Thursday, June 17, 2021

Ava the Avocet: Storytime with Avani and Linzi

Avani and I love a good book. She and I are always reading and writing together--poems and lyrics, holiday tales, Little Golden Books, recipes, and more. 

This week was particularly fun, because we got to read Ava: A Year of Adventure in the Life of an American Avocet by Mandy Kern and Onalee Nicklin, the newest Meadowlark book, which will be released this Saturday! And now, we get to share that with you!                                                          -Linzi Garcia, Meadowlark publicist

Here's a little bit about the book:
Ava is an American Avocet, a breed of shorebird who leaves her home at the Laguna Madre and travels 1,000 miles to stay for a season at the largest wetland complex in the interior of the United States. Cheyenne Bottoms, in the middle of Kansas, is home to millions of birds who stop during their annual migrations in the spring and fall, as well as a diverse population of wildlife who make a home there year-round. As Ava meets her mate and starts a family, readers are introduced to one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet.

Read all of the details about the book, the Kansas Wetlands Education Center (who made this book possible), the author, and the illustrator here.

If you can make it to the Kansas Wetlands Education Center in Great Bend, KS, at 10 a.m. Saturday, the author will do a reading, the illustrator will be featured, and, for the older kids, Meadowlark author Julie Stielstra will be signing copies of Opulence, Kansas, too! What a day!

You can preorder your copy from the Meadowlark Bookstore, your favorite indie bookstore, or Amazon

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Two Meadowlark Titles Make High Plains Book Awards Finalists Lists

 2021 Finalists - High Plains Book Awards

Young Adult Book

First Book Category

Nominated books must have been published for the first time in 2020. Winners will receive a $500 cash prize. The winners will be announced at the awards banquet that is held in conjunction with the High Plains BookFest. The High Plains Book Awards banquet is planned to take place September 25, 2021 in Billings, Montana.

About the High Plains Book Awards
The High Plains Book Awards recognize regional authors and/or literary works which examine and reflect life on the High Plains including the US states of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, and Kansas, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.

The Billings Public Library Board of Directors first established the High Plains Book Awards in 2006. The High Plains Book Awards are now an independent nonprofit organization.

For more information about the High Plains Book Awards visit the website 

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Wednesday Excerpt - Kansas Poems Book Review & Poems

Kansas Poems by Brian Daldorph was recently reviewed by Sam Smith in The Journal: Issue #63. Below, for your reading pleasure, is an excerpt of the review, as well as a few of the poems mentioned in the review. Enjoy!

"His one page vignettes – lives of quiet desperation and small betrayals – tell of much that can only be in Kansas – fireflies, motels, Main Street, summer porches, memories of Vietnam, copperheads, scorpions, other uses made of cemeteries... But there are also odd resonances, for instance with Dylan Thomas – of prairie grasses “...might as well try to chain the sea.” Of others who went '...gently into that good night...' He tells of lives on hold, '...When nothing matters anyway / it might as well not matter here...' The Prodigal Son. A universality too - 

...Damn politicians never change,
 the old soldier knows that,
 they’ll sell you out for a penny,
 cut your heart out for ten. … 
                                              Old Soldier 

Whenever I find a poem that I believe perfect I want to share it with whoever is near me at that moment. This time it was Steph who got to hear me read out Brian's The Water Bottle. So on the money. Nor was it by a long shot the only one. Last Gasp Motel with its neo-Kerouacs; Andean Condors, Topeka Zoo, Kansas; and there's several on The Fossil Man; a few on the brutality inherent in American football... So much to broaden one's horizon. Get them as wide as Kansas?"



Sunday, May 30, 2021

Happy Bookiversary to Tyler Robert Sheldon and Driving Together!

It's been three years since we published Driving Together!

If it were a toddler, think of beautiful and troublesome things it would be getting up to.

Tyler made a video especially for this occasion. Thanks, Tyler!

Grab your own copy, or a copy for a friend, on sale here!

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Excerpt: The "Beginnings" issue of 105 Meadowlark Reader


April 2021

Dear Reader:

Here it is—the inaugural issue of 105 Meadowlark Reader! We are thrilled to have you along for the ride.  

When we began this new and exciting venture, Tracy and I set out to gather true Kansas stories and to highlight our many talented Kansas writers. Because our journal was going to seek contributions from Kansas writers, we wanted to publish stories that shared an authentic Kansas experience.

“Beginnings” seemed like an appropriate theme for this issue and between these covers you’ll find thirty-five stories written by Kansans and former Kansans. 

As you make your way through this journal, you’ll find a wide variety of writing styles and content: everything from the birth of calves to a study of William Stafford, from water skiing on a tiny lake to how to play two-man baseball. 

