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See below for the list of 2024 winners in the MEMOIR category, for books with a copyright date of 2023.

Drafted! My Year in Vietnam
2024 Gold Winner

Author: Morgan Miller

Publisher: W. Brand Publishing

ISBN: 9781956906820

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Miller's memoir vividly recounts his Vietnam journey, from grueling training to combat. He intimately describes the fear of being under fire, the moral conflicts of fighting a war he opposed, and the struggles of readjusting to civilian life. It's a poignant exploration of sacrifice, trauma, and the complexities of war.

The Fine Art of Camouflage
2024 Silver Winner

Author: Lauren Kay Johnson

Publisher: MilSpeak Books

ISBN: 9798985794168

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A powerful generational memoir of mother-daughter service, The Fine Art of Camouflage traces Lauren Kay Johnson’s coming-of-age against the backdrop of war—beginning with her mother's Army career and deployment in support of Operation Desert Storm when Lauren was seven years old, and later with her own service in Afghanistan.

Justice is Served: A Tale of Scallops, the Law, & Cooking for RGB
2024 Silver Winner

Author: Leslie Karst

Publisher: She Writes Press

ISBN: 9781647424589

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In this true-life Julie and Julia meets Notorious RBG mash-up, former attorney Leslie Karst recounts how finagling her way into hosting an intimate dinner party for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sends her on a journey of culinary discovery—and, ultimately, completely changes her life.

See below for the list of 2023 winners in the MEMOIR category, for books with a copyright date of 2022.

Dispatches from the Cowgirl: Through the Looking Glass with a Navy Diplomat’s Wife
2023 Gold Winner

Author: Julie Tully

Publisher: W. Brand Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-956906-26-4

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A cowgirl falls into Africa like Alice into Wonderland, unveiling the little-known world of an American military spouse serving amongst the world’s diplomatic corps. Part travelogue, part midlife coming-of-age story, Dispatches of the Cowgirl takes you to the Africa Julie Tully fell in love with and found hard to leave.

A Daughter's Kaddish: My Year of Grief, Devotion and Healing
2023 Silver Winner

Author: Sarah Birnbach

Publisher: Wonderwell

ISBN: 9781637560228

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A Daughter’s Kaddish recounts Sarah Birnbach’s year-long odyssey to say the Mourner’s Kaddish twice a day in synagogue after her father’s passing—despite vehement objections from her community due to her gender and a slew of heart-wrenching obstacles. Prepare to be inspired by this moving memoir of faith, grief, and transformation.

A Gentle Rain of Compassion: A Memoir
2023 Silver Winner

Author: David R. Shlim, MD

Publisher: Voyage, an imprint of Di Angelo Publications

ISBN: 978-1-955690-32-4

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Finding a fascinating medical practice in Kathmandu saved Dr. David Shlim’s career, but befriending a reincarnate Tibetan lama transformed his life. His book describes, in gripping detail, emotional medical encounters, new romances, and his travels to Nepal and Tibet as he begins to incorporate profound Buddhist teachings into his life.

See below for the list of 2022 winners in the MEMOIR category, for books with a copyright date of 2021. 

*Note: In 2022 the Autobiography & Memoir category was changed to Memoir. For autobiographies, please see the Biography & Autobiography category.

Life Lived Wild: Adventures at the Edge of the Map
2022 Gold Winner

Author: Rick Ridgeway

Publisher: Patagonia

ISBN: 9781938340994

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Rick Ridgeway calculates that he’s spent over five years of his life sleeping in tents: “Small tents pitched in the world’s most remote regions.” Whether at elevation or raising a family at sea level, those years taught him, he writes, “to distinguish matters of consequence from matters of inconsequence.”

Lineage: Life and Love and Six Generations in California Wine
2022 Silver Winner

Author: Steven Kent Mirassou

Publisher: Val de Grace Books

ISBN: 978-0-9848849-5-7

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In Lineage, author/winemaker Steven Kent Mirassou takes us deep into the heart and soul of crafting fine wines, a process that he describes, eloquently, as “the true north of civilization.” The result is a fabulous read and a unique contribution to the literature of American wine.

