Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Jackson Featured in Fall 2009 Traces

The fall 2009 issue of the Indiana Historical Society Press's popular history magazine Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History will be in members' mailboxes soon.

The issue features an article, "A Hoosier Thriller: Gary, Indiana's Michael Jackson," by Julie Young exploring the Indiana boyhood and early career of music legend Michael Jackson, who died on June 25, 2009.

In addition, the issue includes articles on the history of Shapiro's Deli in Indianapolis; the fiftieth anniversary of the film Ben-Hur, based upon the best-selling book by Hoosier author and general Lew Wallace; a look back at how Indianapolis reacted to the great railroad strike of 1877; and a piece on the African American Townsend family of Putnam County, Indiana.

Traces is an award-winning popular history magazine published quarterly as a benefit of membership in the IHS. Conceived as a means of bringing to the public good narrative and analytical history about Indiana in its broader contexts of region and nation, the magazine since 1989 has explored the lives of artists, writers, politicians, performers, soldiers, entrepreneurs, homemakers, reformers, and naturalists.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Wissing Wins Dunn Award

Douglas Wissing, a freelance writer from Bloomington, Indiana, is the winner of the Indiana Historical Society’s annual Jacob Piatt Dunn Jr. Award for the best article to appear in Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History for 2009. Wissing’s article, “‘Cook Good, Serve Generously, Price Modestly’: The Shapiro’s Story,” appeared in the fall 2009 issue.

Named for the noted Indiana historian and author, the $500 award honors the article that in the opinion of the Traces editorial board and staff best serves the magazine’s mission. This mission involves presenting thoughtful, research-based articles on Indiana history in an attractive format to a broad audience of readers.

Dunn (pictured above, left), who helped revitalize the Society in the 1880s, produced such standard works as the two-volume Greater Indianapolis (1910) and his five-volume Indiana and Indianans (1919). In his remarkable career, Dunn also worked on a variety of Indianapolis newspapers, campaigned to establish free public libraries, endeavored to preserve the language of the Miami Indians, and prospected for minerals in Haiti.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Interview with McQueen Biographer

Wes D. Gehring, professor of Film at Ball State University, is the author of twenty-nine books, many of which examine the lives of Hollywood legends. During his career, Gehring has written about the Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy, Joe E. Brown, Carole Lombard, W. C. Fields, Red Skelton, and Charlie Chaplin.

Gehring's latest book is a biography of Steve McQueen titled Steve McQueen: The Great Escape recently released by the IHS Press. Here, he talks about the book and McQueen:

You have written about a number of Hollywood legends. What drew you to McQueen?

Growing up, McQueen was one of my favorite actors.

McQueen is seen by many fans as the prototypical screen tough guy. Is that an accurate description of his appeal?

Yes and no. McQueen was more an antiheroic tough guy. He wasn't big like Wayne, or intellectually articulate like his film star favorite Bogart. In Bullitt he's old school tough. But he is just as likely to mix that toughness with poignant vulnerability, as in The Sand Pebbles and Junior Bonner. His stone faced toughness is often a sort of desperate minimalist cover for the universal fears of modern life.

How is what we see on screen of McQueen the same or different from him in real life?

He did not have a great acting range, but he was brilliant at playing the aforementioned antiheroic tough guy--which was McQueen in real life . . . on a good day. Like many artists, the work is where he got it right.In real life that macho minimalism could explode into rage. He was fond of saying that his life was screwed up before he was born. Thus, the foundation for the underdog toughness. The true link between the actor and the person was defining himself through his interaction with objects in the film frame, particularly mechanical things--a favorite off-screen passion. The guy tinkering with engines in The Sand Pebbles or The Reivers was McQueen. But he carried an attention to detail, be it getting on and off a horse, in and out of a race car, handling weapons, fixing breakfast in The Getaway--that gave his work an authenticity that was consistent with the real life, work with his hands, physical man.

Is there anything you found out about McQueen in your research that surprised you or that you did not know before?

I was most amazed by the extreme sadness of his youth. He never got that chip off his shoulder.

What is McQueen’s legacy?

