HALSEY—Kristin Bauer Ganoung never considered writing as a profession but now, she is a published author, an inspiration to children, and an official Nebraska 2018 Book Award Winner. Seventeen of Nebraska’s finest received awards during the 19th annual Nebraska Center for the Book and the Nebraska Library Commission’s Celebration of Nebraska Books on December 1 in Lincoln. Due to a snow storm, Ganoung was not able to make the ceremony but said it has been “quite a journey.”
Ganoung is the author of the award winning chapter book George and the Stolen Sunny Spot, published by Prairieland Press. Youth in grades 2 through 6 have enjoyed reading the adventures of George the cat who thinks he runs the family farm. Little does he know, when new arrivals come to the farm he will have to fight for his favorite napping spot and his role as the boss.
“I’ve been able to get into school systems and talk with children about writing and I think that has been my favorite part of this whole experience because for me, writing is such an exciting thing. It’s such a creative endeavor and it’s so personal and there’s no limit to your imagination really,” Ganoung said.
Prairieland Press owner Nancy Wagner has been an inspiration to Ganoung over the years thanks to her encouragement and writing retreats she hosted years ago. Ganoung said Wagner is the one who inspired Kristin to give novel writing a try rather than only short stories.
Having grown up in Rushville, Nebraska, Ganoung was anxious to return to her home state after attending college in Lindsborg, Kansas where she met her husband. They both taught school in the sandhills and Ganoung took a break from teaching kindergarten just four years ago to give writing more than just a “half-hearted attempt” as she described.
“A good lot of people think they can’t write and I really think that everybody has a bit of creative spark in them it’s just a matter of getting it from the inside down onto paper and there’s so many ways you can do that now,” she said.
She always found delight in writing and now loves inspiring children to find topics that are interesting to them and motivate them to understand that writing can be more than just a school requirement. She loves receiving letters from kids and talking to them about their work.
Kristin has a daughter who is a freshman in high school and a son who is a senior this year. Kristin and her family live in Halsey. She has a second book coming out in February: George Trains the Troops.