Book Biz:Nature photographer’s book wins first place in international competition

Sanctuary – Mississippi Coastal Plain

In Mississippi’s tradition of producing award-winning books, Madison nature photographer Stephen Kirkpatrick has brought home another honor. His beautiful coffee table book, Sanctuary – Mississippi Coastal Plain, won first place in the nonfiction category of Writer’s Digest magazine’s 19th annual International Self-Published Book Awards.

The 10-inch-by-11-inch book was one of 262 entries in this category. Winners will be formally announced in the April 2012 issue of the magazine and publicized on the website. The 128-page book has four-color photographs and focuses on the rare natural treasures of the Mississippi Coastal Plain, which extends from the Pascagoula River watershed west toward the Pearl River and south into the Gulf of Mexico. Kirkpatrick’s wife, Marlo, wrote the text.

“I’ve worked in this area a lot over the years and been interested in showcasing the different issues, endangered species and environmental concerns,” Kirkpatrick said. “It’s always surprising to win something, and it was in a pretty hefty group as non-fiction can contain anything. I think they recognized it as an educational and entertaining book.”

The book reveals the fragile beauty and ecological importance of the area and explains why it is so important to preserve the unique habitats and the rare, threatened and endangered species that call the Mississippi Coastal Plain home. The Sanctuary project was sponsored by companies and organizations committed to preserving the coastal plain. Those include the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Natural Resources Conservation Service, Southern AgCredit, Mississippi Power, The Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Forest Service and the George County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Sanctuary is Kirkpatrick’s twelfth book on Mississippi and wild life. Other awards have included the National Outdoor Book Award, the Benjamin Franklin Award and three Southeastern Outdoor Press Association Book-of-the-Year Awards. For more information about Stephen and Marlo Kirkpatrick and their work, visit

>> Sanctuary – Mississippi Coastal Plain

By Stephen Kirkpatrick

Self published by Thy Marvelous Works

$40 hardcover

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