The Kirkus Prize

You know I can’t resist a good book, and with the shorter days upon us, I’ve been on the lookout for an engaging story to snuggle into for some fall reading. On my quest for something brilliant and extraordinary, I stumbled upon 18 new writers whose work is being considered for the first-ever Kirkus Prize, one of the newest literary awards for fiction, non-fiction, and young adult writers that pays a whopping $50,000 to the winner in each category.


I have to admit, I was intrigued to see what a book of that caliber might look like. I discovered that the Kirkus Reviews magazine has been reading and reviewing submissions since 1933, and their magazine, website, and e-mail newsletter act together as a sort of marketing liaison between writers, industry professionals, and readers.

To become shortlisted for the Kirkus Prize, authors had to have a starred review from one of the magazine’s reviewers to be passed on to judges for further consideration. The judges have narrowed it down to the top six in each category, and the winners will be announced on October 23, preceding the start of the Texas Book Festival in Austin. In the spirit of the universal team of book lovers, I’ll happily volunteer to explore the winner in the fiction category and report back.


  1. Cindi Johnson says:

    I can’t believe all of the wonderful new things I’m learning through your journal ~ well, for that matter, everything I have looked at since joining the sisterhood is a treasure trove of great info. Never heard of the Kirkus Prize before. How can that be?! What a great source of good reads! Isn’t it nice that we just happen to have a new bookstore. I can already see some interesting ones in that stack you have pictured there. We might need a badge for building your own best-in-town home library 🙂

    • Megan says:

      Oh, that is a great badge idea. I have my bookshelves in my bedroom based on space limitations but I must say it is wonderful to fall asleep and wake to each day. 🙂

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I have never heard of this award, Megan, but it sounds very interesting and definitely worth exploring myself. The titles of the author you show sound intriguing. Definitely, let us know who you end up reading and your opinion about their work!

  3. Karlyne says:

    Gene Logsdon is a favorite reference of mine; Wyeth People looks very interesting (and I’m partial to the Wyeth family of artists, too) and maybe a bit of a departure from his homesteading books? He’s on my shelf right next to Ruth Stout, and I’m sure they would have been friends. I can’t wait to hear about this book!

  4. Karlyne you are so right! Gene Logsdon is one of my favorite nature authors- perfect when you don’t have time to read a novel but have time for an short , instructive and well written essay.

  5. Pingback: Euphoria | Raising Jane Journal

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The Sketchbook Project

If you’re an aspiring artist of any sort, your creative muse is calling, and you feel like sharing, then check out the Sketchbook Project. Or, if you’d like to be an aspiring artist, writer, etc. and need a creative muse, check out the Sketchbook Project.


Every year since 2006, founders Steven Peterman and Shane Zucker have put out a submission call, encouraging anyone feeling creative to make their mark by filling a 32-page blank sketchbook with their unique artistic perspectives. When returned to project headquarters by the deadline, these sketchbooks (recently totaling more than 7,000) travel in a custom trailer to various locations in North America for interactive exhibits.


When the books aren’t on the road, they reside at the Brooklyn Art Library, the permanent home to the complete collection. Since its inception, over 70,000 participants from 135 countries have contributed to the Sketchbook Project and each of those books has a space on the shelf.


Visitors to the library can spend an afternoon browsing the creative works of other contributors, or purchase a sketchbook on site and get busy making their own contribution.

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Gosh, what fun! I would love to see them sometime. Maybe some will be on a road trip down here to Florida over the winter close by.

  2. What a neat idea, and given an empty sketchbook, you feel compelled to fill it up, don’t you? Im not artistic in the sense of sketching but have filled many, many blank books with my written impressions while travelling . I also keep a garden journal. Would love to see those books -have 2 artist friends who live in Brooklyn who would truly enjoy that library . I will send along this post.

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  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    What a great shot of this busy Honey Bee. You can see the tiny hairs on it’s body!

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