Winning Writers Announces the Winners of the Fifth Annual North Street Book Prize for Self-Published Books

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J.R. Weber of Ewa Beach, Hawaii won the Grand Prize and $3,000 in the fifth annual North Street competition for self-published books, sponsored by Winning Writers and co-sponsored by BookBaby and Carolyn Howard-Johnson. Weber's verse-drama, Lay of the Land, combines an ambitious hybrid literary form with meticulous research and heroic imagery to re-create the doomed Mdewakanton Sioux uprising in 1862 against European immigrant farmers who colonized their land.

J.R. Weber

J.R. Weber of Ewa Beach, Hawaii won the Grand Prize in the fifth annual North Street competition for self-published books sponsored by Winning Writers

For a limited time, Grand Prize winner J.R. Weber is making his book, Lay of the Land, available to download for free from Winning Writers.

Winning Writers is pleased to announce the results from its fifth annual North Street Book Prize for Self-Published Books. 1,657 entries were received from around the world. J.R. Weber of Ewa Beach, Hawaii won this year's Grand Prize across all genres for his verse-drama Lay of the Land, which combines an ambitious hybrid literary form with meticulous research and heroic imagery to re-create the doomed Mdewakanton Sioux uprising in 1862 against European immigrant farmers who colonized their land. He received $3,000, a marketing analysis and one-hour phone consultation with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, a $300 credit at BookBaby, and 3 free ads in the Winning Writers newsletter (a $525 value). For a limited time, visitors to Winning Writers may download Mr. Weber's book for free.

Six category winners each received $1,000, a marketing analysis and one-hour phone consultation with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, a $300 credit at BookBaby, and one free ad in the Winning Writers newsletter (a $175 value).

  • Jeanette Stickel of Mendocino, California won First Prize in the Children's Picture Book category for Mama's Needle, a gentle tribute to an African-American mother's imaginative artistry expressed through quilting.
  • Dmitri Jackson of Ballwin, Missouri won First Prize in Graphic Narrative for Blackwax Boulevard, which collects the first five years of his funny and poignant webcomic about a struggling inner-city record store and the misfits who call it home.
  • Katy McKinney of Trout Lake, Washington won First Prize in Poetry for Fireproofing the Woods, a lyrical and environmentally conscious collection that connects the fragility of our marvelous planet to her beloved sister's death from cancer.
  • Li Mo of Cambridge, Massachusetts won First Prize in Creative Nonfiction for Spirit Bridges, an imagistic memoir that depicts a childhood indelibly marked by the 1949 fall of Shanghai to the Communists, her coming of age in the American counterculture of the 1960s-70s, and a midlife re-integration of herself through the visual and performing arts.
  • Suanne Laqueur of Somers, New York won First Prize in Genre Fiction for An Exaltation of Larks, an ambitious family saga spanning world events from the 1973 CIA-backed coup in Chile to the aftermath of September 11, 2001.
  • Bob Sylva of Sacramento, California won First Prize in Literary Fiction for The King of Karaoke, a magical-realism-tinged story collection that celebrates the resilience and creativity of his city's diverse working class.

Seven Honorable Mentions of $250 went to Melissa Yap-Stewart, Stephen Barnwell, Jessica Goody, Joan Alden, Alexander Watson, Molly Lazer, and Abigail Anklam. Excerpts from all the winning entries are published with the judges' remarks on winningwriters.com. $10,750 was awarded in all, making this one of the world's most generous contests for self-published books.

The sixth annual contest is open now through June 30, 2020. One Grand Prize winner across all genres will receive $5,000 plus benefits from contest co-sponsors BookBaby and Carolyn Howard-Johnson, with runner-up prizes of $1,000 and $250 in each genre. The entry fee is $65 per book. This year's categories are Mainstream/Literary Fiction, Genre Fiction, Creative Nonfiction & Memoir, Poetry, Children's Picture Book, and Graphic Novel & Memoir.

In addition to the North Street Book Prize, Winning Writers sponsors the Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest, the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest, and the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest (no fee). Writer's Digest has named it one of the "101 Best Websites for Writers" (2015-2019). Join our 125,000 followers on Twitter.

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