The Night We Landed on the Moon: Essays Between Exile & Belonging
2022 Silver Winner

Author: Debra Marquart

Publisher: North Dakota State University Press

ISBN: 978-1-946163-36-3

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Marquart’s essays explores the seemingly irresolvable dilemma of the restless homebody. Marquart works out the tensions between divergent impulses—the restlessness in the feet to always move forward into the world, mixed with the opposing desire to turn around, look back, and sometimes even settle in and claim to belong.

See below for the list of 2021 winners in the AUTOBIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR category, for books with a copyright date of 2020. Click here to watch the Gold and Silver winner speeches.

Accused War Criminal: An American Kempei Tai Survivor
2021 Gold Winner

Author: Fiske Hanley II

Publisher: Brown Books Publishing Group

ISBN: 978-1-61254-427-4

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In this powerful memoir, Fiske Hanley recounts his experiences in World War II. From his commissioning into the US Army as a second lieutenant, to his capture and imprisonment in Japanese Kempei Tai prison camp, all the way through his rescue and recovery, this account from a surviving American POW amazes, humbles, and touches the reader with its honesty and vibrancy.

Love, Life, and Lucille: Lessons Learned from a Centenarian
2021 Silver Winner

Author: Judy Gaman

Publisher: She Writes Press

ISBN: 978-1-63152-882-8

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Judy was a third-generation workaholic. While writing a book on longevity, Judy interviewed Lucille, an elegant and spirited centenarian. What began as an interview, transformed into an inseparable bond. When Lucille’s life ended through unfortunate circumstances, the very first lesson Lucille taught Judy proved to be the most important one.

Prozac Monologues: A Voice from the Edge
2021 Silver Winner

Author: Willa Goodfellow

Publisher: She Writes Press

ISBN: 978-1-63152-731-9

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She was going to stab her doctor, but she wrote a book instead. Years later, Willa Goodfellow revisits her account of the antidepressant-induced hypomania that hijacked her Costa Rican vacation and tells the rest of the story: her misdiagnosis of Bipolar 2, how she’d been given the wrong medications, and finally, her process of recovery.


See below for the list of 2020 winners in the AUTOBIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR category, for books with a copyright date of 2019.

Survivor's Obligation: Navigating an Intentional Life
2020 Gold Winner

Authors: Chris Stricklin and Joel Neeb

Publisher: Elva Resa Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-934617-47-2

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Two men share their survival stories and how their experiences transformed the way they live. Will inspire you to make the most of each day!

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Designing Victory: The Architect Who Dared, Dreamed, and Achieved International Acclaim
2020 Silver Winner

Author: Robert P. Madison with Carlo Wolff

Publisher: Act 3 LLC

ISBN: 978-0-578-43745-3

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In his 96th year, a slave’s great-grandson recalls victories he designed over stifling bigotry, Nazism, and all who claim he will not succeed in architecture. How wrong they were.

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Hippie Chick: Coming of Age in the '60s
2020 Silver Winner

Author: Ilene English

Publisher: She Writes Press

ISBN: 978-1-63152-586-5

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We are brought along on one young woman’s deeply personal journey through the earliest days of sexual freedom, psychedelic drugs, jazz and rock ‘n roll.

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Out of the Shadow of 9/11: An Inspiring Tale of Escape and Transformation
2020 Silver Winner

Author: Christina Ray Stanton

Publisher: Loving All Nations Press

ISBN: 978-1-73374-520-8

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A longtime local living blocks from Ground Zero, the author shares her story of 9/11 and her intimate journey to physical, emotional, and spiritual recovery.

About the
Independent Book Publishers Association

Founded to support independent publishers nationwide, the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) leads and serves the independent publishing community through advocacy, education, and tools for success. With over 3,200 members, IBPA is the largest independent publishing association in the U.S. Its vision is a world where every independent publisher has the access, knowledge, and tools needed to professionally engage in all aspects of an inclusive publishing industry.


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