In his best films, there is a sense of the Hemingway axiom, about life destroying you but (if you have some personal code), not defeating you.

What project are you working on now?

I have two forthcoming books: I, Red Skelton: Exit Laughing (a novelized memoir), and Forties Film Comedians: In the Shadow of World War II (a film criticism). I'm currently writing a biography of director Robert Wise.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

IHS Press Releases McQueen Biography

The poster-child victim of a dysfunctional family from Beech Grove, Indiana, Steve McQueen experienced an unsettled early life with a rebellious and alcoholic mother. McQueen channeled his difficult childhood into a masterful career on screen portraying tough, self-sufficient characters in such iconic films as The Magnificent Seven (1960), The Great Escape (1963), The Sand Pebbles (1966), Bullitt (1968), and Papillon (1973).

Nationally known film historian Wes D. Gehring explores how McQueen rose from his days as a troubled youth into one of Hollywood’s top box-office stars of the 1960s and 1970s, and how he attempted to ease the lives of other troubled youth, in a new biography now available from the IHS Press titled Steve McQueen: The Great Escape. Along the way, Gehring delves into McQueen’s early success as a television star on the hit Western Wanted: Dead or Alive, his sometimes rocky relationships with women, his sardonic sense of humor, the actor’s love of fast cars and motorcycles, and McQueen’s often neglected acting in such films as The Reivers (1969) and Junior Bonner (1972), which Gehring labels as “arguably his greatest performance.” McQueen ironically saw the title of one of his best films, The Great Escape, as a veiled reference to what his life might have been like without the movies: “If I hadn’t made it as an actor, I might have wound up a hood.”

McQueen died from cancer on November 7, 1980, at the age of fifty. Reflecting on the Hoosier actor’s career, Gehring notes that “McQueen’s often unorthodox life was always lived on his own terms, but with the underlying insecurity of the lost child he perceived himself to be.”

Gehring is a professor of film at Ball State University and an associated media editor for USA Today Magazine, for which he also writes the column “Reel World.” The award-winning author of twenty-eight books, Gehring has written biographies of such screen legends as Charlie Chaplin, W. C. Fields, the Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy, Irene Dunne, Carole Lombard, James Dean, and Red Skelton.

Steve McQueen: The Great Escape costs $19.95. The book is available from the IHS's History Market.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

IHS Hosts Seventh Annual Holiday Author Fair

Mingle with your favorite Indiana authors, photographers and illustrators, finish your holiday shopping, and get your books signed at the Indiana Historical Society's seventh annual Holiday Author Fair from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 5, at the Indiana History Center, 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis.

The fair features approximately 75 talented writers of fiction, nonfiction, history, gardening, poetry, and children's books. Among the authors set to attend are such award winners as James H. Madison, Susan Neville, Mary Mackey, Philip Gulley, Lou Harry, James Alexander Thom, Norbert Krapf, Alan Garinger, and Ray E. Boomhower.

There will be speakers throughout the day, holiday music, and refreshments and free gift wrapping.

The schedule of speakers, presented in the Frank and Katrina Basile Theater, are:

12:30 p.m. "My Indiana Adventure" Student Writing Contest Awards Presentation

1 p.m. Lou Harry, author and journalist, "The Lou Harry Write-About-Anything Lecture and Game Show Extravaganza"

1:30 p.m. Jane Fortune, author, "To Florence, Con Amore"

2 p.m. Dick Wolfsie, author and humorist, "Mornings with Barney and Indiana Curiosities"

2:30 p.m. Terry Border, author and artist, "Bent Objects"

3 p.m. Ingrid Cummings, author and journalist, "the Vigorous Mind: How to Cross-train Your Brain and Why it Matters"

Friday, October 16, 2009

IHS, Storytelling Arts Sponsor Youth Writing Contest

The Indiana Historical Society and Storytelling Arts of Indiana are sponsoring "My Indiana Adventure: A Writing Contest." Children as young as five years old are invited to enter. Participants should write about an adventure they’ve experienced in the state of Indiana. It could be anything-–a special event, holiday celebration or day at the park. Maybe it happened at the Indiana State Fair or at a relative’s house. It could be something that happened at a museum, while watching a sporting event or even at school.

