The Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award was established in 1979 by AAUW-KC to honor Thorpe Menn (1912-1979), long-time book editor of the Kansas City Star, who supported all aspects of Kansas City’s cultural life, especially authors and artists.
Recap of Past Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award Events
2015 Thorpe Menn Award goes to Barbara Stuber
The 2015 Literary Excellence Award was presented to Barbara Stuber for her book Girl In Reverse. The two finalists included Arlin Buyert for “Oh Say Can You See” and Alarie Tennille, Running Counterclockwise. Congratulations to all of the 26 nominated authors!
AAUW-KC honored Vivien Jennings, founder and president of Rainy Day Books, for over a decade of generous support of the Thorpe Menn Award. Special thanks to keynote speaker Maija Rhee Devine, noted Korean-born author and 2014 Thorpe Menn winner, and all of our table hostesses and volunteers.
2014 Thorpe Menn Award goes to Maija Rhee Devine
On October 4, 2014, the 36th annual Literary Excellence Award was presented to Maija Rhee Devine for her book The Voices of Heaven. The finalists were: Suzanne Kelly for Stolen Child and Deborah Shouse, Love in the Land of Dementia: Finding Hope in the Caregivers Journey. Congratulations to all of the 26 nominated authors!
AAUW-KC honored Crosby Kemper III for a decade of generous support of the Thorpe Menn Award – with his help we have been able to honor and recognize over 150 local authors.
Special thanks to keynote speaker Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star Editorial Columnist; Vivien Jennings and Roger Doeren of Rainy Day Books; and all of our table hostesses and volunteers.
2013 Thorpe Menn Award goes to Samuel Arbesman
The award was presented to Samuel Arbesman for his book The Half-Life of Facts. The finalists were: Hughes Keenan, The Harvest Is Past; and Debra McArthur, A Voice for Kanzas. Congratulations to all 17 nominated local authors!
“35 Authors: Where Are They Now?”, a special tribute to the past winners, was presented by guest speaker Vivien Jennings, president of Rainy Day Books. The tribute was a compilation of author interviews, research, and a video produced by event and reading committee members.
2012 Thorpe Menn Award goes to Candice Millard
Over 100 authors, members and guests gathered at the Central Library for the 34th Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award on October 6, 2012. The award was presented to Candice Millard for her book Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President.
The finalists for this year’s award were Carolyn Glenn Brewer for Caught Ever After – Children of the Ruskin Heights Tornado; and Andrea Warren, Charles Dickens and the Street Children of London.
Congratulations to all of the 2012 nominated local authors!
“Who Was Thorpe Menn?”, a theatrical performance, was presented as an homage to Thorpe Menn (1912–1979), longtime book editor of The Kansas City Star. We were honored to have his daughters, Gretchen Menn and Becky Menn-Hamblin in attendance, traveling from Virginia and Tennessee!
Watch the tribute performance at http://www.metacafe.com/watch/9251662/who_was_thorpe_menn/.
2011 Thorpe Menn Award goes to Christie Hodgen
The 2011 award went to Christie Hodgen for Elegies for the Brokenhearted. The finalists were Tasha Haas for Certain Dawn, Inevitable Dawn, and Barbara Stuber, Crossing the Tracks.
Candice Millard, distinguished local author, delivered the keynote address, and captivated the audience with details about her new book, The Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine & the Murder of a President.