Over time, 105’s goal is to publish stories from across our rectangular map, stories with connections in each of the 105 counties. While the larger population centers will rush us with more submissions, we know that in each and every rural county there are countless writers with hands spreading ink across a page, heads bent over keyboards. We want to hear from all of you. 

105 is looking for a true diversity of beautiful Kansas voices. Please consider writing and submitting your own stories. We welcome storytellers of all levels of experience. We are looking for stories that capture an authentic experience written in your own unique voice.

The theme of our autumn issue is: Kansas Travel Stories. Visit our website for submission guidelines,

We want to help build and encourage a strong community of Kansas writers. Check out our directory of resources in the back. And please consider subscribing to 105 Meadowlark Reader. Be a part of this magnificent Kansas adventure. 

Tracy and I are excited to produce a journal that showcases Kansas writers and we are delighted to have you with us, dear reader. Thank you. 

                                                                                        Cheryl Unruh, Editor

Purchase your copy in the Meadowlark bookstore.

Julie Sellers is one of 35 authors in the first issue of 105 Meadowlark Reader.

Julie A. Sellers was raised on a family farm in the Flint Hills near the small town of Florence, Kansas, and she has always loved those unbounded expanses of tallgrass prairie. After living in several states and countries, Julie is happy to make her home in Atchison, Kansas, where she is an Associate Professor of Spanish at Benedictine College. Julie has published three academic books, and her creative prose and poetry has appeared in publications such as Cagibi, Eastern Iowa Review, Wanderlust and Kansas Time + Place. Julie was the Kansas Authors Club 2020 Prose Writer of the year. Her collection of poetry, Kindred Verse, is forthcoming from Blue Cedar Press in June 2021.

Also available at:

Flint Hills Books, Council Grove, Kansas

Raven Book Store, Lawrence, Kansas

Watermark Bookstore, Wichita, Kansas



Thursday, May 6, 2021

Meadowlark poet, JC Mehta, takes home 27 award wins!

Congratulations to Meadowlark Poet Jessica Mehta (2020 Birdy winner) on their recent award wins at the Human Relations Indie Book Awards

🌟 2021 Human Relations Cultural Awareness Book of the Year - The Wrong Kind of Indian (novel) (Wyatt Mackenzie Publishing)
🌟 Gold Winner (Cultural & Diversity category) - The Wrong Kind of Indian
🌟 Silver Winner (Cultural & Diversity) - Bad Indian (poetry) (Brick Mantel Books)
🌟 Gold Winner (Collection of Human Relations Indie Short Stories or Essays) - Gimme the Familiars (Musehick Publications)
🌟 Bronze Winner (Life Challenges) - You Look Something (Wyatt Mackenzie Publishing)
🌟 Gold Winner (General) - Gimme the Familiars
🌟 Gold Winner (Personal Determination) - You Look Something
🌟 Bronze Winner (Personal Determination) - Bad Indian
🌟 Gold Winner (Reflection) - Bad Indian
🌟 Gold Winner (Multicultural Realistic Fiction) - You Look Something
🌟 Honorable Mention (Multicultural Realistic Fiction) - The Wrong Kind of Indian
🌟 Gold Winner (Personal Challenge Poetry) - Secret-Telling Bones (The Operating System)
🌟 Bronze Winner (Personal Challenge Poetry) - Savagery (Airlie Press)
🌟 Honorable Mention (Personal Challenge Poetry) - Bad Indian
🌟 Honorable Mention (Personal Challenge Poetry) - Orygun (Tayen Lane Publisher)
🌟 Honorable Mention (Personal Challenge Poetry) - Drag Me Through the Mess (Unsolicited Press)
🌟 Honorable Mention (Personal Challenge Poetry) - Constellations of My Body (Musehick Publications)
🌟 Honorable Mention Winner (Personal Challenge Poetry) - Selected Poems: 2000-2020 (Meadowlark Books) (Look! That's us!)
🌟 Gold Winner (Tie) (Diversity Poetry) - Savagery
🌟 Gold Winner (Tie) (Diversity Poetry) - Orygun
🌟 Silver Winner (Diversity Poetry) - Bad Indian
🌟 Bronze Winner (Tie) (Diversity Poetry) - Drag Me Through the Mess
🌟 Bronze Winner (Tie) (Diversity Poetry) - Selected Poems: 2000-2020
🌟 Honorable Mention (Diversity Poetry) - Secret-Telling Bones
🌟 Honorable Mention (Diversity Poetry) - Constellations of my Body
🌟 Bronze Winner (Realistic Poetry) - Bad Indian
🌟 Honorable Mention (Realistic Poetry) - Selected Poems: 2000-2020

All of these books can be ordered at Jessica's website: There, you'll also find Jessica's upcoming events, a documentary about their life, audio and video recordings of Jessica reading, and more!