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Chippewa Falls, WI

Chippewa Falls Author Wins Red Ribbon at The Wishing Shelf Book Awards

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Walter Rhein
Walter Rhein
 27 days ago
Image courtesy of Perseid Press

Chippewa Falls author Walter Rhein was recently awarded a red ribbon from the Wishing Shelf Book Awards for his novel The Literate Thief. The book is a dystopian novel with roots in fantasy and was published by Perseid Press.

The book is a sequel to Rhein’s 2014 release, The Reader of Acheron. A third book is planned for the series, but no release date has been announced.

Rhein’s novel Paperclip was a finalist in the 2019 Wishing Shelf Book Awards. He’s been a featured speaker at the Chippewa Valley Book Festival and the Fox Cities Book Festival. He is frequently a featured speaker at local libraries.

Judges for the Wishing Shelf Book Awards reside in London and Stockholm. Each book is awarded an individual score in a series of categories. The scores are added for a final score that determines prize winners.

I wasn’t sure how 'The Literate Thief' would be received because it is the second book in a series. The novel is written with the assumption that the reader has read the first novel. It’s a complex book and it wasn’t possible to summarize the events with brief asides. 'The Lord of the Rings' doesn’t pause to constantly explain what’s going on because it’s written as a cohesive work and not an endless series. That's the model I followed with this book. — Walter Rhein

At first, Rhein felt disappointed that the book did not advance into the finals, but he was encouraged when he received the judges’ notes.

I was disappointed that the book didn’t do better, but then I noticed that the overall score was downgraded because of the book's cover. There are four categories, each worth 10 points, and 'The Literate Thief' received a 6 in the cover category. I found that a little odd because the cover was professionally done by a traditional publishing house and I’m very satisfied with it. On the other hand, I’m pleased at the reassurance that it wasn’t my writing that hurt the book’s chances.— Walter Rhein

Rhein is currently working on a sequel to Paperclip. Once finished, he intends to submit it to the Wishing Shelf Book Awards.

I think the Wishing Shelf has a terrific concept and they are quite fair. Small press authors have to be careful because there are many organizations that claim to evaluate books but really just fleece authors and publishers out of an entry fee. With Wishing Shelf, the communication is very good, and there’s always the option for publicity. It’s the one book award I've discovered that I would recommend.— Walter Rhein

With social distancing mandates relaxing, Rhein is looking forward to getting back to resuming his regular public appearances. The last year has been filled with radio and podcast interviews, but he prefers the face to face experience. His presentation about hiking the Inca Trail always attracts a large and diverse audience.

Rhein is also interested in coordinating with local authors to help elevate the local writing community. He is known to attend meetings with the St. Croix Writers group, but hasn’t been as active with groups closer to Chippewa Falls. He hopes to change that when the pandemic has officially ended.

For more information on the Wishing Shelf Book Awards, click here.