Winning Writers Announces the Winners of the Seventh Annual North Street Book Prize for Self-Published Books

NORTHAMPTON, Mass., Feb. 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Winning Writers is pleased to announce the results from its seventh annual North Street Book Prize for Self-Published Books. Over 2,000 entries were received from around the world.

C. Vargas McPherson of Portland, Oregon won this year’s Grand Prize across all genres for her memoir Inheriting Our Names: An Imagined True Memoir of Spain’s Pact of Forgetting. This lyrical narrative with magical-realist elements reconstructs her grandparent’s lives as a young working-class leftist couple in Sevilla during General Franco’s fascist takeover. Vargas McPherson received $5,000, a marketing analysis and one-hour phone consultation with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, a $300 credit at BookBaby, and 3 free ads in the Winning Writers newsletter (a $525 value).

  • Nicole Kohr of New Bern, North Carolina won First Prize in Children’s Picture Book for My Pants, a funny and heartwarming story about an autistic little girl with a special interest in fashion.
  • Ryan Poirier of Bowmanville, Ontario won First Prize in Graphic Novel & Memoir for The Herd, a superhero spoof set in a city of humanoid animals where a mishap at the fruit juice factory has given our not-too-bright protagonists some special powers.
  • Jan Regan of Geneva, New York won First Prize in Art Book for #porchportraits, a sensitive photo essay about families in her hometown during the first months of COVID lockdown and the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020.
  • Leslie Sussan of Silver Spring, Maryland won First Prize in Creative Nonfiction & Memoir for Choosing Life: My Father’s Journey in Film from Hollywood to Hiroshima. Sussan’s memoir chronicles the late Herbert Sussan’s life-altering experiences as a Defense Department cinematographer filming the aftermath of the atomic bomb, and his daughter’s pilgrimage to Hiroshima in 1987-88 to complete the exposé he was never allowed to share.
  • Delores Lowe Friedman of Bayside, New York and Ian Strasfogel of New York, New York each received a First Prize in Mainstream/Literary Fiction. Friedman’s multi-layered, intimate novel Wildflowers follows a decades-long friendship among three Black women in New York City. Strasfogel’s novel Operaland is a comical romp about a middle-aged Midwestern car salesman who becomes a world-class Wagnerian tenor.
  • Tim Stickel of Mercer Island, Washington won First Prize in Genre Fiction for Special District: Harbin, a historical mystery that follows a young half-Korean, half-Russian policeman in 1929 China as he investigates his first major homicide case.
  • Thomas Sheehan of Saugus, Massachusetts won First Prize in Poetry for The Saugus Book, a mature collection of narrative poetry about the Korean War and working-class life in the Northeast.

The category winners each received $1,000, a marketing analysis and one-hour phone consultation with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, a $300 credit at BookBaby, and one free ad in the Winning Writers newsletter (a $175 value).

Seven Honorable Mentions of $250 each went to Randi Hacker, Kendra and Claire-Voe Ocampo, Deborah A. Fox, Maya Stein, Asome Bide, Mack Leonard, and Mark Osaki. $14,750 was awarded in all, making this one of the world’s most generous contests for self-published books.

Final judges Jendi Reiter and Ellen LaFleche were assisted by Annie Mydla, Sarah Halper, and Lauren Singer. The judges’ remarks and excerpts from the winning entries are published at

The eighth annual contest is open now through June 30, 2022. Authors may submit online or by mail. One Grand Prize winner across all categories will receive $8,000 plus marketing support. The first-prize winner in each category will receive $1,000. Honorable Mentions will receive $250 each. The entry fee is $70 per book. This year’s categories are Mainstream/Literary Fiction, Genre Fiction, Creative Nonfiction & Memoir, Poetry, Children’s Picture Book, Graphic Novel & Memoir, and Art Book. All contestants receive free gifts from the contest’s numerous co-sponsors.

Founded in 2001, Winning Writers is a partner member of the Alliance of Independent Authors. In addition to the North Street Book Prize, Winning Writers also sponsors the Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest, the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest, and the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest. All of these contests are recommended by Reedsy.

Adam Cohen


SOURCE Winning Writers