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Announcing the 2021 Discovery Awards Winners!

The 2021 winners are here, after a hard fought “battle of the books!”

The judges on the IRDA panel included top people in all areas of the publishing industry, in concert with IndieReader’s trusty reviewers.

Judging was based on the quality of writing and the originality of the story. There was a first, second and third place winner in each of the fiction and non-fiction categories, in addition to winners in various sub-categories.

Without further ado, IndieReaders, meet this year’s winners and see their acceptance speeches here!

Fiction Winners


Lilianne Milgrom

L’ORIGINE is a historical fiction novel based on the controversial painting of female genitalia and the often occurring hypocrisy and duality surrounding female sexuality and nudity. This imaginative tale is spun by Lilianne Milgrom, the only artist thus far to ever be granted permission to paint a copy of the infamous masterpiece. Besides being a work of art history, research, and fiction, the narrative is also a commentary on the evolution of how the female body has (or hasn’t) been viewed, portrayed, or appreciated in art and culture. 

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The Hiding Girl

Dorian Box

Not an ordinary coming-of-age tale, THE HIDING GIRL binds together diverse characters learning to trust again after undergoing past tragedies. Author Dorian Box wonderfully weaves together realistic dialogue with detailed descriptions that will leave readers emotional during the grim horrors and rooting for the bright moments throughout the story.

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Dana McSwain

ROSENEATH by Dana McSwain takes the reader on a journey of extreme light and dark, playing on nightmares and fears, mixed with the unexpected to create a sometimes uncomfortable but thoroughly gripping read. This is exactly what horror should be.

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Nonfiction Winners

Outside Looking In

Vivian M. Lumbard

There are no one-size-fits-all answers when it comes to raising kids–OUTSIDE LOOKING IN details the author’s experience raising twins; one living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Families with autistic members can empathize, and others will learn more about the challenges of every day living in a story that combines compassion, understanding, sympathy, and reality in one special book.

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CO Specs: Recipes & Histories of Classic Cocktails

Cas Oh

An A to Z guide of 200 time-honored cocktails–including forgotten classics like the Ampersand, the Bloodhound, and the Rattlesnake–this gorgeous edition blends the informational and practical by providing the history of each drink and an updated recipe that has been carefully balanced for the modern era. Dual parts recipe collection and history book, this sleek and stylish volume makes a fine addition to any library.

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When Force Meets Fate

Jamison Hill

WHEN FORCE MEETS FATE is a beautifully written and powerful memoir that chronicles Jamison Hill’s journey as he battles trauma, disease, heartbreak, and pain. Though agonizing and distressing, his story is also inspirational and educational, and through it readers will learn about, and empathize with, those who live with chronic illness and depression.

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Category Winners


Anthony Lee Head

Category: Best First Book (Fiction)

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The Poster Boy

Chad Scott

Category: Best First Book (Non-Fiction)

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Tempest: Poems

Ryan Meyer

Category: Best Cover Design (Fiction)

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Childhood Canceled

Mishka Migacz

Category: Best Cover Design (Non-Fiction)

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Jorge Sanchez

Category: Action/Adventure

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Bob Seay

Category: Aging/Death & Dying

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The True Adventures of Gidon Lev

Julie Gray

Category: Biography

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Your Next Big Idea

Samuel Sanders

Category: Business

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Well . . . That Was Awkward

Megan Montgomery

Category: Chick-Lit

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The Violin Family

Melissa Perley

Category: Children’s (Early to intermediate readers)

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Light is Color!

Nicole Kurtz, Kevin Kurtz

Category: Education

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Daniel Scarpati

Category: Entertaining

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The Future of Buildings, Transportation and Power

Roger Duncan and Michael E. Webber

Category: Environment

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Cause of Death: ???

K.N. Salustro

Category: Fantasy

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South Korea: The Price of Efficiency and Success

John Gonzalez and Young Lee

Category: Finance/ Investment/Economics

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The Christmas Trolley

Marta Mahoney

Category: Gift/Holiday/Specialty

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Raea Gragg

Category: Graphic Novel

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Songs of War: A Dance of Darkness

Skye Westdijk

Category: LGBTQ +(Fiction)

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Don’t Mind Me, I’m Just Having a Bad Life

Lewis Kempfer

Category: LGBTQ+ (Non-Fiction)

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No Match For Her

Travis Lee Hicks

Category: Health/Medicine/Nutrition

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Where Butterflies Go

Debra Doxer

Category: Historical Fiction

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Anonymous Is a Woman

Nina Ansary

Category: History

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The Vanishing

Arjay Lewis

Category: Horror

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Utopia PR

Adam Bender

Category: Humor

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Analogies, Energies & Celestial Bodies

Shannon Hugman

Category: Inspirational/ Spiritual

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The City Takes A Breath Today

John O’Trakoun

Category: Kids

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J.A. Carter-Winward

Category: Literary Fiction

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Playing Soldier

F. Scott Service

Category: Memoir

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Aviona the Flying Carousel Horse of Long Beach Island

C.G. Ruff

Category: Middle Grade

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Forever: A Medical Thriller

Geoffrey M Cooper

Category: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

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A Wounded Deer Leaps Highest

C.P. Mangel

Category: New Adult

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Soul Seeker

Kaylin McFarren

Category: Paranormal

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Learning in Lockdown

Dylan Meikle, Kate Meikle

Category: Parenting (Child Care/Family)

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Get Lost Dirty Covid-19!

Madalsa & Zuivere

Category: Poetry

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Thriving While Black

Cori J. Williams MSW LCSW

Category: Politics/Current Events

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Dust and Mud

Sarah Mattern

Category: Popular Fiction

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Fighting Chance

Sarah Zabel

Category: Psychology/Mental Health

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Stolen Shroud

Daniel Westlund

Category: Religion

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Wilde Type

HK Jacobs

Category: Romance

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Children of the Miracle

Daniel Weisbeck

Category: Science Fiction

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Cultivate Compassion

Maria James-Shier

Category: Self-Help

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Inferno of Silence

Tolu’ A. Akinyemi

Category: Short Stories

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Authentic Wilderness

John Gubbins

Category: Sports/Fitness/Recreation

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Back on Bonaire

Andrew Jalbert

Category: Travel

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The Vanishing Trial

Robert Katzberg

Category: True Crime

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Loving Modigliani

Linda Lappin

Category: Women’s Fiction

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Death by Chaos

Renaii West

Category: Women’s Issues

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Trine Rising

C.K. Donnelly

Category: Young Adult

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