By Anna Skinner
Locally, Bill Kenley is known as a Noblesville resident and an English teacher at Noblesville High School. Nationally, he’s known for his debut novel, “High School Runner (Freshman).”
Now, he’s also known for his selection as a finalist for the 2016 Gene and Marilyn Glick Emerging Author award.
After his novel was published in spring 2015, Kenley participated in local book signings. This year, he has read at various Nike Cross-Country Camps across the nation and also attends author conferences. He was on his way to a cross-country camp in North Carolina when he got the news he was a finalist for the award.
“I give readings for a bunch of kids at cross-country camp,” he said. “I got the call, and I was really excited, and I had to pull over and collect myself.”
The award will be announced Oct. 29. Two other authors, Sarah Gerkensmeyer and Edward Kelsey Moore, also are finalists. The winner will receive $5,000 and a $2,500 grant to a public library of his or her choosing.
“That’s all really exciting,” Kenley said. “It would be a great honor to win, and it’s awesome just to be in the final three. It’s been really cool.”
In addition to being a finalist for the Emerging Author award, Kenley is working on some short stories and the second of the four-part series, “High School Runner (Sophomore).”
“I think the short stories will be done before the second novel,” he said. “I want the collection of stories to be done certainly before next summer. They’ll be connected to the novels in a way, like the characters will be characters from the novel. It just won’t build up into a bigger novel.”