Organizers of the High Plains Book Awards announced Thursday that 19 books have been chosen as finalists in seven categories.
The awards ceremony will be held Oct. 20 in Billings, at the end of the High Plains BookFest.
Three books are finalists in two categories. They are the novel "Kings of Colorado," by David E. Hilton (best fiction and best first book); the short-story collection "American Masculine," by Shann Ray (best short stories and best first book); and "Hand Raised: The Barns of Montana," by Chere Jiusto and Christine W. Brown (best art and photography and best nonfiction).
In addition, four Billings authors are among those with books as finalists. They are Sue Hart ("Fra Dana: American Impressionist in the Rockies," best art and photography), Ed Kemmick ("The Big Sky, By and By," best first book), Craig Lancaster ("Quantum Physics and the Art of Departure," best short stories) and Lynne Montague ("Rim Haven," best first book).
Two books by Wyoming authors were selected: "Arapaho Journeys: Photographs and Stories from the Wind River Reservation," by Sara Wiles (best art and photography), and "Married Into It," by Patricia Frolander (best woman writer).
The Billings Parmly Library Board established the awards in 2006, to recognize regional authors and/or literary works that examine and reflect life on the High Plains, including the states of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Awards sponsors include the Parmly Billings Library board of trustees, Friends of the Parmly Billings Library, MSU Billings, the Parmly Billings Library Foundation, the Ucross Foundation, The Writer's Voice of the Billings Family YMCA, Yellowstone Art Museum and the Zonta Club of Billings.
Here is the complete list of finalists:
Best art and photography: "Arapaho Journeys: Photographs and Stories from the Wind River Reservation," Sara Wiles; "Fra Dana: American Impressionist in the Rockies," Valerie Hedquist and Sue Hart; "Hand Raised: The Barns of Montana," Chere Jiusto and Christine W. Brown; "Relatives With Roots: A Story About metis Women's Connection to the Land," Leah Marie Dorion.
Best fiction: "Kings of Colorado," David E. Hilton; "Liberty Lanes," Robin Troy; "The Ringer," Jenny Shank.
Best first book: "American Masculine," Shann Ray; "The Big Sky, By and By," Ed Kemmick; "Kings of Colorado"; "Rim Haven," Lynne Montague.
Best nonfiction: "The Boy," Betty Jane Hegerat; "Hand Raised: The Barns of Montana"; "Honyocker Dreams: Montana Memories," David Mogen.
Best poetry: "Dirt Songs: A Plains Duet," Twyla M. Hansen and Linda Hasselstrom; "Killing the Murnion Dogs," Joe Wilkins; "Songs of Unreason," Jim Harrison.
Best short stories: "American Masculine"; "Quantum Physics and the Art of Departure," Craig Lancaster.
Best woman writer: "Married Into It," Patricia Frolander; "Racing Home," Adele Dueck; "Wanton West: Madams, Money, Murder, and the Wild Women of Montana's Frontier," Lael Morgan.