Stories should be no more than 500 words. First, second, and third-place winners will be invited to read their stories on Saturday, December 5, 2009, at the IHS's seventh annual Holiday Author Fair, sponsored by Verizon Wireless, at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis.

Stories must be postmarked by November 1 and mailed to:

My Indiana Adventure
Indiana Historical Society
Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center
450 West Ohio Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202-3269

Awards to be given include:

5 to 8 Years Old

First, second and third place: A signed copy of Evie Finds Her Family Tree and two tickets to a Storytelling Arts of Indiana event


First place: $20 gift certificate to Basile History Market
Second place: $15 gift certificate to Basile History Market
Third place: $10 gift certificate to Basile History Market

9 to 12 Years Old

First, second and third place: A signed copy of By Freedom’s Light and two tickets to a Storytelling Arts of Indiana event


First place: $20 gift certificate to Basile History Market
Second place: $15 gift certificate to Basile History Market
Third place: $10 gift certificate to Basile History Market

13 to 18 Years Old

First, second and third place: A signed copy of Going Over All the Hurdles: A Life of Oatess Archey and two tickets to a Storytelling Arts of Indiana event


First place: $20 gift certificate to Basile History Market
Second place: $15 gift certificate to Basile History Market
Third place: $10 gift certificate to Basile History Market

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

IHS Press Author Earl Conn Dies

IHS Press author Earl L. Conn, 82, passed away Sunday, September 20, 2009 at Ball Memorial Hospital.

Conn, the author of two IHS Press books, My Indiana: 101 Places to See and My Indiana: 101 More Places to See, was born August 12, 1927 in Marion, Indiana, the son of Wayne and Mildred Conn. He graduated from Marion High School in 1945 and received a bachelor of arts from the University of Kentucky in 1950. He earned a master of arts degree from Ball State University in 1957 and a doctor of education degree from Indiana University in 1970.

Conn became a sportswriter for The Chronicle in Marion, Indiana, in 1943 while still in high school. In 1945 he joined the U.S. Navy and was a military staff writer from 1945 to 1946. After his service ended, he worked for United Press wire service in its Louisville bureau from 1950 to 1951. In 1951 his U.S. Air Force Reserve Unit was called to active duty and he served once again as a military staff writer from 1951 to 1952.

After completing this term of duty, Earl returned to Indiana to work at the Leader-Tribune in Marion as wire editor. In 1954 he began a high school teaching career at Somerset High School followed by Richmond High School. He joined the faculty at Ball State University in 1958, teaching journalism and English as well as advising the Orient yearbook. He resigned in 1962 to become full-time editor of Quaker Life magazine, a publication he helped found in 1960. In 1963 Conn returned to Ball State as assistant director of its Public Information Services before rejoining the faculty in 1965. During these years, he was also faculty adviser to the Daily News. He was named chair of the Department of Journalism in 1984, a position he held for twelve years. In 1996 he became the first Dean of the newly created College of Communication, Information, and Media and was inducted into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame in 1997.

In 1998 Conn retired from Ball State as Dean Emeritus and returned to his writing career. He began an Indiana travel column, "Traveling Indiana," which has appeared in five Indiana newspapers. He has written six books, including Beneficence: Stories About the Ball Families of Muncie; essays for Painting Indiana; and a history of Ball State University's Administration Building. He also co-authored Effective Business Writing: Write Tight and Right. He wrote for a number of periodicals, including the Saturday Evening Post. As a reporter, one of the highlights of his career was attending and reporting on the March on Washington in August 1963 when Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "I Have A Dream" speech. Conn was one of the founders of the Midwest Writers Workshop and continued to play an integral role in it until his death.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Wander Indiana with New IHS Press Book

As a follow-up to Earl Conn's popular travel book My Indiana: 101 Places to See, published in 2006, the Indiana Historical Society Press is pleased to announce the publication of My Indiana: 101 More Places to See.

