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2020 Awards

Congratulations to the 2020 Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Awards-winning books and authors. We are proud to celebrate the best books written by Indiana authors over the past two years.

Watch the announcement video featuring the award-winning authors.

2020 Indiana Authors Awards Winners

Phillip Hoose


Attucks!: Oscar Robertson and the Basketball Team that Awakened a City by Phillip Hoose

Attucks! tells the true story of the all-Black Crispus Attucks High School basketball team that broke the color barrier in segregated 1950s Indiana. By winning the 1955 state championship, 10 teens—including eventual college and NBA star Oscar Robertson—shattered the myth of Black inferiority. Hoose is a widely acclaimed author of books, essays, stories, songs and articles, including the National Book Award-winning Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice. Having grown up in South Bend, Angola and Speedway, Hoose is a graduate of Indiana University and Yale University. For 37 years, he served as a staff member of The Nature Conservancy, dedicated to preserving the plants, animals and natural communities of the Earth. More at


The Jack Plays by James Still

A series of three plays featuring members of the same family, The Jack Plays take readers from a family Thanksgiving in Vermont, to the streets of Venice, to the inner workings of the CIA in Yemen. Across these geographies, Still brings complex, detailed characters to life, exploring family, love, loss, grief and healing. With 20 seasons as playwright-in-residence at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, Still is a four-time nominee for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. A resident of Los Angeles, he has written works staged in a variety of theaters, including April 4, 1968: Before We Forgot How to Dream (Indiana Repertory Theatre); The Widow Lincoln and The Heavens Are Hung in Black (Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.); I Love to Eat (Portland Center Stage); Looking Over the President’s Shoulder at theatres across the country; and And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank at theatres around the world. A five-time Emmy nominee, Still received the Otis Guernsey New Voices Award from the William Inge Theatre Festival and the Todd McNerney National Playwriting Prize from the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. More at

Melissa Stephenson


Driven: A White-Knuckled Ride to Heartbreak and Back by Melissa Stephenson

Driven is a memoir about the road to hope told through the series of cars that carried Stephenson along life’s road. From a lineage of secondhand family cars of the late ’60s, to the Honda that got her from Montana to Texas as a new marriage disintegrated, to the ’70s Ford she drove away from her brother’s house after he took his life, to the VW van she now uses to take her kids camping, these cars have reliably driven her away from grief and toward hope. With a B.A. in English from The University of Montana and an M.F.A. in fiction from Texas State University, Stephenson has been published in several publications, including The Washington Post, The Rumpus, Ms. Magazine and Narratively. Driven was longlisted for the Chautauqua Book Prize and selected for Target’s Discover New Writers program. Though born and raised in Columbus, Melissa now lives in Missoula, Mont. with her two kids. More at

Chris White
The Life List of Adrian Mandrick


The Life List of Adrian Mandrick by Chris White

A pill-popping anesthesiologist and avid birder embarks on a quest to find the extremely rare Ivory-billed Woodpecker only to become stranded in the thick swamplands of Florida’s panhandle. There he confronts past and present failures, the cost of his obsessions and what’s truly important in life. Although White is a widely performed and award-winning playwright and screenwriter (as well as an actor and vocalist), The Life List of Adrian Mandrick is her first novel. Since 2002, she has taught creative writing at DePauw University, where she specializes in upper-level workshops in playwriting and screenwriting and courses in dramatic literature. At work on her second novel, White lives with her family along Big Walnut Creek in Bainbridge, Ind. More at

Maurice Broaddus


Pimp My Airship by Maurice Broaddus

Indianapolis is recast as a steampunk, sci-fi landscape in Broaddus’ work where themes of power, racism and mass incarceration of people of color are explored. The fast-paced adventure through an alternative Indy follows an unlikely trio of Black compatriots into a battle for control of the nation and the soul of their people. Born in London, England, Broaddus has lived most of his life in Indianapolis. Describing himself an “accidental teacher” (at the Oaks Academy Middle School in Indianapolis), an “accidental librarian” (the school library manager as part of the Indianapolis Public Library Shared System) and a purposeful community organizer (resident Afrofuturist at the Kheprw Institute), Broaddus has seen his work appear in a variety of publications, including Lightspeed Magazine, Weird Tales, Asimov’s and Uncanny Magazine. He is the author, collaborator and editor of numerous novels and novellas, including the urban fantasy trilogy The Knights of Breton Court, the middle-grade detective novel series The Usual Suspects, Buffalo Soldier, Bleed with Me and Devil’s Marionette. AMC Networks recently announced plans to adapt his novel Sorcerers for broadcast. More at

