Author Archives: cmaidment

Announcing the 2019 Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award Winners

KC Library Executive Director Crosby Kemper welcomed guests and authors to the 2019 Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award luncheon on October 5. Author Carey Gillam delivered a captivating keynote address with an informative question and answer session regarding her award-winning book, Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruptio of Science, which delves into the Monsanto and Roundup lawsuits linked to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and related cancers.

The 2019 Thorpe Menn award was presented to Robert F. Sommer for his book, Losing Francis: Essays on the Wars at Home. First and second runner-ups, respecitvely, Pat Daneman for her book of poetry, After All and Barbara Loots for Windshift.

Special thanks to presenter and storyteller Anita K. Parran, president of KK Charles Communications and Thorpe Menn Event Committee member; Reading and Event committees; the attentive staff of the Kansas City Public Library; and table hosts and volunteers.

We are already making plans for the 42nd annual event set for October 2020 go to the “Events” tab for guidelines and instructions. The deadline for nominations is May 1, 2020.

Empowering Working Women in Kansas and Missouri

Learn to negotiate your financial future through an AAUW Work Smart Salary Negotiation Workshop!

Whether you are negotiating for a new job or an earned raise or promotion, in every workshop you will gain confidence to:

  • Identify and articulate your personal value
  • Develop an arsenal of persuasive responses and other negotiation strategies
  • Conduct objective market research to benchmark a target salary and benefits

Why is negotiation so important? AAUW’s research on the gender pay gap shows that, one year out of college, women are already paid significantly less than men. Women who work full time take home 80 cents for every dollar a full-time male worker is paid. And over a lifetime, those lost potential earnings add up.

Women who negotiate increase their potential to earn higher salaries and better benefits packages. By negotiating fair and equitable salaries, you’ll be better able to pay off loans, buy the things you want and need, and even save for retirement.

A Collaborative Initiative

AAUW, the Women’s Foundation, and Kansas City’s Mayor Sly James launched the first phase of an initiative to empower 1 million women to successfully negotiate salary and benefits and close the gender pay gap in both Kansas and Missouri. The initiative will begin in Kansas City, where the overall gender pay ratio for the Kansas City metro area is 79 percent (a 21 percent gap).

In 2017, median annual earnings for men in Kansas were $49,267 compared to $37,931 for women — an earnings ratio of 77 percent, or 42nd out of all states and the District of Columbia, according to the most recent census data. In Missouri, median annual earnings for men were $47,436 compared to $37,339 for women — an earnings ratio of 79 percent, or 34th out of all states and the District of Columbia. And for many women, the pay gap is wider. This initiative will build momentum to close these gaps.

Wagy Awards & Holiday Luncheon – Dec. 8 RECAP

Each year the Kansas City Branch of AAUW, through its Nettie Irene Van Der Veer Wagy fund, awards grants to local social service and cultural organizations for projects that support AAUW’s mission. In 2018, 28 organizations submitted letters of interest. All were interesting and worthy of support. The following were awarded grants at the 2018 Wagy Awards & Holiday Luncheon on December 8.

• Epic Inc.-The Grooming Project seeks to stabilize the lives of single mothers  by combining vocational training (pet grooming) with comprehensive support services such as parenting and budgeting.

• Gordon Parks Elementary School – For Girls on The Run for At-Risk Girls teaches life skills, such as teamwork, perseverance and hard work while training to run a 5k marathon. This grant purchases running shoes for girls in the third and fourth grade.

• Journey to New Life provides a path to success for women after incarceration. Funding goes to Journey House, a transitional housing facility for women after incarceration, for personal hygiene, education and medical and dental expenses.

• Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City – Improvement of Work Force Development for Women through Salary Negotiation Training – Using AAUW-developed curriculum “Work Smart”, the program helps women navigate the complexities of negotiating benefit packages, promotions, etc.

• Unicorn Theatre illuminates social issues through stories that include race, religion and gender identity. This years play, “The Wolves”, is a story of growth and girlhood.

These grants are provided through earnings from the Wagy Fund and donations. If you would like to make a donation for next year’s awards, please make your check payable to AAUW Wagy Fund/Amer01 and mail to: GKCCF (Greater Kansas City Community Foundation), Attn: LaVon Colhour, Manager of Corporate Services, 1055 Broadway Blvd., Suite 130, Kansas City, MO 64105.

2018 Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award Recap


Over 100 local authors and guests gathered at the Kansas City Central Library for the 40th Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award luncheon on October 6. The award was established in 1979 by AAUW-KC to honor Thorpe Menn, a longtime book editor at The Kansas City Star. He supported all aspects of Kansas City’s cultural life, especially local authors and artists.

The 2018 Thorpe Menn award was presented to Carey Gillam for her book, Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science. The first runner up was Maril Crabtree for her book of poetry, Fireflies in the Gathering Dark; and the second runner up was Jen Mann for My Lame Life: Queen of the Misfits.

Special thanks to award-winning author Loring Leifer who captivated the audience with her keynote address, “Confessions of a Collaborator: My Career as a Cold-Blooded Writer”; Crosby Kemper who welcomed everyone and spoke about the direction of the library and the true powers of women; and Genealogist and AAUW member Kathleen Brandt our presenter and storyteller for the day.

We are already making plans for our 41st annual event set for October 2019. If you would like to nominate an author, please go to the Thorpe Menn page under “Events” for guidelines and instructions. The deadline for nominations is May 1, 2019.

Congratulations to the 2018 Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award Nominees:
Mountain Lines: A Journey through the French Alps
Jonathan Arlan
Dark Side of the Museum
Randy Attwood
We Seek Asylum
Gustavo Adolfo Aybar
Well of the Three Sisters: A Presumption of Death
Ron Benedict
Changing the Tune: The Kansas City Women’s Jazz Festival, 1978-1985
Carolyn Glenn Brewer
Fireflies in the Gathering Dark
Maril Crabtree
Our Fathers: Making Black Men
Lewis W. Diuguid
Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science
Carey Gillam
The Servitude of Love
Diane Glancy
Diane Glancy
Murder Wears Mittens
Sally Goldenbaum
Fowl Language: The Struggle Is Real
Brian Gordon
A Storied Life: Tales of Toil & Grace
Ozella Hampton
The Great Puppy Invasion
Alastair Heim
Navigating a Life: Henry Bloch in World War II
John Herron and Mary Ann Wynkoop
Fairy Floss: The Sweet Story of Cotton Candy
Ann Ingalls
Mayor Sly and the Magic Bow Tie: A Kansas City Adventure
Aja James, Audrey Masoner and Mayor Sly James
Soaring With Vultures
Dan Kelly
Noelle: A Novel
Greg Kincaid
My Lame Life: Queen of the Misfits
Jen Mann
Working with People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Cantankerous Clients, Micromanaging Minions, and Other Supercilious Scourges
Jen Mann
Working with Really Stupid People: The Congregants
Cindy McDermott
One Hundred Years’ Journey: The Greenway Fields Neighborhood
Elizabeth Noble, Ph.D. and LaDene Morton
Feet of the Messenger
H.C. Palmer
Hemingway at Eighteen: The Pivotal Year That Launched an American Legend
Steve Paul
Last Call: The History of Kansas City’s CODA Jazz Fund
Steve Penn
As It Is, When It Was
Brandon Pomeroy
The Lost Tribes: Safe Harbor
Christine Taylor-Butler
Waking on the Moon
Alarie Tennille
To The Land of Opportunity: A Grandfather’s Journey
George Varghese, M.D.
Hidden History of Kansas
Adrian Zink