2017 Sarton Women's Book Award Shortlist

The Story Circle Network is proud to announce the 2017 Shortlist for the Sarton Women's Book Awards. Books are listed (alphabetically) in five categories: Memoir, Biography, Contemporary Fiction, Historical Fiction, & Young Adult Fiction.

The awards are sponsored by the Story Circle Network, an international nonprofit community of women writers. The program is named in honor of May Sarton, who is remembered for her outstanding contributions to women's literature as a memoirist, novelist, and poet. The 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. The awards are limited to submissions originally written in English and published by small/independent publishers, university presses, and author-publishers (self-publishing authors). The judging is conducted in two rounds. Professional librarians not affiliated with SCN select the winner and finalists. Previous winners of the award may be viewed here.

Five winners will be determined in a second round of judging and announced in April, 2018. Guidelines for the 2018 competition are here.

Memoir / Nonfiction / Contemporary Fiction / Historical Fiction / Young Adult Fiction


  • You Can't Buy Love Like That, by Carol E. Anderson
  • Playing With Dynamite: A Memoir, by Sharon Harrigan
  • Gathering From the Grassland, by Linda M. Hasselstrom
  • Nowhere Else I Want to Be: A Memoir, by Carol D. Marsh
  • I Know It In My Heart: Walking Through Grief With a Child, by Mary E. Plouffe


  • Lincoln's Generals' Wives: Four Women Who Influenced the Civil War, by Candice Hooper
  • Love, Bill: Finding My Father Through Letters From World War II, by Jan Krulick-Belin

Contemporary Fiction

  • This Is How It Begins: A Novel, by Joan Dempsey
  • All That Is Solid Melts Into Air, by Carole Giangrande
  • A Quiet Fear, by Thia Keen
  • Venetian Blood: Murder in a Sensuous City, by Christine Evelyn Volker

Historical Fiction

  • Dark Lady: A Novel of Emilia Bassano Lanyer, by Charlene Ball
  • Eden: A Novel, by Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg
  • Amah and the Silk-Winged Pigeons, by Jocelyn Cullity
  • When It's Over, by Barbara Ridley

Young Adult Fiction

  • The Tower, by Lynn Yvonne Moon
  • Defiance on Indian Creek, by Phyllis A. Still

For information about the 2017-2018 competition, click here