2017 Sarton Women's Book Awards
Winners and Finalists

The Story Circle Network, an international nonprofit organization of women writers, announces the winners of its 2017 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 2018.

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 2018 competition can be seen here. Books published in the years 2015-2018 are eligible. Previous winners of the award may be viewed here.

"Announcing the Sarton winners is always exciting for us," says Susan Wittig Albert, Story Circle founder and 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.

Gathering From the Grassland

Linda M. Hasselstrom

Hermosa SD


High Plains Press


  • You Can't Buy Love Like That, by Carol E. Anderson
  • Playing With Dynamite: A Memoir, by Sharon Harrigan
  • 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

Candice Shy Hooper

Boca Grande FL


Kent State University Press


  • Love, Bill: Finding My Father Through Letters From World War II, by Jan Krulick-Belin

Venetian Blood: Murder in a Sensuous City

Christine Evelyn Volker

Richmond CA

Contemporary Fiction

She Writes Press


  • 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

Dark Lady:
A Novel of Emilia Bassano Lanyer

Charlene Ball

Atlanta GA

Historical Fiction

She Writes Press


  • Eden: A Novel, by Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg
  • Amah and the Silk-Winged Pigeons, by Jocelyn Cullity
  • When It's Over, by Barbara Ridley

Defiance on Indian Creek

Phyllis A. Still

Gilmer TX

Young Adult Fiction

White Bird Publications


  • The Tower, by Lynn Yvonne Moon

For information about the 2018 competition, click here