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2010 Honorees

scott russell sanders, National Winner

Scott Sanders was born in Tennessee and grew up in Ohio. He studied at Brown University before going on, as a Marshall Scholar, to complete a Ph.D. in English literature at Cambridge University. In 1971 he joined the faculty of Indiana University, where he taught until 2009, retiring as Distinguished Professor of English.

He has published 20 books and seven storybooks for children. His work has appeared in such magazines as Harper’s, Audubon, Orion, and The Georgia Review, and it has been reprinted in The Art of the Essay, American Nature Writing, The Norton Reader and other anthologies. Sanders has received fellowships for writing from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Indiana Arts Commission and the Guggenheim Foundation. His work has been selected for The Best American Essays, the Indiana Humanities Award and the Mark Twain Award. For his collected work in nonfiction, he was honored in 1995 with a Lannan Literary Award. He and his wife, Ruth, a biochemist, have reared two children in their home town of Bloomington, in the hardwood hill country of the White River Valley in southern Indiana. More information available at

ray boomhower, Regional Winner

Ray E. Boomhower is senior editor of the Indiana Historical Society’s quarterly popular history magazine Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History. A native of Mishawaka, Indiana, Boomhower graduated from Indiana University in 1982 with degrees in journalism and political science. He received his master’s degree in U.S. history from Indiana University, Indianapolis, in 1995. In 1999 he received the Hoosier Historian award from the Indiana Historical Society. His books have also been finalists in the annual Best Books of Indiana competition sponsored by the Indiana Center for the Book, as well as finalists in the annual Benjamin Franklin Awards from the Independent Book Publishers Association.

Along with numerous articles for Traces, the Indiana Magazine of History, Outdoor Indiana, and other history periodicals, Boomhower is the author of the books “One Shot”: The World War II Photography of John A. Bushemi (IHS Press, 2004); Gus Grissom: The Lost Astronaut (IHS Press, 2004); Fighting for Equality: A Life of May Wright Sewall (IHS Press, 2007); Robert F. Kennedy and the 1968 Indiana Primary (Indiana University Press, 2008); and Fighter Pilot: The World War II Career of Alex Vraciu (IHS Press, 2010).

colleen coble, regional finalist

Best-selling author Colleen Coble has written 30 novels and eight novellas. She has nearly 4 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. She is a lifelong Hoosier and graduated from Southwood High School in her hometown of Wabash before going on to Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion. She and her husband of nearly 40 years still live in Wabash.

Her novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. Coble is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers and is a member of Romance Writers of America. She has won the American Christian Fiction Writers Mentor of the Year award twice. When she’s not spoiling her granddaughter, she is teaching at a writer’s conference or researching a new book. Visit her website at

andrew levy, regional Finalist

Andrew Levy was born and raised in suburban New Jersey. After graduating Brown University in 1984 with degrees in Mathematics and English, he worked on Wall Street for a brief period, before receiving an MA in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins and a Ph.D. in Literature from the University of Pennsylvania. Levy joined the faculty of Butler University in 1992. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and son, and is currently Cooper Chair in English at Butler, where he also directs the Writer’s Studio and the MFA Program in Creative Writing.

Levy has published The Culture And Commerce of the American Short Story (Cambridge UP, 1992), co-authored Creating Fiction: A Writer’s Companion (Harcourt Brace, 1995), and co-edited Postmodern American Fiction (Norton, 1997), an innovative anthology that was the focus of reviews and feature articles in The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly and elsewhere. Levy has also published a series of articles on American culture that attracted substantial readerships and media attention.

greg schwipps, Emerging winner

Greg Schwipps was raised on a working farm in Milan, Indiana. He graduated from Milan Jr. /Sr. High School in 1991 and attended DePauw University, where he majored in English Writing. Following his graduation from DePauw, he attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale for his MFA in creative writing. After receiving his MFA, Greg returned to DePauw, where he is currently a Professor of English, teaching primarily creative writing classes. His creative nonfiction articles and essays appeared in outdoor magazines like Outdoor Indiana, Indiana Game & Fish and In-Fisherman. His first novel, What This River Keeps, was published by Ghost Road Press. A lifelong fascination with fishing and rural living has deeply influenced his life and work. He and his wife Alissa live with their two dogs on ten acres of woods near Morgan County’s town of Wilbur. He spends much of his free time cat fishing in the nearby West Fork of the White River.


Douglas Light was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. He graduated from Indiana University with a BA in economics and earned an MA in creative writing from City College of New York. His first novel, East Fifth Bliss, won the 2007 Benjamin Franklin Award for Best Fiction. The screen adaptation, which he co-wrote, was filmed in 2010. It stars Golden Globe winner Michael C. Hall, Lucy Liu, Peter Fonda and Brie Larson. Light received a 2010 NoMAA writers grant, was selected as a finalist for the 2002 James Jones First Novel Fellowship and has been published in Narrative, Guernica, Alaska Quarterly Review, Failbetter and other publications. His fiction was selected for inclusion in O. Henry Prize Stories 2003 and Best American Nonrequired Reading 2003 anthologies. He lives in New York City. More information is available at


Micah Ling is a graduate of DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. After graduating, she moved to Bloomington where she earned her master’s degree in 20th century American literature and holds a Master of Fine Arts in poetry at Indiana University. Ling has taught in the English departments at Indiana University, Butler University, DePauw University and Franklin College. Ling has three full-length poetry collections: Three Islands, Sweetgrass and Settlement. In addition to poetry, Ling has bylines in NUVO and Indianapolis Monthly. She now lives in Brooklyn, New York.