Finalist Feature: The World in Our Palms

Category: Communities Create

Description: The World in Our Palms is the 40th edition of the COMPAS Anthology of Student Writing, featuring work from each Minnesota school to host a COMPAS teaching writer-in-residence during the 2018-2019 school year as part of the Creative Classroom program.

The COMPAS Anthology of Student Writing showcases writing from students across Minnesota, collecting some of the best student writing and adding to the collective voice of Minnesota students.

Organization: COMPAS strengthens communities and individuals in Minnesota by engaging them through the arts. Since its inception in 1974, COMPAS has become one of the most active community arts organizations in the nation. COMPAS works with well over 40,000 K-12 students each year and more than 70,000 total participants of all ages. Even before COMPAS was a full-fledged organization, it was sending writers into schools. Work began during the 1967-68 school year as The Art of Poetry. In time, the program became known as Writers & Artists in the Schools (WAIT S). Today the program is known as Creative Classroom. Programs occur in over 100 schools each year, providing services in a wide range of literary, visual, musical, performing and cultural arts.

Winners will be announced at the 2020 Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference.

Finalist Feature: We Survivors

Category: Young Adult Fiction

Description: After disease and nuclear warfare decimate the world population, 17-year-old Nadia is sure she’s the last person left on Earth. She buries her before-the-end memories and focuses on survival. Then one night, she hears a voice on her radio and everything changes.

Nadia finds comfort in her new-found companions, but they also discover an unsettling thread tying them together: their shared birthdays. As they begin to unravel the mysteries surrounding their survival, they soon realize it was no accident, and that they could be in far more danger than they ever imagined…

Author: L.J. Thomas is a writer of speculative fiction. A native of South Dakota, she now lives in Minnesota with her husband and beagle-mix dog Tink. She works as an engineer by day and writes by night. In her free time she enjoys the great outdoors, traveling, reading, and daydreaming about other worlds. We Survivors is her first novel.

L.J.’s Local Library: Rochester Public Library

Winners will be announced at the 2020 Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference.

Finalist Feature: The Curse of Moose Lake

Category: Young Adult Fiction

Description: Phoenix and her brother Hawk are professional monster hunters—well, nearly. Still in training with the International Monster Slayers, a secret government agency that both defends and hunts mythical creatures, they are sent on their first real mission to prove their worth. When things go awry and the IMS is nearly exposed, their future as agents looks grim.

Given one last chance for redemption, the duo are sent to Moose Lake, Minnesota where there’s a docile population of werewolves to keep in check. Their assignment is supposed to be dull, but Moose Lake ends up being anything but boring.

When a mysterious black wolf appears and the werewolves under their charge start to become aggressive, they must uncover the city’s dark secret if they are to save not only the citizens but themselves.


Author: Bethany Helwig is the author of the successful International Monster Slayers series. She enjoys writing fantasy novels, composing music, creating art, and participating in various fandoms. She lives in a small town in Minnesota with her dog.

Bethany’s Local Library: Moose Lake Public Library

Winners will be announced at the 2020 Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference.