Winning the Ferguson Kansas History Book Award

Gail Lee Martin Received an Award in 2010 for Her Childhood Memories

Each fall, the Kansas Authors Club announces winners for various book awards at their annual convention. One of the awards given is the Ferguson Kansas History Book Award.

Gail wrote about it:

I usually attend with my daughter, Cynthia Ross, but not this year. At 86, I felt the trip and activities would be too wearing for me. I missed out on the thrill of a lifetime, and so it was my daughter who walked down the aisle to accept for me the Ferguson Kansas History Award for My Flint Hills Childhood.

Another daughter, Virginia Allain worked closely with me on the editing, selection of photos and arranging the essays. She said it was a thrill, not just for the author, but also for her when the memoir won the award.

The selection of My Flint Hills Childhood: Growing up in 1930s Kansas validated all the hard work that the two of us put into the book. The writing was all Gail Lee Martin, but the packaging of those essays into a book was my daughter’s project. I’m still beaming with pride over this award and my daughter says she is as well.

What the Ferguson Book Award Judges Are Looking for…

 A book by a Kansas resident (KAC members and non-members) on the subject of Kansas History. It can be a history of the state, a county, a city, church, school, institution, an industry, a way of life or a factual account of any phase of Kansas history. NO FICTION. NOT A GENEALOGY.

The entry must have been published within the two years prior to June 1 of the current year. The book may be either privately or commercially published. It must be the original work of the entrant, a minimum of 5,000 words, and must make a significant contribution to Kansas history.

Read the official rules for the Book Award at the Kansas Author Club website.

Some Background on the Award

The Ferguson Award was created in 2000 by KAC member Patricia Ferguson. Ferguson was the President of the Kansas Authors Club from 2002-2003 and Vice President from 2000-2001. The Award was intended to fill the gap created when the Lyons History Book Award ended with the death of founder Ruth Lyons. Ferguson administered another history contest for KAC, The Coffin Book Award, and thought the new Award should focus on Kansas history.

The winners of the original Lyons History Book Award and the Ferguson Kansas History Book Award are archived in the Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. As of 2017, only 9 of the awards have been given.


2008-08-17 gail and ks photos 159

Gail’s daughter, Cynthia Ross at the KAC convention



Comments from other writers:

Lolly J. of Kansas –What a joy to work as a team to create a book, and to share the thrill of winning a book award!!
Congrats to all concerned. I’m always so happy when histories and memories are recorded for future generations.

Granny Sage – This is awesome for several reasons. First of all to be able to share your writing with your family and have books published together. Secondly, to keep a record of the history of the area you grew up in. I know the work that must have gone into that. And third, but not least, winning an award for your writing. A long time ago I won first prize in the Kansas Authors Club writing contest for an article I wrote on Mother Teresa. I know the thrill of walking up to get your award and the humble feeling that someone actually read and liked what you wrote.

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