). Evidence of V has already received numerous honors and was named of the top 150 books of the decade by Small Press Distribution. 

Anne Ursu (MFAC Faculty) is a finalist in Middle Grade Literature for her book, The Lost Girl (Walden Pond Press)which has received three starred reviews and was selected as Publisher's Weekly's Best Middle Grade of 2019. Ursu was a 2014 finalist in the Young People's Literature category for her novel The Real Boy (Walden Pond Press), which was also a National Book Award Longlist selection.

The 2020 Minnesota Book Awards Ceremony will be held on Tuesday, April 28 at 6:30 p.m. at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts. Tickets are on sale HERE.