To Imogene, a Flagstaff Love Letter, released in September 2019 by Soulstice Publishing, has been chosen as one of four 2020 finalists in the Independent Book Publishers Association’s (IBPA) Benjamin Franklin Awards in the Best First Nonfiction Book category.
This book about Flagstaff’s obsession with a Colorado mountain race features contributions from more than 70 Flagstaffians. As they share their personal experiences with the 17.1-mile Imogene Pass Run that links the towns of Ouray and Telluride, Colorado, the love-letter approach captures emotional relationships with loved ones, fierce competitive and personal challenges, bloody falls, humor, and above all, an enduring desire to connect with special people in a singular place.
“We’ve been so proud to see this book that celebrates the Flagstaff running community reach its audience over the past seven months,” said Myles Schrag, who along with Julie Hammonds co-edited To Imogene and co-founded Soulstice Publishing. “The chance to be a gold winner at IBPA is validation for the multifaceted beauty of this book—its message, its visuals, its heart and soul—that Flagstaffians made happen.”
The IBPA, with more than 3,200 members, is the largest independent publishing association in the United States. Across all categories, almost 1,700 entries were submitted to the annual contest; fewer than 10 percent were chosen as silver-medal finalists. The gold-medal winners in each category will be announced in May. The awards banquet was to be held April 4 in Redondo Beach, California, during the annual IBPA conference before it was canceled due to the coronavirus.
“As we watch To Imogene reach readers, we’re also excited to bring new books to market this year, including one by Flagstaff photographer George Breed called Walking Flagstaff,” Julie added.
Soulstice Publishing is celebrating the honor by letting online customers who buy this special book choose a free sticker. Soulstice created five stickers from illustrations found in the book, as well as high-quality prints of watercolors painted for the book’s cover and interior by Flagstaff runner/painter Linda Sherman.