A locally written, illustrated and published book for young readers is seeking votes in a national contest.

Bess Sturgis’ nomination for the 2019 Penned Con’s best children’s/middle grade author came about by peer review/peer voting, similar to the way the Academy Awards are done.

“Because Penned Con authors come together from all over the world (USA, Europe, England, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, etc.), the thought that they would nominate my book dazzles me,” Sturgis said.

Sturgis, of Cambridge City, was nominated for her book called “A Helping Hand.”

The book is a completely in-state creation. Illustrations came from award-winning artist Anita Crull of New Castle, and Denise Purcell designed the book. Kids at Heart Publishing in Cambridge City published the book, which was printed in Manchester, Indiana.

The 55-page book tells the story of two small frightened fairies who discover that kindness and courage can be more important than size when assistance is needed.

Sturgis is the only Indiana author nominated for this particular award.

She writes juvenile fantasy novels and children’s picture books.

She is known for her “Ghouliana Stories” series offering not-too-scary tales, and her “Fairy Grandmother Tales” books that provide sweet stories of kindness and friendship.

The final day to vote is Aug. 31, and awards will be announced Sept. 14 at its annual convention in St. Louis.
Only one vote may be cast per person.

Votes may be cast directly at this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSem7SqgoosTU0nHyVgkZV6Uubs3VHEV4Pgbsov7iQUwYh1R5g/viewform?fbclid=IwAR20mrIdFE5yhBBrDWkdPezyWJ9tnhG6_ewPkfbnWAz_59AZ2_nXfJVpMcg

Sturgis also has a link to the website where votes can be cast on her GhoulianaStories page on Facebook, or on the Kids at Heart website at https://kids-at-heart-publishing-llc.business.site/.

Residents also can click on a link on computers at the Cambridge City and Dublin libraries to vote for Sturgis’ book.

The website asks for name and email of each voter, but Sturgis said no information about voters is collected or shared with anyone.

The other authors and their books nominated in Sturgis’ category are: A.J. Culey, “Zombie Bunnies”; Jennifer Stolzer, “The Curses: Short Stories from the World of Threadcaster”; Jessica Matthews, “The Old Man and a Pirate Princess Meet a Dragon”; and L.P. Dover and Anna-Grace Dover, “Moonlight and Aleena: A Tale of Two Friends.”

L.P. Dover is a New York Times and USA TODAY best-selling author.

Penned Con is a three-day book convention where more than 150 authors join industry professionals and more than 1,000 readers.

— By Millicent Martin Emery

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