Announcing the winners of the 2021 Minnesota Author Project!

Congratulations to the winners of the 2021 Minnesota Author Project! This is the fourth year celebrating the contest, which recognizes the best indie-published authors in Minnesota.

I Know an Old Lady (Adult Fiction)







Secret Legacy (Young Adult Fiction)







The Communities Create category, in its second year, celebrates Minnesota organizations and communities that are producing written creative works, especially with the support of their local library.

This Was 2020 (Communities Create)







Winners each received $1,000 and an honorary plaque. Prizes are sponsored by the Minnesota Library Foundation and BiblioLabs.

Read the winners now on BiblioBoard Library.

Join MN Writes MN Reads in celebrating and supporting these winners!


Online Author Event: Sarah Hanley & Thomas Peacock

Earlier this week, Minnesota’s public libraries hosted Minnesota Author Project Adult Fiction winners Sarah Hanley and Thomas D. Peacock in conversation Kaylin Creason, librarian from Washington County Library.

Sarah Hanley’s debut novel, Matka, won the 2019 Minnesota Author Project award for adult fiction. Her second novel, Past the Midway, was released in 2020.

Thomas Peacock is a member of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe. He has co-authored/authored books on Ojibwe history and culture, education, fiction and racism. His book, The Wolf’s Trail, won the 2020 Minnesota Author Project for adult fiction.

MN Writes MN Reads is a program of the Council of Regional Public Library System Administrators. This author panel is funded by Minnesota’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.

Let us know what you thought of the event!

Finalist Feature: The Youngest Boy

Category: Adult Fiction

Description: Jim Heynen’s stories about unnamed farm boys first appeared many years ago with The Man Who Kept Cigars in His Cap. Several collections of the boy stories have been published since then and have been models in the short-short or prose poem form now used by many other writers. This is the first collection to focus on the youngest boy, a character who can be a dreamer one minute, a trouble-maker the next, and a problem-solver the next. The youngest boy’s charm is in his unpredictability.

Author: Best known for his short-short stories about “the boys,” Jim Heynen has published widely as a writer of poems, novels, nonfiction, and short fiction.

Jim’s stories about the boys have been featured often on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, as well as on radio in both Sweden and Denmark.

Minnesota astronaut George Pinky Nelson took a taped collection of the stories for bedtime listening on his last space mission. One collection of these stories, The Boys’ House, was named Editors’ Choice for Best Books of 2001 by The Bloomsbury ReviewNewsday, and Booklist.

Jim’s Local Library: Arrowhead Library System

Winners will be announced at the 2021 Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference.