2019 Awards Program Long List

What an amazing Literary Awards Program! Over the last 20 years, the Awards Program has grown into an international sensation, attracting a diverse range of voices from all around the world. This year’s program saw nearly a thousand entries arrive from over 25 countries. From memoir to flash fiction to essays on culture to mind-bending graphic-based fiction, many of the entries stretched the imagination, changed the way we think, and haunted us as we sent them off to the judge. Almost a hundred entries have been marked to follow-up for the press. Win or not, we’ll be reviewing them for potential placement in the future catalog.

As always, it’s up to the judge as to which one of these amazing authors will walk away with the grand prize. She’s narrowed it down to a “long list” – roughly 70 manuscripts – and we’ll hope to have a short list by the first week in September. For updates, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

So, here it is! The 2019 Long List:

Unshattered: Life Before and After Columbine by Krista Hanley

Los Laristas by Monica Hileman

The Grammar of Untold Stories by Lois Melina

Idle Speculations by Kelly Kiehl

Paradise Block by Alice Ash

*Your Actual Life May Vary by Linda Lenhoff

Distance of Closeness by Carol Dines

Stronger in Heaven by Ginny Fite

Earth’s Dream of Life by Roger Conant Cranse

The Tree You Come Home To by Jane Olmstead

A Cruel Compendium: Ten Fairy Tales That Warn The Blood by Alexis Peralta

Forgotten Women Suzanne Feldman

Oh and She Has a Dog by Hildie Block

Kiva Song by Deborah Jackson Taffa

The Birth of a Tree: A Memoir of Memory, Forgiveness, and The Legacy of Family Trauma by Jocelyn M. Ulevicus

Silver Beach by Claire Cox

More Fun in the New World by Amy Stuber

Mona At Sea by Elizabeth Gonzalez James

When We Were Liars by Brian Crawford

Endpapers by Jennifer Savran Kelly

The Red Dirt Road by Cathy Arden

Go Make Some Fire by J.L. Torres

The Violence Almanac by Miah Jeffra

The Seeing Eye Girl: A Memoir of My Life With Momma by Beverly J. Armento

Estranged by Charles Lamar Phillips

Scenic Overlook by Anne Ray

Futebol or Nada: Coming of Age in a Rio de Janeiro Favela by Sascha Bercovitch

Before Stonewall by Edward M. Cohen

Your Nightmare by Joseph Holt

Mile Marker 49 by Mac McCaskill

Mama’s Hand: A South Central L.A. Memoir by Mary Hill

Heir to the Crescent Moon by Sufiya Abdur-Rahman

Negative Space: Inheriting the Legacy of my Father’s Art and Addiction by Lilly Dancyger

Fleece by Michele Suzann

Luckiest Unlucky by Grace Mattern

Mycology by Joan Wilking

Thanks for This Riot by Janelle Bassett

Flashes and Sparks by Kate Peters

My Old Faithful by Yang Huang

Junk City by Jon Boilard

Labia Bats and Other Essays by E. C. Kelly

Paradise Undone: Stories of Jonestown by Annie Dawid

A Tangle of Contradictions by Michael Rosenbaum

Habitan-The Parallel Place by Cheryl Suma

The Hope Store by Dwight Okita

Riding with Ghosts, Angels, and the Spirits of the Dead by John Russell

One of Us: Stories by Scott Nadelson

Great Escapes from Detroit and Other Stories by Joseph O’Malley

Heaven Holds a Place by Patty Friedmann

Bamboo Grows Straight to the Sky by Janet Wells

The Book of Wanderers by Reyes Ramirez

Portraits of a Sunset by James Kendall

The Panorama Hotel by Jenny Belardi

The Be-Everything! Brothers by Matthew Pitt

Little Black Holes by Heather Harms

Her Dreams Were Also Water by Allen Jones

Molly by Kevin Honold

All I’ve Ever Done is Love You by Cathy Mellett

Little Girl Leaving: A Novel Based on a True Story by Lisa Blume

Fixed: Dope Sacks, Dye Packs, and The Long Welcome Back by Doug Piotter

The Car Salesman & Other Stories, Tips, and Tricks by Sidney Thompson

Nightbirds in an Age of Light by Catherine Gammon

Tales the Devil Told Me by Jen Fawkes

What Kind of Monster: How We Made America’s First Female Serial Killer by Mary Kay McBrayer

Hades’ Melody by J.D. Belcher

Sun Night by E.H. de la Espriella

My Other Mother by Sharon Pywell

All Mimsy Were the Borogroves: A Family’s Struggle with Lewy Body Dementia by Jennifer Dakan

The Serpent, The Puma, and The Condor: A Tale of Machu Picchu by Gayle Marie

Giving Voice by Victoria Lansford


  1. iobel andemicael

    Congratulations to the long-listed authors! It’s so exciting to see all the interesting titles and topics that were selected.

    • Heather Hoehn

      How can we read these pieces?

      • admin

        Sorry, Heather, the Awards program focuses primarily on unpublished material.

        That said, a few folks on this list are self-published or have published via micro-presses. And almost everyone on this list has published widely online in journals and lit zines.

        We’re also considering several of these titles for our 2020-2021 publishing calendars, and I do know that a handful have already received contracts from other publishers thanks to their placement on this list.

  2. Anne Randolph

    Fantastic, Krista Hanley. Her book Unshattered is phenomenal about the impact of Columbine. Should be a big-time winner!

    Anne Randolph, founder KitchenTableWriting.com

  3. John Russell

    So happy to have made the Long List! Fingers crossed!

  4. Arthur

    Good luck to all of the finalists. Is there only one judge? It must be very difficult for one person to read and judge 1000 books. My money is on a few select authors already by seeing the long list.

  5. Dwight Okita

    I hope it’s ok to mention. If not please delete. I’m happy my book The Hope Store is on the Long List. Very honored. My book is self-published on Amazon for anyone interested. It’s a speculative novel about the first store in the world to sell hope over the counter, the customers who were transformed by it, and the controversy that ensued.


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