The sites in My Indiana: 101 More Places to See are a mixture of highly visible Hoosier travel destinations and many tucked in nooks and corners around the state--museums, state parks, historic sites, monuments, recreation areas, and other attractions--that beckon to tourists. Written in a conversational style, the book offers opinions on each destination from a visitor's perspective.

Handsomely illustrated with approximately 300 color photos taken by the author, the paperback book includes detailed route descriptions, travel information, local contact information, and attraction fees. Each site is presented in a two-page spread, allowing easy reference as the traveler navigates the state's front roads, back roads, and cross roads.

Whether looking for well-known locations or those off the beaten path, the traveler will find this guide a handy tool and an invaluable companion on tours across the Hoosier State.

Conn, dean emeritus, Collection of Communication, Information and Media, Ball State University, is a well-known writer and columnist. He has written a column called "Traveling Indiana" in the Muncie Star Press since 1998.

My Indiana: 101 More Places to See costs $19.95. The book is available from the Indiana Historical Society's History Market.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Summer 2009 Traces Ready

The summer 2009 issue of the Indiana Historical Society Press's popular history magazine Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History will be in members' mailboxes soon.

The issue features two articles exploring the 1940 presidential campaign of Hoosier Wendell Willkie. Conrad C. Lane, Ball State University emeritus professor, remembers Willkie's famous visit to his hometown of Elwood to formally accept the Republican presidential nomination. Lane, who was nine years old at the time, tried to attend Willkie's speech with his mother, but the heat on that oppressive August day was too much.

In addition, Edward Allan Brawley, professor emeritus of social work at Arizona State University, examines the role former Socialist Party stalwart Robert Hunter played in advising Willkie during the candidate's effort to stop incumbent President Franklin D. Roosevelt from winning a third term in office.

Other articles in the quarterly magazine include a look at the role the Thirty-fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment played in the Battle of Pamito Ranch, the last engagement of the Civil War; a history of private toll roads in Indiana; and African American art in the collection of the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Traces is an award-winning popular history magazine published quarterly as a benefit of membership in the IHS. Conceived as a means of bringing to the public good narrative and analytical history about Indiana in its broader contexts of region and nation, the magazine since 1989 has explored the lives of artists, writers, politicians, performers, soldiers, entrepreneurs, homemakers, reformers, and naturalists.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Interview with IHS Press Children's Author

As a young girl growing up in in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, a small town near Cleveland, IHS Press author Elizabeth O'Maley, who wrote the new book By Freedom's Light, discovered an interest in both history and writing when she won a fourth grade essay contest sponsored by the local historical society.

A graduate of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, O'Maley worked after college as a school psychologist in Cincinnati, Louisville, Indianapolis, and Fort Wayne. While her four children were growing up, she taught Sunday school classes at Unity Christ Church and also volunteered as a docent at the Lincoln Museum.

O'Maley took some time recently to answer questions about her new book.

What drew you to write about this subject?

We have relatives in Richmond, Indiana, and always drove by the Levi Coffin house on our way there from our home in Fort Wayne. One day I got a copy of Reminiscences of Levi Coffin from our library. It was the original 1876 edition, and I found it very exciting holding this old book and hearing the voice that spoke from it, while knowing that many of the events described happened right there at that house.

In researching your character, Sarah Caldwell, did you draw upon any real-life people?

Not directly. I did a lot of research on the setting in which I placed Sarah--on the Underground Railroad, Levi Coffin, pioneer life in Indiana, etc. But I created Sarah somewhat apart from the time and place, with basic characteristics and disposition that could just as easily identify a child today. Her personality and background grew in my mind until she became very real to me. Then I dropped her into Newport, Indiana, in 1842 and watched her react to that environment and the people and situations I threw her way.

What did you learn about the Underground Railroad that you did not know before beginning this project?

Well, one surprising fact I encountered was that not one of the runaways that Levi Coffin helped in Newport was ever captured. That's a remarkable record of success considering how ruthlessly they were hunted down. It's also surprising that despite the many threats against him, Levi Coffin was never physically assaulted nor did any of the slave hunters ever gain entry to his home. Maybe that's because he never resorted to violence himself, but instead relied on his quick wits, knowledge of the law, and commanding presence, a self-assured bearing that was probably born of his strong sense of moral authority.

