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Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award

2024 Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award in Literary Nonfiction Winner Announced

Congratulations to Brian Daldorph, winner of the 2024 Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award in Literary Nonfiction for his story collection Words is a Powerful Thing: Twenty Years of Teaching Creative Writing at Douglas County Jail.

The 2024 award presentation will be held on Friday, September 27, 2024, 4:30 p.m., at Washburn University Library and Student Success Center (1731 Plass Ave), Room 119 , the day before the annual Kansas Book Festival on the Washburn University campus.

Daldorph is a creative writing instructor at the Douglas County Jail in Lawrence, Kansas, and a senior lecturer in the English Department at the University of Kansas. He has written six books of poetry, including Kansas Poems and Blue Notes. He is editor of the literary journal Coal City Review.

Rebekah Taussig, who won the award in 2021 for her memoir Sitting Pretty, served as judge. About her selection, she wrote:

"I kept finding myself turning back to Daldorph's book, rereading underlined passages and thinking about the inmates' poems at different times throughout the day. This book cuts to the heart of what so many of us value as writers and readers—the power of bare language and simple self-narration. And also, at times, a stark look at its limitations. I found myself thinking differently about my own writing (what are the stories I want to tell? and why?) and the way I teach writing (what is this work? what is the goal?). I was surprised by this book, and the words I read will stay with me.”

2024 Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award in Nonfiction (2025 in Poetry, 2026 in Fiction)

The Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award "in Poetry" "in Fiction" and "in Creative Nonfiction" alternates yearly for each genre. The prize, of $1,000, will be awarded to a book that meets the guidelines, and the winner will be invited to Washburn University Library for a reading and presentation ceremony.

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

Call for Nominations and Submissions

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

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