Cornelia Fort WAFS Pilot Earns Sarah a Silver!

IBPA Benjamin Franklin Book Awards 2024

 Last fall I entered Cornelia Fort WAFS Pilot: Her Life for Her Country in the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards. Cornelia’s story is the ninth biography I’ve written about those remarkable women pilots of World War II. They were known first as the WAFS (Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron). Badly needed, 28 of them came forward and volunteered to fly “for their country”.

In mid-March, an email from IBPA arrived! Cornelia was a finalist in Teen Non-fiction (13-18 Years), better known now as Y/A or Young Adult non-fiction!!! I was ecstatic! The last six of those nine biographies are specifically aimed at today’s Young Adult Women.

Cornelia Clark Fort
Photo courtesy the WASP Archive, Texas Woman’s University

How did this come about?  “Why” asked two of my fellow author friends (former teachers) “are you writing these books for adults when it’s our young women, today’s teenagers, girls who NEED them?”

Their Advice Was Right On!

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) classes have made it clear. Offering, emphasizing these fields to young women in their teen years was LONG overdue. Thank you Nancy Jurka and Jacque Boyd! – my fellow authors from Women Writing the West who nudged me in the right direction.

I’ve been writing in this category for the last eight years. Six “Young-Adult-Women-focused” books in all!

Thank you IBPA for selecting Denver as the location for this year’s awards. I grew up in Denver – back in the day. I’m a proud graduate of East High School (you go Angels!) Now, after many years away, I’m back – living just a “few” miles south … in Colorado Springs! I and my guest were invited to attend the awards ceremony Friday evening, April 26, at Denver’s downtown Hilton. My son Jim in the driver’s seat, we headed up I-25 that Friday afternoon.

Three Happy Finalists at Our Table!

What fun! We met several really neat people. Three of “we FINALISTS” (all different categories) gathered at our table with our respective friend, supporter, spouse, or family member. All three of us remained Finalists! Sobeit!!!

Congratulations to each category’s winners! And we thoroughly enjoyed joining the rest of crowd in the vast dining room to whoop it up with our cheers for the winners. The room rocked with each one named. All in all, a terrific evening.Cornelia Fort WAFS Pilot

Thank you “IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards”! What a delightful evening! We – winners and finalists alike – owe you our thanks for inviting us, not to mention reading our precious manuscripts, and yes, for recognizing our books – and we the authors – with your awards! And thanks to you book buyers out there who read our offerings. We love you!!!

Read an excerpt from Cornelia Fort WAFS Pilot here

IBPA stands for Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA-online-org)

Check out Cornelia Fort WAFS Pilot and my other books on Amazon.

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  1. Sarah has worked very hard for a long time to be certain that this part of our American history is never forgotten and she is to be applauded for her research and writing skills.

  2. Hi Sarah. Always glad to hear about your writing adventures and achievements. Very proud of
    of all the work you have done on behalf of the women in aviation. Keep up the good work. Maybe we can meet up in Atlanta the next time you are there. Hugs, Sheila

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