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Author Todd Wilkinson at BookFest

Author Todd Wilkinson speaks Friday about his book "Grizzlies of Pilgrim Creek: An Intimate Portrait of 399," during a High Plains BookFest talk at the Western Heritage Center in Billings. The book, co-authored by Thomas D. Mangelsen, tells the story of the iconic 20-year-old grizzly bear, Grizzly 399, who lives in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. 

Winners of the 2016 High Plains Book Awards were announced Saturday night at a banquet.

Books in 11 categories were honored during the 10th annual book awards ceremony, which was capped by the banquet. The event ran in conjunction with the High Plains BookFest, which will conclude on Sunday. 

Winners in each category received a $500 prize. The works of both Canadian and American authors were selected from books that were published in 2015.

Those honored were:

  • Tyler Enfield, of Edmonton, Alberta, author of "Madder Carmine," in the fiction category.
  • Thomas J. Noel, of Denver, author of "Colorado: A Historical Atlas," for nonfiction.
  • Patrick Dobson, of Kansas City, Mo., author of "Canoeing the Great Plains," for creative nonfiction.
  • Thomas D. Mangelsen of Moose, Wyo., and Todd Wilkinson of Bozeman, in the art and photography category for "Grizzlies of Pilgrim Creek: An Intimate Portrait of 399."
  • Georgia Graham, of Central Alberta, Canada, author of "Cub's Journey Home," in the children's book category.
  • Beth Hunter McHugh of Hamilton in the first book category for her novel, "The Actor."
  • John Ashley, of Kalispell, author of "Glacier National Park After Dark," in the medicine and science category.
  • Juliana Aragon Fatula in the poetry category for "Red Canyon Falling on Churches."
  • Joe Wilkins of western Oregon in the short stories category for "Far Enough: A Western in Fragments."
  • Cecilia Ekback of Canmore, Alberta, in the woman writer category for "Wolf Winter."
  • Treena Wynes of Saskatchewan, Canada, in the young adult book category for "Am I the Only One? Struggling Being a Teen."

More than 160 books were nominated for this year's book awards. The finalist books were judged by veteran writers, many who are previous winners or finalists.

The Billings Public Library Board established the High Plains Book 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 and South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

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