2018 Sarton Women's Book Awards
Winners and Finalists

The Story Circle Network, an international nonprofit organization of women writers, announces the winners of its 2018 Sarton Women's Book Awards™. Winners and finalists can be viewed here. Winners receive a cash award; winners and finalists receive a package of benefits available throughout 2019.

The award program is named in honor of May Sarton, who is remembered for her contributions to women's literature as a memoirist, novelist, and poet. Awards are given annually to women authors writing chiefly about women in memoir, biography, and fiction published in the United States and Canada and selected from works submitted. Sarton award winners are published by small/independent publishers, university presses, and author-publishers. Guidelines for the 2019 competition can be seen here. Books published in the years 2017-2019 are eligible. Previous winners of the award may be viewed here.

"Announcing the Sarton winners is always exciting for us," says Jeanne Guy, Story Circle president. "Honoring outstanding women authors and their independently published books is a special privilege for SCN. Indie publishing requires courage, commitment, and a passionate belief in the importance of story. It allows writers to partner with others to write, design, produce, and market their books outside of the traditional routes. We are proud of our winners, who have met many challenges on their way to publication." SCN also hosts an award-winning book review website, featuring women's independently published books.

From its beginning in 1997, the Story Circle Network has been dedicated to helping women share the stories of their lives through memoir, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and drama, and to raising public awareness of the importance of women's personal histories. The organization carries out its mission through publications, book reviews, classes, conferences, workshops, writing and reading circles, and woman-focused programs. Its activities empower women to tell their stories, discover their identities through their stories, and choose to be the authors of their lives. SCN is based in Austin, Texas, with staff and members across the country and around the world.

Finding Mercy in This World

Catherine Johnson

Vashon WA


Endicott and Hugh Books


  • Not a Poster Child: Living Well with a Disability—A Memoir, by Francine Falk-Allen
  • Redlined: A Memoir of Race, Change, and Fractured Community in 1960s Chicago, by Linda Gartz
  • Saving Bobby: Heroes and Heroin in One Small Community, by Renee Hodges
  • Daughter in Retrograde: A Memoir, by Courtney Kersten
  • To Play Again: A Memoir of Musical Survival, by Carol Rosenberger

The River by Starlight

Ellen Notbohm

Portland OR

Historical Fiction

She Writes


  • Hidden Ones: A Veil of Memories, by Marcia Fine
  • Celtic Knot: A Clara Swift Tale, by Ann Shortell
  • The Passion of Marta, by Caren Umbarger
  • The Mercy Seat, by Elizabeth H. Winthrop

Once Upon a Time a Sparrow

Mary Avery Kabrich

Seattle WA

Contemporary Fiction

Open Wings Press


  • Gina in the Floating World: A Novel, by Belle Brett
  • Quarry, by Catherine Graham
  • When the Stars Sang, by Caren J. Werlinger

BJ Erickson: WASP Pilot

Sarah Rickman

Colorado Springs CO

Young Adult Nonfiction

Filter Press

The Once and Future Queen: Guinevere in Arthurian Legend

Nicole Evelina

Maryland Heights MO


Lawson Gartner Publishing


  • Anything that Burns You: A Portrait of Lola Ridge, Radical Poet, by Terese Svoboda

For information about the 2019 competition, click here