Booksellers — it’s time to nominate your favorite regional books for the Midwest Booksellers Choice Awards. Let us remind you these are your awards. Every nomination matters. The titles nominated most frequently by our members get placed on a final voting ballot we send to you in mid-May. Please rally your entire staff to participate! The winning authors are invited to join us at the Heartland Fall Forum for our annual awards celebration.

1. Check out the list of possible nominations. To spark your memory, we created a list of over 200 books that are eligible for our awards.

Awards Nomination Snip

Thank you to publishers and sales reps for nominating their titles, and special thanks to our book awards committee for their great work! These nine booksellers worked hard to compile many great books for you to consider.

  • Nancy Simpson-Brice, Book Vault (Oskaloosa, IA)
  • Eileen Fesco, Book Mouse (Ottowa, IL)
  • Colin McDonald, Common Good Books (St. Paul, MN)
  • Amy Mazzariello, The Reader’s Loft (Green Bay, WI)
  • Pamela Klinger-Horn, Magers & Quinn (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Candy Pearson, Apple Blossom Books (Oshkosh, WI)
  • Amy Oelkers, The Red Balloon (St. Paul, MN)
  • Julia Poling, The Red Balloon (St. Paul, MN)
  • Pam Gardow, Memorial High School Bookstore (Eau Claire, WI)

Please remember, this list is not intended to be exhaustive. It’s a brainstorming tool to get you started. You can nominate any title you like that fits the awards criteria, listed below.


2. Complete the nomination form. Be sure to download the nomination form to your desktop before you fill it out. If you fill it out in your browser, your information will not be saved. 

Nomination Form Snip

  • Nominate one or two books in all five categories:Adult Fiction, Adult Nonfiction, Poetry, Children’s Picture Book, and Children’s Literature (YA and Middle Grade).
  • Check the pub date: Books must have been published in either hardcover or paperback original between May 1, 2013, and April 30, 2014.
  • Be sure the book is Midwestern: Nominated books must be Midwestern in subject matter or the author must live in one of our member states (Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota).


3. Return the form to Robert Martin by May 10. Save the PDF to your desktop before attaching it to your email and send it to, or fax it to 612-354-5728. The books with the most nominations will be selected as finalists. In the next round, you’ll be able to choose from the finalists to determine the winners of the 2014 Midwest Booksellers Choice Awards, to be awarded at the 2014 Heartland Fall Forum in Minneapolis on September 30.


Winners of the 2013 Midwest Booksellers Choice Awards

Adult Fiction   

Ordinary GraceKrueger

William Kent Krueger, Ordinary Grace


Peter Geye, The Lighthouse Road
Louise Erdrich, The Round House

Adult Nonfiction

Visiting TomMichael Perry

Michael Perry, Visiting Tom


Anton Trueur, Everything You  Wanted to Know about Indians but were Afraid To Ask
Luke Longstreet Sullivan, Thirty Rooms to Hide In


 thousand mornings mary oliver 

Mary Oliver, A Thousand Mornings


John Koethe, ROTC Kills
Jim Harrison, Songs of Unreason

Children’s Literature (YA & Middle Grade)

keepin safeSheila-OConnor

Sheila O’Connor, Keeping Safe the Stars


WH Beck, Malcolm at Midnight
Louise Erdrich, Chickadee
Kelly Barnhill, Iron-Hearted Violet

Children’s Picture Book

otis and puppyloren long

Loren Long, Otis and the Puppy  (illustrated by Loren Long)

Mary Logue, Sleep Like a Tiger. Illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
David LaRochelle, It’s a Tiger. Illustrated by Jeremy Tankard

We celebrated these award-winning authors at our book awards luncheon at the Heartland Fall Forum in October 2013. Congratulations to all of the winners past and future, and to all of the finalists.


The Midwest Booksellers Choice Awards Voting Process

Midwest Booksellers Choice Awards operate with a three-step process:

1) The MIBA Award Committee solicits nominations from area booksellers and publishers in each of the five genres that receive an award (Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Children’s Lit (YA & Middle Grade), and Children’s Picture Books). An eligible title must have been published in its original edition between May of the previous year and April of the current year, and must pertain to the Midwest in theme, content, or origin of author.

2) Nominated titles are compiled into a list of suggested nominees, which is distributed to booksellers. This list is non-exhaustive, but provides a starting point to inspire booksellers regarding the many exemplary titles published in or about our region. Booksellers nominate up to three titles per genre.

3) The top three nominated titles in each genre are announced as finalists (in the case of a tie, more than three finalists may appear). Booksellers vote for their favorites of the finalists by ranking “1″ for their favorite, “2″ for their second favorite, and “3″ for their third favorite.  If they have no opinion on a title, they can mark it “0″ or leave it blank.

Votes are tallied using a system whereby the lowest number (the number “1″ vote) receives the most points.  The number of points awarded to a number “1″ vote is determined by the number of titles voted on within a genre. For instance, if a voter ranks each of the three finalists, the number “1″ vote will receive 3 points.  If a voter ranks two of the titles but no the third, the number “1″ vote only receives 2 points.  And if the voter only ranks one title, that title receives 1 point.

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