Award-winning book: The Girl in the Water

Author Joseph Howse

Author Joseph Howse

2023 IPA Announcements

2023 IPA Announcements

2023 Winner

2023 Winner

The Girl in the Water

The Girl in the Water

Reminiscent of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky literary style…Local Canadian author takes winner in Literary Fiction in the 2023 Independent Press Award®.

Howse evokes the literary styles of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky … Howse’s novel feels Russian, from its ornate structure to its social commentary to its wry humor.”

— Rob Errera

HALIFAX, NS, CANADA, March 14, 2023 / — The INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD recognized The Girl in the Water by Joseph Howse as the winner for the category of Literary Fiction.

The competition is judged by experts from different aspects of the book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers and professional copywriters. Selected IPA Award Winners and Distinguished Favorites are based on overall excellence.

“Howse evokes the literary styles of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky … Howse’s novel feels Russian, from its ornate structure to its social commentary to its wry humor. The author has composed a book like Tchaikovsky would a symphony; tight, disciplined, yet bubbling with unspoken passion and near-magical allegory.” —Rob Errera, IndieReader

Synopsis: The Girl in the Water is the story of a multiethnic group of young friends, coming of age in Estonia and Ukraine in the last days of the Soviet Union. Their lives are shaped by an Afghan war, the Chernobyl disaster, and the collapse and legacy of a suffocating society.

“A resilient coming-of-age story … The author includes emotional, compelling scenes with every character, as each one has been dealt a vastly different hand of cards. … It feels very down-to-Earth and includes necessary comical moments throughout.” —Audrey Davis, Independent Book Review

In 2023, the INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD had entries worldwide. Authors and publishers from countries such as Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Japan, Norway, Scotland, and South Africa, participated.

Books submitted included writers based in cities such as Atlanta to Los Angeles; London to Halifax; from Cape Town to Mumbai; from Albuquerque to New York City as well as others.

“We are proud to announce the winners and distinguished favorites in our annual 2023 INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD. This year included an array of quality and diverse independent books,” said awards sponsor Gabrielle Olczak. “Independent publishing is pushing on every corner of the earth with great content. We are thrilled to be highlighting key titles representing global independent publishing,” said Olczak.

For more information please visit; and to see this year’s list of IPA Winners and Distinguished Favorites, please visit the website pages:



Contact the author Joseph Howse directly at [email protected] or via his website


Ted Olczak, Publisher
Independent Press Award
+1 973-969-1899
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Article originally published on as Local Canadian author receives international recognition through the INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD

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