My IPPY Gold Book Award — Celebrating High Above Chicago


Veda Stamps ("Flexible Wings," IMO Books), barbara Newhall ("Wrestling with God"), Laura A. Ackley ("San Francisco's Jewel City," Heyday), Aleta George ("Ina CoolBrith," Shifting Plates Press) at IPPY awards 2016. Photo by Jon Newhall

Four California writers — Veda Stamps (“Flexible Wings,” IMO Books), Barbara Falconer Newhall (“Wrestling with God,” Patheos Press), Laura A. Ackley (“San Francisco’s Jewel City,” Heyday), Aleta George (“Ina Coolbrith,” Shifting Plates Press) — IPPY winners all. Photo by Jon Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Hey, everybody. I’ve got my IPPY gold  medal in my hot little hands, and it’s a beaut. As many of you know, “Wrestling with God: Stories of Doubt and Faith” won a first prize — an Ippy — in the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards.

The  awards ceremony took place Tuesday evening at the Skydeck on the 99th floor of Chicago’s  — very tall — Willis Tower. And since Jon and I planned to be in the Midwest paying our brand-new granddaughter a visit, we decided to swing by Chicago to pick up the gold and drink a little self-congratulatory toast with the other IPPY winners.

An IPPY gold medal, awarded to winners of the Independent Publishers Book Awards.

The Independent Publisher Book Awards has dozens of categories — 80 to be exact. “Wrestling with God” won first prize IPPY gold in the Religion Eastern – Western category.

The ceremony took place on the eve of the BookExpo America book publishing convention, which is being held in Chicago this year. Jon and I spent Wednesday at BookExpo checking out the new books — memoirs and God books for me, thrillers for Jon.


The IPPY award is not the same as the INDIEFAB award, btw. The latter is presented by Foreword Review, and WWG is still one of 16 finalists in its INDIEFAB category. Those results will be announced in Florida next month at the American Library Association convention.

Organizations like the Foreword Review and the Independent Publisher Book Awards run competitions and promotions for books from small publishers and self-published books. You have to pay to enter, but if you win, it definitely helps your book to stand out from the crowd.

Yippee. I’ve been needing a little encouragement in the “Wrestling with God” department, and here it is.

More missives from The Writing Room at “You’ve Got the Agent, You’ve Got the Publisher, but Do You Have the Publicist?”  Also, “Making Friends — Trying To — With the Dread Serial Comma.”

Authors from all over the world gathered to collect their Independent Publishers Book Awards for books published in 2015, at the Skydeck of Chicago's Willis Tower. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Authors from all over the world gathered in the Skydeck of Chicago’s Willis Tower to collect their Independent Publishers Book Awards for books published in 2015. Photo by Barbara Newhall

cover of paperback book proof Wrestling with God, Stories of Doubt and Faith, by Barbara Falconer Newhall. Patheos Press, 2015, won an IPPY gold first place in its category.




  1. Hi Barbara, I said it in person in Chicago and I’ll say it again. Congratulations!! It was so much fun to celebrate this award with you given that we workshopped our books early on with Linda Watanabe McFerrin. Cheers!! Aleta George

  2. Elaine wells says:

    Congratulations Barbara, you are most deserving. My friends and I have all enjoyed reading WWG.

  3. Yea you! I found your book quite interesting and provocative.

  4. congratulations! well-deserved.

  5. Cheryl McLaughlin says:

    Awesome, Barbara! You and “Wrestling with God” deserve it!

  6. Rich Wells says:

    Somehow I missed the notice that you won first place in the competition. Congratulations!!
    That is quite an accomplishment !

  7. Sue Watson says:

    I am so happy for you and proud to know you are my friend. It has been a fun experience watching you develop your book and learning the art of getting it published and marketed. Looking forward to your next effort.

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