Ross Gay
The Book of Delights


The Book of Delights by Ross Gay

A collection of essays written over the course of a tumultuous year, The Book of Delights reminds readers of the purpose and pleasure of praising, extolling and celebrating ordinary wonders. A New York Times best-seller and product of a commitment to write daily essays about life’s simple delights, the essays in The Book of Delights are funny, philosophical and moving. Embracing the inherent beauty of the natural world and the small human actions that create community, the book also addresses the enduring complexities of life, including the terrors of living in America as a Black man. Gay is the author of four books of poetry, the winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. His new book-length poem, Be Holding, a love song to legendary basketball player Julius Erving (Dr. J), comes out Sept. 8. Gay teaches at Indiana University in Bloomington. More at

Eugene Gloria
Sightseer in this Killing City


Sightseer in This Killing City by Eugene Gloria

Set in the aftermath of presidential elections in the U.S. and Philippines, Sightseer in This Killing City is an argument for grace and perseverance in an era of bombast and bullies. The John Rabb Emison Professor of Creative and Performing Arts and English Professor at DePauw University, Gloria is the author of three other books of poems: My Favorite Warlord (Penguin, 2012; winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award), Hoodlum Birds (Penguin, 2006) and Drivers at the Short-Time Motel (Penguin, 2000; a National Poetry Series selection and recipient of the Asian American Literary Award). More at

saundra mitchell
All the Things We Do in the Dark

Young Adult

All the Things We Do in the Dark by Saundra Mitchell

Told through the eyes of a teenage girl, All the Things We Do in the Dark, finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, addresses challenging issues affecting young people—including rape, PTSD, mental health and victim blaming—and the many ways people work through trauma. Mitchell, a Greenwood, Ind.-based author of young-adult novels, anthologies and nonfiction series, has seen more than 400 of her screenplays produced as films in conjunction with Dreaming Tree Films. During her career that includes time as a phone psychic, car salesperson, denture-deliverer and layout waxer, Mitchell says she has dodged trains, endured basic training and hitchhiked from Montana to California. Her 20 books for tweens and teens include Edgar Nominee Shadowed Summer, The Vespertine series and the Camp Murderface series with co-author Josh Berk. She’s also the editor of three anthologies for teens, Defy the Dark, All Out and Out Now. More at

Literary Champion

In 2020, a Literary Champion was selected for outstanding contributions to the literary community.  

Watch the announcement video. 

Literary Champion

Indiana Writers Center

The Indiana Writers Center (IWC) believes everyone has a unique story to tell, and their goal is simple: to help you tell it. For more than 30 years, it has worked to foster a vibrant writing community in Indiana, providing education and enrichment opportunities for both beginning and accomplished writers. Located in the Circle City Industrial Complex just around the corner from the shops, restaurants, and theaters on Massachusetts Avenue in Indianapolis, the Indiana Writers Center offers a variety of classes and workshops led by some of Indiana’s best writers. In addition, the IWC hosts literary events such as readings, open mics, critique groups, and the annual Gathering of Writers to instruct, inspire and connect writers throughout the state. The IWC also provides community outreach programs in schools, community organizations, nursing homes and correctional facilities, helping people of diverse ages and backgrounds to find their voices. More at  

About the Awards 

The Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Awards celebrate the best books by Indiana authors written in eight different categories and published during the previous two years.  

Winners receive a $5,000 prize, a physical award featuring Indiana limestone and the opportunity to make a $500 gift to an Indiana public library. A Literary Champion Award recognizes an individual or organization for significant contributions to Indiana’s literary community. Winners of the Literary Champion Award receive a $2,500 prize.    

Anyone could nominate a book to be considered for the Indiana Authors Awards. Winning and shortlisted books were selected by panels of judges, including former winners, writers, educators, scholars, local bookstore owners and librarians.  

Books published in 2020 and 2021 will be eligible for the award in 2022. Stay tuned for more information on how to nominate.  

More information 

Have you seen the one-of-a-kind award the winners receive? Check it out

Did you miss the shortlist announcement? View the shortlisted books here. 

Want to learn more about previous winners? See them  here, or check out reading lists featuring former winners on Goodreads
Curious about the history of the Indiana Authors Awards? Read a history of the awards here
Looking for a new book to add to your reading list? Check out our book reviews

Buy the books from the Indiana Authors Awards list on and support independent bookstores.