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Dickinson author honored with young adult fiction award

Carolyn Hagen Lardy, of Dickinson, recently won an award for her outstanding literary work, writing a young adult novel based on her mother's trials and tribulations on the Western Edge that took place roughly a century ago.

Carolyn Lardy
Carolyn Hagen Lardy, of Dickinson, with a copy of her award winning book, "Prairie Anne."
Contributed / Carolyn Lardy
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DICKINSON — One local author has been honored by a prestigious literature organization for her extraordinary work in young adult fiction. Carolyn Lardy, of Dickinson, wrote a book called "Prairie Anne" that has recognized as one of the best indie books of 2022 by the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group. Lardy published the work herself and printed it at Service Printers in Dickinson.

More specifically, her book won the First Novel category at the 2022 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. This is the largest literature awards ceremony for independent and self-published authors. Her book competed with entries from 63 countries, all 50 U.S. states and nine Canadian provinces. Winners and finalists were honored at a gala event at the Mayflower Hotel in the nation's Capitol.

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Lardy was raised in northeastern Mckenzie County, near Keene and Charlson, North Dakota. She is a 1966 alumnus of New Town High School, and a graduate of Dickinson State University.

"Prairie Anne" is based on the childhood of her mother, Annie, who was sent by train to the Western Edge with her 12-year-old brother in 1921 to live with their grandparents. Flash forward to Annie's 1935 high school graduation. She is shocked when her mother and two other siblings make a surprise visit for the occasion. Annie then faces difficult choices as she comes to terms with being abandoned by her own mother.

"I started it years ago, but and then I just dropped it when we raised a family and stuff. But a few years ago, I took a course from the Institute of Children's Literature, writing for that, writing books for children," Lardy said. "And it was through that course that I managed to write my book and finish it."


The novel is available for purchase at Ferguson Book Stores in Bismarck, Fargo and Grand Forks; Western Edge Book Store in Medora or the Pioneer Museum in Watford City. Copies can be secured by contacting Lardy at carolynlardy@yahoo.com or 701-225-3969.

Other stories by Jason O'Day
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Jason O’Day is a University of Iowa graduate, with Bachelor’s Degrees in Journalism and Political Science. Before moving to Dickinson in September of 2021, he was a general news reporter at the Creston News Advertiser in rural southwest Iowa. He was born and raised in Davenport, Iowa. With a passion for the outdoors and his Catholic faith, he’s loving life on the Western Edge.
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