Shores Receives Library’s 2023 Booker Worthen Literary Prize

Little Rock, AR – The Central Arkansas Library System’s Butler Center for Arkansas Studies will award the annual Booker Worthen Literary Prize to Elizabeth Findley Shores for her biography of Charles J. Finger, Shared Secrets: The Queer World of Newbery Medalist Charles J. Finger, published by the University of Arkansas Press.

Elizabeth Findley Shores, an independent scholar living in Little Rock, holds degrees in history from Boston University and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Shores is also the author of On Harper’s Trail: Roland McMillan Harper, Pioneering Botanist of the Southern Coastal Plain and Earline’s Pink Party: The Social Rituals and Domestic Relics of a Southern Woman.

Shores’s biography of Finger relates the life of an important Arkansas writer who is largely forgotten in the 21st century. An Englishman who eventually settled in northwestern Arkansas, Finger was primarily a magazine writer/publisher in the first quarter of the 20th century. He then went on to write many books, winning the 1925 Newbery Medal for his book Tales from Silver Lands.

The Worthen Prize was established by the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) in 1999 in memory of William Booker Worthen, a longtime supporter of the public library and a 22-year member of CALS Board of Trustees. It carries a $2,000 monetary award. It is presented annually for the best work by an author living in Arkansas and published in the three-year eligibility period following publication.