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Altoona native honored with Big Book Award

HARRISBURG — The NYC Big Book Award recognized the novel “Summer of ’85” by Richard Fellinger in the category of General Fiction as a distinguished favorite.

The competition is judged by experts from different aspects of the book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers and professional copywriters. Selected award Winners and Distinguished Favorites are based on overall excellence.

Summer of ’85, published this year by TouchPoint Press, is the story of a mass shooting and old summer love — part coming of age story, part mid-life crisis story, and a timely tale for our era. It has also won the Novel Excerpt Contest at Seven Hills Review and been named a finalist for the American Fiction Award.

Fellinger is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and Altoona Area High School. He currently lives in Harrisburg and teaches at Elizabethtown College. He’s also a Pushcart Prize nominee and the author of the story collection “They Hover Over Us,” winner of the Serena McDonald Kennedy Award, and the novel “Made To Break Your Heart.”

For the NYC Big Book Award, 2021 was a record year for books awarded due to the high level of quality and diverse books submitted. Again in 2021, NYC Big Book Award received book submissions worldwide, including great submissions from journalists, well-established authors, small and large press as well as first time indie authors who participated in high numbers. Entries were from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. Cities such as Bangalore, Edmonton, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York, Seattle, Singapore and Vancouver were representative among the entries. Winners were recognized globally from Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Lebanon, Queensland and the United States.

Awarded books included Hachette Books, MacMillan, Penguin Random House, The Friesen Press, Gatekeeper Press, Greenleaf Book Group, Joggling Board Press, Story Merchant Books and WildBlue Press. Quality children publishers such as Barefoot Books as well as Mango and Marigold press were awarded.

“We are elated to highlight these authors’ books, recognize their excellence and share their achievements,” said awards sponsor Gabrielle Olczak. “We look forward to showcasing these titles to a larger audience.”

The list of winners is at www.nycbigbookaward.com/2021winners;

Distinguished Favorites are at www.nycbigbookaward.com/2021distinguishedfavorites.

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