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Winner of the Midwest Book Award: Dot and Dash Client Stacey Potter


We are thrilled to announce a Dot and Dash client has received recognition for her outstanding work! Stacey Potter has won the 2021 Midwestern Independent Publisher Association award in the romance category for her book, The Project. The Midwest Book Awards (by the Midwest Independent Publishers Association, MiPA) is one of the longest-running literary recognition programs in the country and receives applications from indie authors across the Midwest. Potter was one of three finalists in the romance category but took home the gold. Congratulations, Stacey!


Her book, The Project, follows the intergenerational friendship between a college student and a nursing home resident. Sabella Pierce dreads her semester-long psych assignment in an old folks’ home due to a past with a bitter grandmother. However, upon getting to know the vibrant and independent May, she begins to connect and become immersed in the story of May’s lost love. Sabella picks up a project of her own: reuniting the two estranged lovers, and perhaps accidentally falling for someone of her own along the way.


Potter began writing The Project more than a decade ago and was finally able to publish it this year. Potter, herself, comments that “although it took sixteen years to finally publish The Project, I was motivated to one day see it out in the world because I knew I had a unique story to tell that people would find endearing. I also wanted to honor my late father who used to be a writer.”


Fulfilling a dream is never easy, but persevering and honoring a late parent is a touching achievement. It is always a joy to see someone’s hard work pay off and culminate in industry honors, such as from MiPA.


Founded in 1984, MiPA consists of a panel of professionals, including booksellers, university staff, and librarians who specialize in that genre or field. The judges hail from all twelve states of the region and bring a variety of backgrounds and viewpoints. They evaluate novels based on three subject areas: overall quality, creative execution, and the book’s unique contribution to the subject area. The Project fulfilled these promises in full.


Particularly, the book provides a unique and welcome addition to romance genre canon by presenting meaningful love between an older couple—a love story that often goes unrepresented. Potter says, “I’ve received a lot of favorable reviews and compliments from readers of The Project, which is fantastic. Winning the Midwest Book Award is very special, since the votes came from librarians and professionals.” Potter is native to the Midwest and expressed how the support of her community and experts from that community was deeply moving.


Her book is full of vivid characters, heart, and twists readers won’t see coming! Check out her website and places to purchase the book at the bottom of the article.


Working with Potter was a joy for Dot and Dash, and we are pleased to have helped this project, The Project, become the best version of itself. Helping books to reach their full potential is one of the great prides of being an editor. Dot and Dash founder, Erin Servais, served as the book’s line editor and copy editor. Dot and Dash editor, Brenna Bailey-Davies, was the book’s proofreader.


Potter said, “I had the best experience working with Erin during the editing process. She has this gift of making her constructive feedback humorous and balanced it with positive comments throughout my manuscript. I made some significant changes based on her edits, but I never felt like I had to. In the end, the story was better and stronger than when I first turned it in for editing. I’m forever grateful!” We are grateful to have worked with you, too, Stacey.


It is a delight to see someone’s work come to life and then be recognized for the hard work they put in.


Well done, Stacey. May your author odyssey continue to blossom!