The Michigan Author Award recognizes an outstanding published body of literary work by an author who is either from Michigan or has substantial ties to the state. The award was established in 1992 with the intention of recognizing significant Michigan authors with a lifetime achievement award. Over the years, the award has been given to a diverse collection of writers working in a variety of genres and styles. A panel of judges representing Michigan Library Association members determines the recipient on overall literary merit.
To learn more about the award, please download a PDF resource below. To nominate an author, please complete the form at the bottom of this page or print and return the PDF nomination form to MLA. Nominations are due February 28.
2015 Michigan Author Award Winner – David Small
The Michigan Library Association (MLA) has selected author and illustrator David Small to receive the 2015 Michigan Author Award. The award will be presented at a luncheon during the MLA 2015 Annual Conference in Novi on Wednesday, October 28, 2015.
David Small won the 2001 Caldecott Medal for So You Want to Be President by Judith St. George. His many books include The Gardener, The Friend, George Washington’s Cows, Imogene’s Antlers and Hoover’s Bride. He is also the illustrator for Russell Hoban’s The Mouse and His Child as well as My Senator and Me: A Dog’s Eye View of Washington D.C, written by Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Small’s graphic memoir Stitches, was a #1 New York Times Best Seller and a finalist for the 2009 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.
After receiving a Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale, Small taught drawing and printmaking on the university level for 14 years. He lost his job in the 1980s due to cutbacks. This brought both a crisis and a commitment to begin working on combining his love of art and writing. Submitted to more than 20 publishers, his first book Eulalie and the Hopping Head was eventually published in 1981.
A panel of judges representing MLA members determined the recipient on overall literary merit. To be eligible, authors must be a current resident of Michigan, a long-time resident of Michigan, recently relocated or an author whose works are identified with Michigan because of subject and/or setting. Small was born and raised in Detroit and currently resides in Southwest Michigan with his wife, author Sarah Stewart.
Past Michigan Author Award Winners include: Tom Stanton, Sarah Stewart, Steve Hamilton, Christopher Paul Curtis, Patricia Polacco, Dan Gerber, Charles Baxter, Nancy Willard, Janet Kauffman, Elmore Leonard, Loren Estleman, Gloria Whelan, Jerry Dennis, Janie Lynn Panagopoulos, Thomas Lynch, Nicholas Delbanco, Diane Wakoski, Dave Dempsey, John Smolens, Gary Schmidt, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Laura Kasischke and Jim Harrison.
MLA Michigan Author Award Nomination Form
Eligible authors must have a minimum of three books to be considered. Self-published books are acceptable provided they are available in Michigan libraries. Please list the full information below.
Eligibility Criteria of Nominee
- The author must either be a current resident of Michigan, a long-time resident of Michigan recently relocated or an author whose works are identified with Michigan because of subject matter and/or setting.
- The author's work may be in the form of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama or any other literary format the Michigan Author Award work group finds acceptable.
- The author must have a body of work encompassing at least three published titles for adults, teens or children. Self-publishing is acceptable so long as the works are available in Michigan libraries.
- The author must be living at the time of nomination.
- The author must have a publishing career spanning a minimum of five years.