Midwest Bookseller of the Year Award

Celebrating booksellers who have made an extraordinary impact on their community

The Midwest Bookseller of the Year award is an annual award that celebrates a bookseller who had an extraordinary impact on their community within the previous year. 

This year's winner will be announced in October and celebrated at our annual membership meeting on October 27.

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Past Winners
Schwesnedl Photo
Angela and Jamie Schwesnedl, owners of Moon Palace Books

‚ÄčAt our annual membership meeting on October 26, Danny Caine, owner of Raven Book Store, granted the Midwest Bookseller of the Year award to Angela and Jamie Schwesnedl, owners of Moon Palace Books. As Danny said, "It’s not just that I’ve never heard anyone say a critical word about Minneapolis’ Moon Palace Books; it’s that I’ve never heard anyone say anything less than absolutely effusive."

Moon Palace's dedication to their community, in good times and bad, inspired not only those in the Twin Cities but countless people across the country. Read about Moon Palace Books' inspiring community impact here.

2019Caine Photo
Danny Caine, owner of The Raven Book Store

We celebrated the transformative role booksellers play in the world by granting the 2019 Midwest Bookseller of the Year award to an independent bookseller who had an extraordinary impact on their community, Danny Caine, owner of The Raven Book Store in Lawrence, Kansas. 

Running a successful independent bookstore involves so many moving parts, coordinating them all demands the skills of an orchestral conductor. But when a store gets it right, they find their voice and become a beacon for booksellers, publishers, authors, and readers locally and nationally. With Danny Caine as its owner, The Raven has found its voice and is using it to strengthen independent bookselling. Please read on to see why Danny is so deserving of this award.

2018Kissner Photo
Judith Kissner, owner of Scout & Morgan Books

The winner of the inaugural Midwest Bookseller of the Year award in 2018 was Judith Kissner, founder, owner, and bookseller at Scout & Morgan Books in Cambridge, Minnesota.
Our board reached this decision by asking our membership to nominate booksellers, then working directly with community members and industry professionals to create a detailed picture of their accomplishments. The effusive, detailed testimonials we received about Judith’s work are truly inspiring and demonstrate what it means to embody excellence as a bookseller.

"At a time when so many people are trying to comprehend the changes happening in communities of the rural Midwest, there are reasons for hope and optimism beaming through the front door of Judith's bookstore."

Read the complete article about Judith Kissner's accomplishments.