Freelance columnist Jim Hamilton of Buffalo last week was awarded the “Best Nonfiction Book” prize for “Ozarks RFD: Selected Essays, 2010-2015” in the Ozarks Writers League 2020 writing competition.

Awards in the annual contest were announced by the Branson-based writers’ organization Friday, Sept. 11, in a virtual ceremony.

Published in March 2020 by Cornerpost Press, “Ozarks RFD: Selected Essays, 2010-2015,” represents the collaboration of Hamilton and Long Lane native Dr. Phillip Howerton, professor of English at Missouri State University in West Plains, as editor and publisher. Hamilton has been published in the Buffalo Reflex since starting as editor in 1978 and continuing after retirement in May 2015. His weekly columns currently run in multiple Ozarks newspapers. Hamilton also won an honorable mention for a memoir essay, “I never saw my father cry.”

Other winners in the contest included Fair Grove native Larry Wood (now in Joplin) with a first place in haiku, an honorable mention in magazine articles, second place in paranormal short stories, second in Western short stories, second in Western romance, honorable mention in inspirational stories, second in O. Henry-style stories and third in best unpublished book.

Complete contest results are available on the OWL website at

Priced at $20, “Ozarks RFD 2010-2015” is available online from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, directly from the author at P.O. Box 801, Buffalo, MO 65622 or at the offices of the Buffalo Reflex, Bolivar Herald-Free Press, The Marshfield Mail, Cedar County Republican and Lawrence County Record. 

In Buffalo the book is also sold at Headings Brothers Feed, Greasy Creek General Store and Expresso Company No. 825.

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