Do you enjoy writing for children and young adults?

Yes. I enjoy trying to communicate my own enthusiasms and viewpoints to children and young adults, and writing is the best medium for me. I'm a terrible speaker!

What are you working on now?

I've been working on a book concerning the collision of the Native American and white cultures in this area from the time of the American Revolution until the Indians were finally removed in the 1840s. The stories of the people and events of that era are full of color and drama. Very exciting stuff, and like Levi Coffin and the Underground Railroad, it happened right here in our own backyard! A bit further afield, I've also been doing some research and thinking about Grace O'Malley, the Irish pirate queen of the sixteenth century.

By Freedom's Light is available in hardback for $15.95 and in paperback for $7.95. The book is available from the Indiana Historical Society's History Market.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

IHS Press Title Named Finalist in Best Books Contest

The IHS Press publication The Ripest Moments: A Southern Indiana Childhood, a memoir by Norbert Krapf, has been named as a finalist in the nonfiction--historical/biographical category of the 2009 Best Books of Indiana Contest sponsored by the Indiana Center for the Book.

The titles of all former, current and future Best Books finalists will be featured in the State Library's Indiana Authors Room indefinitely. In addition, each category winner will be engraved on a plaque placed in the Indiana Authors Room. Also, three copies of each 2009 contest entry have been added to the State Library's collections. One of the copies will circulate; the other two copies are available to all Hoosiers at the State Library and via interlibrary loan at their local public library.

The winners of the 2009 Best Books of Indiana Contest will be announced at an awards ceremony taking place on Saturday, August 29, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. (EDT) at the Indiana State Library in Indianapolis. A reception will follow the event with refreshments and light hors d'oeuvres.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A Day of Poetry

Norbert Krapf, Indiana Poet Laureate and author of the IHS Press book The Ripest Moments: A Southern Indiana Childhood, will join other Hoosier poets in a special program "Indiana Poets: Words on Wings," from noon to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, August 29, at the Indiana State Library and Historical Building, 315 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis. The program is sponsored by the Indiana Historical Bureau.

Other poets include Joyce Brinkman, who served as Indiana's poet laureate from 2002-2008; Ruthelen Burns; Mitchell L. H. Douglas; Tasha Jones, reading from her just released Poet 24/7; Karen Kovacik; David Schumate; and Elizabeth Weber.

The poets will be available after readings to sign books, being sold at a 20% discount in the Indiana Historical Bureau Book Shop (Room 130).

For more information on the event, contact Matt Allison at (317) 232-2535, or mallison@history.IN.gov.

Monday, August 03, 2009

IHS Press Releases New Children's Book

In By Freedom's Light, a historical novel for children and young adults, child psychologist Elizabeth O'Maley gives readers a glimpse of frontier life. From the harshness of a crude farm wrested from a forested wilderness, readers will hear authentic voices of a revival preacher, a country doctor, a famous orator, Quakers, runaway slaves, slave traders, and well-known abolitionists. Here they will experience both the stark realities of a slave society as well as the redeeming acts of a brave few who helped enslaved black people escape to freedom.

To thirteen-year-old Sarah Caldwell, everything in Indiana is dark—the bug-filled cabin, the woods engulfing the farm, and especially the future. She is far from her beloved sister, Rachel, who stayed in North Carolina when their family moved. Their widowed father has married Eliza, a young Quaker schoolteacher, and Sarah has just discovered that Eliza is an abolitionist! Sarah believes she must tell her father about the secret, unlawful activities Eliza’s sewing circle performs at Levi and Catherine Coffin’s home.

Yet when Sarah learns her sister will be visiting Indiana with her husband and baby, happiness and anticipation overcome her concern about Eliza. Rachel’s family soon arrives, bringing Polly, a slave girl about Sarah’s age. Thrown together to do farm chores and look after Rachel’s baby, the two girls, white and black, free and enslaved, slowly develop a friendship. Between Polly’s company and that of her extended family, Sarah’s world brightens.

