Announcing the 2018 Literary Award and Children's Book Award Winners

Posted by Brigitte Rupp Vacha on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 in Awards

The Wisconsin Library Association Announces the Winners of the 2018
Literary Award and the Children’s Book Award Winners

Dan Egan Wins Literary Prize from Wisconsin Libraries

The Literary Awards Committee of the Wisconsin Library Association has chosen Dan Egan’s The Death and Life of the Great Lakes as the Literary Award winner for 2018. The award is for the highest literary achievement by a Wisconsin author for a work written in 2017.

Dan Egan’s well researched non-fiction book is a landmark work of science, history and reporting on the past, present and imperiled future of the Great Lakes. "A chronicle of natural disasters shouldn’t make compelling reading, but Egan’s book is an ecological page-turner,” writes John Hildebrand, Wisconsin essayist and past recipient of the WLA Literary Awards Notable Author Award. 

Dan Egan is a reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and a senior water policy fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's School of Freshwater Sciences. He has twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Milwaukee with his wife and children.

The Literary Awards Committee also selected seven books by Wisconsin authors for Outstanding Achievement. These titles, all published in 2017, are:

  • Hearts of Men by Nicholas Butler
  • Confessions of Young Nero by Margaret George
  • Every Day We Live is the Future by Douglas Haynes
  • Heretics: the Wondrous and Dangerous Beginnings of Modern Philosophy by Steve and Ben Nadler
  • Dark Net by Benjamin Percy
  • Burning Bright by Nicholas Petrie
  • Obroni and the Chocolate Factory by Steven Wallace

Additionally, the Committee recognized six works of Outstanding Poetry. These titles are:

  • You Beast by Nick Lantz
  • How to Be An Indian in the 21st Century by Louis Clark III
  • Cold Pastoral by Rebecca Dunham
  • The Word We Used for It by Max Garland
  • Grief Bone by Karla Huston
  • Splash of Easy Laughter by Shoshauna Shy

Lastly, the Literary Awards Committee chose three authors to designate as Notable Wisconsin Authors this year. This award recognizes an author’s entire body of work and is designed to promote greater awareness of the state’s literary heritage. This year’s Notable Authors are:

  • James Campbell
  • Lesley Kagen
  • David Rhodes

The 2018 Literary Awards Committee members are librarians from around the state. For more information about the Literary Awards, visit

The Wisconsin Library Association engages, inspires and advocates for library workers and supporters to improve and promote library services for the people of Wisconsin.

Roll, written by Darcy Miller, wins 2018 Burr/Worzalla Award 

Children’s book Roll, written by Darcy Miller and published by HarperCollins, has won the coveted Burr/Worzalla Award for 2018. The Children’s Book Award Committee of the Wisconsin Library Association’s Youth Services Section annually presents the Burr/Worzalla Award to the most distinguished work in literature written and/or illustrated by a Wisconsin book creator. Roll is an impressive debut from Miller, who lives with her family in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin. 

The summer before sixth grade, Lauren (“Ren”) Hall’s parents move him out of the city and into his grandparents’ old country home. Separated from his best friend, who is suddenly running with the popular crowd, and struggling to pick up his dad’s hobby of cross-country running, Ren keenly senses the gulfs growing in his friendship and family. Then he meets his new neighbor, a spunky girl named Sutton, who is training a kit of Birmingham Rolling pigeons for competition and his coming-of-age story begins in earnest. Both deeply emotional and extremely relatable, Roll’s sweet, funny, flawed, but functional characters make this a Bildungsroman that will appeal to all readers who love honest, well-written fiction. 

For his amazing body of work in children’s literature, former Marquette University student Laurence Yep was selected as this year’s Wisconsin Notable Children’s Author. Best known as a respected author of children’s literature, Yep was the 2005 recipient of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal for his career contribution to children’s literature. Yep’s many notable works include two Newbery honor titles, Dragonwings and Dragon’s Gate. The Children’s Book Award Committee is very pleased to bestow yet another award upon this master storyteller.

Ten noteworthy honor titles have also been selected for Outstanding Achievement in children’s literature, written and/or illustrated by Wisconsin book creators:

  • The March Against Fear: The Last Great Walk of the Civil Rights Movement and the Emergence of Black Power by Ann Bausum
  • Big and Little Questions (according to Wren Jo Bryd) by Julie Bowe
  • Claymates written by Dev Petty, illustrated by Lauren Eldridge
  • Slider by Pete Hautman
  • Egg by Kevin Henkes
  • Noah Webster’s Fighting Words by Tracy Nelson Maurer
  • Someday Birds by Sally Pla
  • Liberty: The Spy Who (kind of) Liked Me by Andrea Portes
  • Pomegranate Witch written by Denise Doyen, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
  • Where Are You? by Sarah Williamson

The Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Award is made possible by the Worzalla Publishing Company, Stevens Point, through a grant to the WLA Foundation. 

For more information about the Children's Book Awards Committee, visit


2018 WLA/BiblioBoard Wisconsin Author Award

The WLA/BiblioBoard Wisconsin Author Award Committee chose the following self-published book for its inaugural selection:

  • On the Road to Death's Door by M. J. Williams
Through the Wisconsin Author Project, made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, libraries are helping local authors get the recognition they deserve for writing great books. Wisconsin residents who are authors of self-published adult or young adult fiction will be invited to submit their work. One winner will receive $1,000, a write-up in Library Journal’s December Best of Books print issue and Library Journal’s Digital Review, be honored at ALA Midwinter 2019 THRIVE event in Seattle, and be invited to speak at the Wisconsin Library Association Annual Conference in October. One runner-up will receive a write-up in Library Journal’s Digital Review and an invitation to speak at the Wisconsin Library Association Annual Conference in October.


Tags: Highlight


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

Leave your comment

Guest Monday, December 16, 2019