As I’ve noted elsewhere, writers and journalists are funny about contests and awards. We go out of our way to pretend they don’t matter, and that we don’t care. But you don’t have to scratch too far below the surface to find that we’re just like anyone else when it comes to things like this: Whether or not it means anything, and whether or not we’ll admit it, we all think winning stuff is fun.
And so I am honored and excited to report that “Step It Up and Go” has picked up a little figurative hardware in the 2021 Eric Hoffer Awards, given out for “Excellence in Independent Publishing.” My book came in at First Runner-Up in the Hoffer’s “Culture” category, right behind the winning 2021 entrant “The Doctor Who Fooled the World” by Brian Deer (John Hopkins University Press). “Step It Up and Go” also made this year’s Hoffer Grand Prize Short List. The judge’s note in The US Review of Books reads:
Started in 2000, the Hoffer Awards are in memory of the late American philosopher and author Eric Hoffer. Their stated mission is “to honor freethinking writers and independent books of exceptional merit” published on small, academic and independent presses. This is the second time I’ve won a Hoffer Award, after a culture-category “Honorable Mention” for 2012’s “Ryan Adams: Losering, A Story of Whiskeytown.” But First Runner-Up is a step higher than Honorable Mention, so maybe I’ll get to the top someday!