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Steve Litwer Named First Runner Up, 2021 Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award

I am extremely honored to share with you that I was named First Runner Up for the 2021 Thrope Menn Literary Excellence Award for my book, The Music Between Us: Memoir of a Bedside Musician.

This award, presented by the American Association of University Women-Kansas City Branch and the Kansas City Public Library (AAUW-KC), is presented to local authors in recognition of their excellence in writing. All the nominated authors reside in the greater Kansas City area.


About the Award

"The Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award was established in 1979 by AAUW-KC to honor Thorpe Menn (1912-1979), long-time book editor of the Kansas City Star, who supported all aspects of Kansas City’s cultural life, especially authors and artists." - AAUW


This Year's Recipients:

Lisa D. Stewart (pictured, center) was awarded the 2021 Thorpe Menn Award, for her memoir The Big Quiet: One Women’s Horseback Ride Home.

Steve Litwer (myself) was first runner-up (pictured, right) for his book, The Music Between Us: Memoir of a Bedside Musician.

Barbara Loots (pictured, left) was second runner-up for her book of poetry, The Beekeeper and Other Love Poems.


About "The Music Between Us: Memoir of a Bedside Musician"

The Music Between Us is a memoir about reckoning with a painful childhood, a spiritual awakening, and discovering some of life's greatest lessons in the most unexpected ways.

Steve was raised by a single mother with a severe mental illness. The effect of this upbringing was something that thwarted his social interactions and relationships throughout his life. These were often contaminated by a legacy of fear, agitation, confusion, and feelings of inadequacy. As a young man, Steve wanted to be a musician. Largely self-taught on the guitar, he lacked the talent to play professionally so he chose another career path until he retired, working in TV and radio stations in Kansas City, Memphis, and Charlotte.

In his retirement, as a volunteer, Steve began playing guitar for hospice patients. As their bedside musician, his private performances and companionship to those nearing the end of their lives began to unlock long-buried memories of his own past.

The result? Surprising lessons and new insights about the events of his life and finding the path to forgiveness for himself and his mother.

Incorporating moving and sometimes funny true stories of people in hospice, this book explores the mysterious ways that God has helped Steve understand and reclaim his life through the power of music and the unexpected gifts he received from those who did not have much life left. If you liked Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, you will enjoy this book.

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