Meanwhile, Sarah begins to question her beliefs about slavery. When bounty hunters nearly kidnap Polly, Sarah worries for her safety. Tensions mount within the cramped household as it appears that her brother-in-law may trade Polly’s future for his family’s prosperity.

By Freedom's Light is available in hardback for $15.95 and in paperback for $7.95. The book is available from the Indiana Historical Society's History Market.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Archey Biography Receives High Marks

John A. Beineke's book Going over all the Hurdles: A Life of Oatess Archey, has been named an "Outstanding Title" in the 2009 edition of The University Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries, an annual collection development tool published for two divisions of the American Library Association: the American Association of School Librarians and the Public Library Association.

Sabrina Carnesi of the AASL wrote about the book: "The biography of a college track star who, with a university degree, had to take a custodial job with his hometown school system, due to racism, before later rising to become a beloved teacher, coach, sheriff, and FBI agent. The word 'hurdles' is both literal and symbolic. It represents the hurdles Archey had to master in his college track career and the hurdles he had to overcome in life."

Beineke was born in Indianapolis and grew up in Marion, Indiana. His undergraduate degree in social studies was from Marion College, now Indiana Wesleyan University, and his masters and doctoral degrees were from Ball State University in education and history.

Beineke has been a public school teacher, a college professor and administrator, and a program director in leadership and education at the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. He is currently dean of the College of Education and a professor of educational leadership and curriculum and also professor of history at Arkansas State University.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Blog Reviews Vietnam Book

Author Cym Lowell has written a review of the IHS Press book "To Bear Any Burden": A Hoosier Green Beret's Letters from Vietnam on his blog.

From 1968 to 1969, Daniel H. FitzGibbon, a Columbus, Indiana, native, graduate of West Point, and today an Indianapolis attorney, served as a captain with the Fifth Special Forces in South Vietnam. During his time in country, FitzGibbon wrote letters to his parents back home in Columbus about his experiences running two Special Forces A team camps, one located in the north central portion of South Vietnam, and the other near the country's border with Cambodia.

FitzGibbon's letters were saved by his mother and were given back to the veteran, who typed and copied them for his children so they would know "what Daddy did in the war."

Thursday, July 02, 2009

IHS Press Authors Nominated for Honor

Two Indiana Historical Society Press authors, James H. Madison and Susan Neville, have been nominated as finalists in the inaugural Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award.

This new award seeks to recognize the contributions of Indiana authors to the literary landscape in Indiana and across the nation by the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library Foundation, and is funded by the generosity of The Glick Fund, a fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation.

Nominations were submitted from across the state in early spring. Any published writer who was born in Indiana or has lived in Indiana for at least five years was eligible. A seven-member, statewide Award Panel selected the national winner and finalists in three categories from the pool of publicly nominated authors:

• National Author - $10,000 prize: a writer with Indiana ties, but whose work is known and read throughout the country. National authors were evaluated on their entire body of work. Winner: James Alexander Thom; Finalists: Scott Russell Sanders and Margaret McMullan

• Regional Author - $7,500 prize: A writer who is well-known and respected throughout the state of Indiana. Regional authors were evaluated on their entire body of work.Finalists: Jared Carter, Madison, and Neville

• Emerging Author - $5,000 prize: A writer with only one published book. Emerging authors were evaluated on their single published work. Finalists: Kathleen Hughes, Christine Montross, and Greg Schwipps.

Award finalists in all three categories will be honored on September 26, 2009 at the Central Library in downtown Indianapolis. The day’s events will include free public programming such as author lectures, “how to get published” workshops for aspiring writers, and more. An award dinner/fund raiser benefiting the Library Foundation will follow that evening where the winner of the Regional Author and Emerging Author categories will each be named. Thom will serve as the dinner’s keynote speaker. Ticket information for the award dinner is available by contacting the Library Foundation at (317) 275-4700 or by visiting www.indianaauthorsaward.org.

