Authors from Emporia earned awards at the Kansas Authors Club annual convention, which was held as an online event October 2-4. Topping the list was Michael D. Graves, who won the J. Donald Coffin Memorial Book Award for his newest Pete Stone, Private Investigator novel, All Hallows’ Shadows (Meadowlark Press, March 2020).

Judge William Sheldon shared the following comments about the book, “In All Hallows’ Shadows, Michael D. Graves serves up both homage and an original take on the hard-boiled detective genre. The mean streets of the novel are historic Wichita, Kansas, which Mr. Graves renders impeccably, edging in a history lesson with his mystery. Graves, an evident baseball fan, hits through the cycle of the genre’s tropes but does so in a manner entirely his own, realizing a style entirely his own. Out of a field of strong competition, my choice for the J. Donald Coffin Book Award is Michael D. Graves’s All Hallows’ Shadows.

Awards in the annual literary contest went to: Curtis Becker – First Place for “Overheard” in the Performance Poetry category; Hazel Hart – Honorable Mention for “Uprooted” in First Chapter of a Book category; Roger Heineken – Honorable Mention for “The Ruin of Monkey Island” in the Prose Theme category; Jerilynn Henrikson – Honorable Mention for “A Time for Tears” in First Chapter of a Book category; Kevin Rabas – Second Place for “mentor, idol” in the flash fiction category; Cheryl Unruh – Honorable Mention for “Obit” in the Narrative Verse Category; and Brenda L. White – Second Place for “Abilify” in the Poetry Whimsy category, Second Place for “Damned” in the Free Verse Category, and Honorable Mention for “Recalling Grandma in the West Timber” in the Poetry Theme category.

Tracy Million Simmons, who served as one of four members of the convention host team, was presented with a Special Award for Accomplishment regarding her innovative work on convention registration and for creating KAC’s own virtual book room.

Membership in the Kansas Authors Club is open to anyone who has an interest in writing. The cost for an individual is $35/year. Family memberships are $50/year and individual youth memberships are $10/year. Networking opportunities, educational events, and speakers are scheduled across the state throughout the year. For more information, visit

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