Sarah Hanley has been awarded this year’s Minnesota Author Project prize in Adult Fiction for her novel, "Matka." The prize was announced on September 19 at the Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference at Mystic Lake Casino.
"Matka is especially close to my heart since it is based on my grandmother's experiences," says Hanley. "I never knew her well due to her falling victim to Alzheimer's disease when I was very young, so the process of writing this book was very rewarding to me. I hope I created something that would have made her proud."
Now in its second year, the Project recognizes one writer for adult fiction and another for young adult fiction with a $1,000 prize, provided by the Minnesota Library Association Foundation and Bibliolabs. Winners are also recognized at a reception in Nashville, included in a full-page spread in “Library Journal,” and given the opportunity to share their work at libraries throughout Minnesota.
Mitchell Davis, founder and CEO of Bibliolabs describes the relationship between indie authors, readers and public libraries as “a celebration of literary connections.”
Hanley appreciates the connection the contest makes between authors and libraries. "With so many amazing books published each year both independently and traditionally, finding an audience can be especially difficult for indie authors. The Minnesota Author Project shines a light on indie authors across the state, and I'm especially grateful for that."
In addition to Hanley, the finalists for this year's Adult Fiction prize were Brian Lutterman for "Nightfall" and Marcia Neely for "Deep Grass Roots." Minnesota residents can read these titles online by visiting the Indie Minnesota collection on MN Writes MN Reads.
Hanley and a number of her fellow honorees will be at the MN Writes MN Reads table at the Twin Cities Book Festival at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds on October 12.