Madison is the author of the IHS Press books Eli Lilly: A Life, 1885-1977, Indiana through Tradition and Change: A history of the Hoosier State and its People, 1920-1945, and The Indiana Way: A State History (co-published with Indiana University Press). Neville wrote the IHS Press publication Twilight in Arcadia: Tobacco Farming in Indiana. Madison, Neville, and Carter have also written for the IHS Press's popular history magazine Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bass Photo Book Receives Honor

The Indiana Historical Society Press book Indianapolis: The Bass Photo Company Collection, written by Susan Sutton, has been named as one of three finalists in the 2009 Benjamin Franklin Awards competition in the Regional category. The awards are sponsored by the Independent Book Publishers Association.

The 2009 Benjamin Franklin Award winner will be chosen from one of the three finalists and will receive the Benjamin Franklin Award during a ceremony on Thursday evening, May 28, 2009 at the Roosevelt Hotel, New York located at 45th and Madison in New York City.

Named in honor of America's most cherished publisher/printer, the Benjamin Franklin Awards recognizes excellence in independent publishing. Publications, grouped by genre are judged on editorial and design merit by top practitioners in each field.

Indianapolis: The Bass Photo Company Collection contains 183 photos selected from the vast Bass Photo Company Collection. The assorted images depict Indianapolis in good times and bad and provide a visual link to the city's past. Many of the images are so vivid that one can almost hear the clang of a trolley, the click of horse hooves, the roar of engines, and the din in the streets filled with bustling pedestrians. Included in the volume are nostalgic images of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, leisure activities, individual portraits, street scenes, Monument Circle, a parade of returning World War I soldiers, the Indianapolis Home Show, transportation, and architecture

Thursday, March 12, 2009

IHS Press Titles Nominated for Awards

Three books published by the Indiana Historical Society Press are finalists in ForeWord Magazine's 2008 Book of the Year Awards. More than 1,400 books were entered in 61 categories. These were narrowed to 668 finalists from 376 publishers. These books represent some of the best work coming from today's independent press community.

The IHS Press books in the competition and their categories are:

* Red Skelton: The Mask behind the Mask by Wes D. Gehring, Biography

* Alone: The Journey of the Boy Sims by Alan K. Garinger, Juvenile nonfiction

* Going over all the Hurdles: A Life of Oatess Archey by John A. Beineke, young adult nonfiction

The winners will be determined by a panel of librarians and booksellers, selected from the magazine's readership. Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners, as well as Editor's Choice Prizes for Fiction and Nonfiction will be announced at a special program at BookExpo America at the Javits Center in New York City on May 29. The winners of the two Editor's Choice Prizes will be awarded $1,500 each. The ceremony is open to all BEA attendees.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Small Press Month Workshop

March is Small Press Month and you are invited to learn more about publishing opportunities in Indiana by participating in a "How to Get Published" workshop from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7, 2009, at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, 450 W. Ohio Street, Indianapolis.

Three Hoosier small presses--the Indiana Historical Society Press, Indiana University Press, and Hawthorne Publishing--will be involved in the program. Ray Boomhower and Teresa Baer from the IHS Press, Nancy Baxter from Hawthorne Publishing, and Janet Rabinowitch from IU Press will give their insight on small press trends. You will learn about what these publishers focus on and what they and other small presses have to offer writers.

Participants will also explore how the process works and what they need to consider when approaching a press with a book idea or manuscript. Participants will receive complimentary magazine and book copies and will be entered to win additional prizes.

The cost for attending the workshop is $15; $12 for IHS members. Reservations are required as seating is limited. To make a reservation, call the Society at (317) 232-1882.

Small Press Month is a nationwide celebration highlighting the valuable work produced by independent publishers. Held annually in March, Small Press Month raises awareness about the need for broader venues of literary expression. From March 1 to 31, independent, literary events will take place from coast-to-coast, showcasing some of the most diverse, exciting, and significant voices being published today.

As best-selling author Sherman Alexie—the face of this year's Small Press Month Poster—states: "The small presses represent what is most brave, crazy and beautiful about our country and our literature. So let us all sing honor songs for the independent publishers."

Small Press Month, now in its thirteenth year, is a grass-roots effort co-sponsored by: the New York Center for Independent Publishing, the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, and the Independent Book Publishers Association.