Happy Grades Wins IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award for Teen Nonfiction

Happy Grades Workbook, Tricia Underwood’s debut guide, won the prestigious IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award in the Teen Nonfiction category.

To be completely honest, at least two of our team members screamed a little bit when Happy Grades was announced as the winner. At least one of us did not scream, because she was at the awards ceremony (and screaming at formal events is generally frowned upon).

The Benjamin Franklin Awards are regarded as one of the highest national honors for independent publishers, and it’s the longest-running program of its kind. Happy Grades and the winners in the other fifty-six categories were chosen from 1,824 total entries this year, making it the award program’s second-best year in number of entries received since it began more than 35 years ago in 1985.

“Being recognized as a finalist is an incredible honor, and I’m deeply grateful to the IBPA for this acknowledgment,” Tricia said, after the finalists for the awards were announced.

Happy Grades shares a framework I tested and refined over decades to reinvent how traditional ‘student success’ strategies were taught to meet this generation’s unique challenges and needs with the power of positive psychology. I’m filled with gratitude and excitement for the opportunity to be considered alongside many talented authors.”

Managing Editor Lauren Kelliher was at the ceremony to accept the award

Our Managing Editor, Lauren Kelliher, accepted the award at the ceremony last Friday, which was held at the annual IBPA Publishing University. “I was honored to represent White Deer Publishing at the Benjamin Franklin Awards, where the first book I worked on with my team at How2Conquer took home the gold award in Teen Nonfiction for Happy Grades Workbook by Tricia Underwood,” says Lauren. 

Soon after the ceremony, the IBPA announced that the awards program will have a new name going forward: the IBPA Book Award. The program will also be expanding to include new award categories to highlight publishing excellence within underrepresented communities. “We are proud to continue our work as an equity leader in the publishing industry,” says Andrea Fleck-Nisbet, CEO of the IBPA. 

Lauren Kelliher with Courtney Link from Smith Publicity and Aryn Van Dyke from Book Rockstar

Tricia originally got in touch with How2Conquer through our online submission form, where we accept unsolicited submissions from potential authors.  

“We knew immediately after reading Tricia’s submission that her workbook would be a perfect fit for How2Conquer,” says Emily Owens, who was How2Conquer’s Managing Editor when we acquired Tricia’s manuscript. “As an author, she has a clear and engaging voice that balances being supportive and sometimes playful. We felt her approach to productivity and success would be helpful for both students and their parents – which of course led to Tricia’s development of a companion guide for parents and educators.

“We’re hoping this was the first of many prestigious awards for our books and hardworking authors,” says Lauren.

2024 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award Winners (Full List)

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