Looking for a new read? Here are the Minnesota Book Award winners

Looking for a new read? Here's the best in Minnesota literature.

Calling all book worms: If you're looking for a new read, why not try a Minnesota author?

The best in Minnesota literature were honored Saturday night at the 29th annual Minnesota Book Awards. Close to 900 people attended the ceremony, the Pioneer Press says, which was held at the Intercontinental Hotel in St. Paul.

More than 240 books were submitted for the awards, MPR says. In January, judges narrowed it down to 39 finalists competing in nine categories, from Children's Literature to Poetry.

Here's a look at some of the winners:

The award for Novel and Short Story went to Peter Geye for “Wintering,” a story that starts with an elderly man escaping his sickbed and vanishing into the wilderness. It's described as a "love story spanning 60 years, generations’ worth of feuds, and secrets withheld and revealed." And it's the third installment in Geye's series set in Gunflint, a fictional town on the North Shore.

J.J. Austrian won the Children's Literature award for his book, "Worm Loves Worm." It's about – you guessed it– a worm meeting another worm and falling in love.

"But their friends want to know – who will wear the dress? And who will wear the tux? The answer is: it doesn’t matter. Because worm loves worm." According to the awards website, Austrian is a graduate of Hamline University, and this is his first picture book.

"The Song Poet: A Memoir of My Father" by Kao Kalia Yang was awarded for Memoir & Creative Nonfiction. It's a true story of Yang's father, who was a Hmong refugee in Minnesota, "driven from the mountains of Laos by America’s Secret War."

This was the first year separate awards were presented for Middle Grade Literature and Young Adult Literature. Brian Farrey picked up the middle grade award for his modern fairytale "The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse," and "The Memory Book" by Lara Avery won in the young adult category.

For the full list of winners, click here.

More about the awards

The Minnesota Book Awards were created in 1988 by the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the Saint Paul Public Library. This year's awards were sponsored by Education Minnesota.

Besides the awards ceremony each spring, Minnesota Book Awards offers programs and events around the state throughout the year, including author readings, discussions, pub quizzes and food events.

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