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2018 Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award in Literary Nonfiction (2019 in Poetry, 2020 in Fiction)

Congratulations to Louise Krug, winner of this year's Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award! This year's award ceremony will be held in Mabee Library on Thursday, April 5th at 4:00 p.m.

Louise Krug grew up in Michigan and attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence, graduating with a BA in journalism. After undergoing two craniotomies at the Mayo Clinic to remove a cavernous angioma, she gradually regained the ability to walk and use of her right hand. In 2005, she returned to Lawrence, where she has since graduated from the University of Kansas with an MFA and a PhD creative writing. She now is an Assistant Professor of nonfiction writing at Washburn University in Topeka where she lives with her husband and two children.

Judge Mary Swander's thoughts on this year's winner:

“With swift, crystal clear prose that carries the narrative along with a fierce momentum, Louise Krug writes about disability with insight and awareness. She explores the ramifications of her disability on her career, her relationships and family, and her own self-image. In 99 pages Krug gives us thousands of ideas for creating a world more open to difference.”

Behind the name: Learn more about the Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award.

This award is sponsored by the Center for Kansas Studies, the Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection at Mabee Library and the Friends of Mabee Library.

Please see the award schedule and entry guidelines below.

Award Schedule

2018 Best Literary Nonfiction (memoir, essays, journalistic writing)
2019 Best Poetry (collection of poems of at least 60 pages)
2020 Best Fiction (novel or collection of short stories)
2021 Best Literary Nonfiction
2022 Best Poetry
2023 Best Fiction
continuing to alternate every three years

2019 Best Poetry Award Guidelines

Nominations can come from publishers, authors, or anyone interested in seeing a book considered.

Books must be original work by a single author (no anthologies).

Author must establish a connection to Kansas by birth, education, employment, residence or other significant claim.

Please submit two copies of each book nominated. Those books become the property of the Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection.

Books must have an original publication date (copyright notice) within three calendar years immediately preceding the year of the competition deadline
. For example, to be eligible for the 2019 Poetry deadline, the nominee's book must have a publication date of 2016, 2017 or 2018.

Previous awardees are eligible to submit a new book.

Nominations for this year's award must be postmarked or presented by December 31, 2018.

Please submit books for consideration to:

c/o Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection
Mabee Library
1700 College
Topeka, KS 66621

Steven Hind, 2019 Poetry Award Judge
Steven Hind is a native Kansan who grew up at the headwaters of the Verdigris River near Madison. He was educated at Emporia State University and the University of Kansas. He taught English in Kansas for 36 years. His poetry collections are Familiar Ground (1980), That Trick of Silence (1990), In a Place With No Map (1997) and The Loose Change of Wonder (2006). His memoir is Lonely by Nature. Hind’s poetry has been published in periodicals, including Cottonwood, Farmer’s Market, Midwest Quarterly, Inscape, Ellipsis, Kansas Quarterly, American Land Forum, and Kansas English. His poems have been printed in various anthologies, including 30 Kansas Poets, Kansas Voices, The Book of Contemporary Myth, and As Far As I Can See. He serves as editor of Young Kansas Writers for five years and serves as a book talk presenter for the Kansas Humanities Council. He writes: “Poetry is a mediation between feeling and experience, a guiding light, and a demonstration of how language works.”

The Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection is 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. The holdings include novels, plays, collections of poetry and fiction, histories, biographies, memoirs, letters, scholarly articles, collected folklore, manuscripts and ephemera gathered over 40+ years. The collection is building an inclusive and exhaustive body of work dedicated to encouraging the reading and writing of Kansas Literature, as well as being a home for researching and writing about Kansas Literature and Culture.