Indiana Authors Awards announce children’s book finalists

30+ shortlisted books in seven additional categories to be announced in coming days for prestigious, revamped awards; Winners to be named Sept. 1

INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 3, 2020) – The Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Awards is announcing the shortlisted books in the children’s category of the revamped award program today. Shortlists for additional categories will be announced on social media, by category, daily at 10 a.m. over the next six days. Winners of the awards will be announced Sept. 1.

The shortlists represent work by more than 30 writers with Hoosier roots in the following categories: children’s, young adult, poetry, genre, emerging, fiction and nonfiction. Each category winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize, a hand-crafted limestone award and the opportunity to make a $500 donation to an Indiana library of their choice.

The shortlist in the children’s category for the 2020 Indiana Authors Awards follows.

  • Crystal Allen, who grew up on a farm near New Albany and now lives in Texas, for The Magnificent Mya Tibbs: Mya in the Middle, which chronicles the hilarious hijinks of a Black 4th grader trying to stand out from the crowd;
  • John David Anderson, Indianapolis, for Granted, the tale of a fairy on her first wish-granting day;
  • Gabrielle Balkan, who grew up in Indianapolis and now lives in Brooklyn, for her Book of Flight, a beautifully illustrated book of birds, animals and insects, explaining how they fly;
  • Skila Brown, Bloomington, for Clackety Track: Poems About Trains, a charming book of poems about trains;
  • Troy Cummings, Greencastle, for Can I Be Your Dog?, a sweet tale of a dog trying to find a forever home;
  • Helen Frost, Fort Wayne, for Hello, I’m Here!, the story of a newborn sandhill crane starting out in the world;
  • Michael Homoya, Shane Gibson and Gillian Harris, of central and southern Indiana, for Wake Up, Woods, a gorgeously illustrated book of Indiana wildflowers and native plants; and
  • Phillip Hoose, who was born in South Bend and spent his childhood in Angola and Speedway, for Attucks! Oscar Robertson and the Basketball Team that Awakened a City, which tells the true story of Indianapolis’ all-black Crispus Attucks High School basketball team that broke the color barrier in segregated 1950s Indiana. 

The nominee rollout is part of the new format for the prestigious awards, designed by Indiana Humanities with support from Glick Philanthropies. Follow the announcements on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @INAuthorsAwards.

“These writers and many, many others add to the storied literary heritage of not only Indiana, but the Midwest,” said Keira Amstutz, Indiana Humanities president and CEO. “These awards will help make sure Hoosiers and the rest of the nation are aware of these talented authors and of our state’s literary prowess.”  

Shortlisted books were written by lifelong Hoosiers, professors at Indiana colleges and universities, former residents and others with a deep connection to Indiana.

The shortlists feature stories about life in Indiana, nature and interesting people. At turns whimsical and serious, funny and haunting, the shortlist honorees address pressing topics such as race, immigration, teen pregnancy and suicide as well as otherworldly fare such as fairies, airships and voodoo. 

“In other words, the inaugural shorted books represent the incredible breadth and depth of talent, ideas and imagination that this place—our place—evokes in writers,” Amstutz said.

For more information on the Indiana Authors Awards, visit

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About the Indiana Authors Awards

The Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Awards honor the best books written by Indiana authors. Awarded every two years, they celebrate Indiana writers, shine a light on the Hoosier state’s literary community and deepen connections between Indiana writers and readers. They were established in 2009 as a vision of Eugene and Marilyn Glick and are a new component of Indiana Humanities’ rich and diverse literary programming.

About Glick Philanthropies

Glick Philanthropies is a family of charitable initiatives, programs and organizations focused on building community and creating opportunity. Together, Glick Philanthropies strives to strengthen the quality of life in central Indiana and in communities where Gene B. Glick Company properties are located to ensure that people in those local communities can reach their full potential and lead lives of dignity. Glick Philanthropies includes the Glick Family Foundation, Glick Family Housing Foundation, Glick Fund at Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF), and Glick Fund at the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis (JFGI). Since 1982, Glick Philanthropies has awarded over $150 million to charitable causes and has led a transformative effort to improve education and economic opportunity on Indianapolis’ far eastside where the Gene B. Glick Company was originally headquartered. Learn more at

About Indiana Humanities

Indiana Humanities connects people, opens minds and enriches lives by creating and facilitating programs that encourage people to think, read and talk. Learn more at

Contact information: 

Kristen Fuhs Wells, Vice President, Indiana Humanities