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Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award

2023 Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award in Fiction Winner Announced

Congratulations to Catherine Browder, winner of the 2023 Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award in Fiction for her story collection Resurrection City: Stories from the Disaster Zone!

The 2023 award presentation will be held on Friday, September 15, 2023, 4 p.m., at Mabee Library, the day before the annual Kansas Book Festival on the Washburn University campus.

Browder has lived in Lawrence, Kansas, working in the Special Collections Department at Spencer Research Library, in the political science department, and at what was then the Applied Language Center for international students. She taught high school in Ottawa, Kansas, and was an adjunct in the Communications Department at Johnson County Community College. From 2004-2009 she was teacher/facilitator for the Memory Project at the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education in Overland Park, Kansas. The author of six books, with another forthcoming, her work has appeared in Kansas Quarterly, New Letters, Nimrod, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Shenandoah, Kansas City Noir, and elsewhere.

Robert Stewart, long-time former editor of New Letters quarterly magazine, served as judge. About his selection, he wrote:

Catherine Browder’s sequence of stories Resurrection City succeeds as both excellent storytelling and world-class reportage. Browder not only writes of the Japanese moment and cultural history but weaves in connections to her own American Midwest, which is reminiscent of other American chroniclers, such as Martha Gellhorn and Joan Dideon. Those literary referents evoke another, singularly important, aspect of this book, which is the integrity of its language. You will find direct, honest, and often invigorating imagery. As one character says, “I’ve come to the conclusion these conversations are the only way I know to shape a prayer.”

2023 Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award in Fiction (2024 in Nonfiction, 2025 in Poetry)

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's Mabee 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 Mabee Library and the Friends of Mabee Library.

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