PITTSBURGH — A short story collection that explores ideas of violence, chaos and human connections won first place in the 2013 International Book Awards, Short Story Category, May 20.
“Amidst Traffic,” authored by award-winning Army journalist Michel Sauret, of Pittsburgh, was one of more than 1,000 entries from authors and publishers around the world in this year’s international competition.
Sauret’s collection also placed as a Finalist in the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and in the 2013 National Indie Excellence Book Awards.
“These are tremendous honors,” said Sauret. “These awards really validate my work and effort as an independent author. This is such a tremendous joy.”
The International Book Awards is a competition dedicated to honoring outstanding books on a global scale. This is the fourth year the IBA has been running and sponsored by USA Book News, located in Los Angeles. USA Book News covers books from all sections of the publishing industry—mainstream, independent and self-published.
Sauret is a sergeant first class with the 354th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, an Army Reserve public affairs unit located outside of Pittsburgh that specializes in journalism, photography and broadcasting. Sauret and his wife, Heather, own a house on the Pittsburgh’s North Side and will be moving to Chicago later this year.
The Next Generation Indie Book Awards is the largest not-for-profit book awards program for independent authors and publishers, recognizing the most exceptional independently published books in 60 different categories. The National Indie Excellence Book Awards is judged by independent experts from all aspects of the indie book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers and professional copywriters. These was not the first time Sauret received recognition for his writing.
In 2008, Sauret received the Army Journalist of the Year award for his work in Iraq while attached to the 10th Mountain Division public affairs office. Sauret has been an Army journalist since 2004. His articles have won numerous Brumfield and Keith L. Ware awards.
“If it weren’t for the Army and the experience it has given me, I wouldn’t be the writer I am today,” said Sauret.
As an independent author, Sauret not only wrote the stories in the collection, but he also designed the front cover and formatted the book for digital and paperback publication.
“Being an independent author is an insane amount of work. Sometimes it makes you feel alone, but when you win an award like this, it legitimizes the fact that your work stands among your peers,” he said.
“Amidst Traffic,” also made the Independent Publisher Editor’s Choice selection earlier this year and received the Indie Reader Approved stamp by IndieReader.com. The collection was featured in the Pittsburgh City Paper, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Pitt News and on 101.5 WORD FM.