The Will Rogers Medallion Awards announces that Pequot Lakes author Candace Simar won the gold medal for her novel “Escape to Fort Abercrombie” (Five Star Publishing).

Simar attended the awards ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas, on Oct. 26, where the final winners were announced. The Will Rogers Medallion Award recognizes excellence in western literature and media. Winners are chosen based on content, artistic presentation, literary quality and historical accuracy. The gold medallion is the highest award given in any category.

“Escape to Fort Abercrombie," Simar’s sixth historical novel, tells the story of a Minnesota family set against the backdrop of the 1862 Dakota conflict. Fort Abercrombie, a union outpost during the Civil War, experienced dramatic history during a sixth week siege. The book previously won the Peacemaker Award from Western Fictioneers.

Award-winning author Nancy Plain, president of Western Writers of America, said, "Simar writes with an evocative clarity that reminds me of Willa Cather. Be prepared to ignore everything else when you pick up this book, because you will not want to stop reading."

“I am so honored to receive recognition and awards for this book, but even more pleased that it is in public libraries and schools across the nation. It is gratifying to know our regional history is exposed to a wider audience," Simar said.