We knew it would be a winner.

Last October’s magazine included a story about former Ruralite editor Curtis Condon’s literary debut, “Wish Upon a Crawdad.” The fictional story takes place in Oregon during the early years of rural electrification and while the country was still feeling the effects of the Great Depression.

Since its publication, the book has won four literary awards, beginning in March with the Western Writers of America’s 2023 Spur Award for juvenile fiction.

“I was floored when I got the call that I’d won,” Curtis says. “It took a while to sink in. Sure, I entered hoping the book would get some attention. I thought maybe a finalist selection. I never considered that it would win the Spur Award.”

The book’s latest award is the Next Generation Indie Book Award for children’s/juvenile fiction. The international competition is reportedly the largest for indie authors and independent publishers.

“Winning one award is great; receiving more than one for the same book is fantastic,” Curtis says.

At least a dozen more children’s book ideas—and a few other book projects—are simmering on this author’s backburners.

“With or without the awards, I would keep writing,” Curtis says. “But the recognition does put wind in my sail. It’s a validation of sorts that tells me maybe I’m not wasting my time.”

For more information about Curtis Condon and his upcoming work, visit www.heartofoakbooks.com.