Grateful American Book Prize

Award-winning author shares advice with new writers

WASHINGTON, DC – After winning the first Grateful American Book Prize in 2015 for her Civil War novel, Like a River, Kathy Cannon Wiechman wrote another called Empty Places, based on the Great Depression. She has now turned her attention to helping new writers reach young readers through works of historical fiction and nonfiction.

“I believe that the real winners of the Grateful American Book Prize are young learners who are bored in history class, but whose interest in the events and personalities that shaped our nation can be encouraged by a good read. And, that is one of the aims of the Prize: to inspire new writers to produce such works.”

Wiechman is completing her next opus, Not On Fifth Street, to be published in the fall. It is about the record-breaking Ohio River flood of 1937.

In the meantime, she says, she always has time for extra-curricular activities such as mingling with her readers at school visits, and participating in writers’ workshops, including an upcoming stint as a lecturer on historical fiction for the Highlights Foundation in May.

“Before I wrote my first novel, Like a River, I attended a number of workshops offered by the Highlights Foundation. These workshops taught me about creating believable characters, doing research, and even how to load and fire a muzzleloader as part of my research.”

Wiechman is always eager to share what she has learned with other writers, and the Highlights Foundation’s Whole Novel Workshop is a particularly ideal way of doing it.

“The workshop is for writers who have written a complete novel and want to get professional feedback, and help to make it publishable. It offers an opportunity to work with new writers one-on-one.”

Authors interested in attending the workshop should visit Highlights Foundation to learn more/expedite an application. The deadline is February 5th.

“The cost of the workshop includes all meals, accommodations, transportation from the airport, if necessary, and lots of personal attention from the faculty. Scholarships are available. I have benefited from these workshops and highly recommend them to anyone writing for young readers.”

As for the 2017 Grateful American Book Prize: judges began accepting entries on January 1st for appropriate books published between July 1, 2016 and July 31, 2017.