For Immediate Press Release
Author and Historian, Colin Mustful
Minneapolis, MN, June 15, 2023
Independent Author, Historian, and Publisher, Colin Mustful, announces a new literary diversity initiative, the Reclaiming Mni Sota Indigenous Writers Grant. The grant will support the writing of an enrolled member of a tribal community within Minnesota.
“I strongly believe actions like this grant help break down the legacy of historical and present wrongs perpetuated against Native peoples,” says Colin Mustful, who is also the founder and editor of History Through Fiction. “At HTF, we believe that by giving financial support to Indigenous storytellers, we empower them to write their own stories, thereby reclaiming the narrative.”
The inaugural grant timeline coincides with the release of Mustful’s latest title, a work of alternate history that will be published by History Through Fiction. Reclaiming Mni Sota reimagines the U.S.–Dakota War of 1862 and invites readers to question how things might have ended differently.
Applicants must be able to demonstrate a clear intention to share narratives, fiction or nonfiction, about the past through creative writing. The recipient will be selected by guest judges Erika T. Wurth, CMarie Fuhrman, and Linda Johnston. Once the successful applicant has been awarded, they may use the award toward the advancement of their creative writing projects, education, and career.
Mustful has pledged to contribute $1 from the pre-sale and sale of every copy of Reclaiming Mni Sota through 2023 to the grant. Additionally, Mustful will donate all speaking fees that are booked before the end of the year to the grant. To learn more about scheduling Mustful for an author visit, please see the author’s Pitch Deck.
About Colin Mustful
Colin Mustful is an independent historian, author, and publisher. His work, which includes five historical novels, focuses on the tumultuous and complicated periods of settler-colonialism and Native displacement in American history. He has a Master of Arts degree in history and a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing. He is the founder and editor of History Through Fiction, an independent press that publishes compelling historical novels that are based on real events and people. As a traditional publisher, he works with authors who want to share important historical stories with the world. Mustful is an avid runner and soccer player who lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He believes that learning history is vital to understanding our world today and finding just, long-lasting solutions for the future.
Reclaiming Mni Sota Indigenous Writers Grant
In conjunction with his forthcoming novel, Reclaiming Mni Sota, author Colin Mustful, and his press, History Through Fiction, will award one Indigenous writer a $10,000 grant to pursue the advancement of their creative writing projects, education, and career. To be considered for the grant, eligible applicants must submit proof of membership to federally-recognized Minnesota Indian community, a personal essay, and a writing sample.
About the Novel
A creative re-imagining of the U.S. -Dakota War of 1862, Reclaiming Mni Sota is an eye-opening portrayal of one of America’s most tragic, regrettable events. Told through dual narratives from each side of the conflict, Reclaiming Mni Sota confronts America’s history of settler-colonialism while illuminating the personal stories and heartrending choices that men and women, white and Native, were forced to make. Based on real events told through descriptive detail and fully developed characters, Reclaiming Mni Sota reveals the truth of our history while connecting it to the present and asking readers to question how things could have been different.
“Reclaiming Mni Sota is a well-researched and impassioned tale of an unlikely friendship between two men: Waabi, an Ojibwe destined to reclaim his people’s land, and Samuel, a white farmer from the infant United States seeking a better life on the frontier. A painful, heart-wrenching, yet triumphant read, this is an alternate history in which Mustful paints the ending this country needed, and the Native population deserved.”
– Lindsey S. Fera, Historical Fiction Author
“With a historian’s eye for detail and a novelist’s empathy for individuals, this wonderful novel suggests an alternative ending to the 1862 war, one that inspires contemplation about what could have happened and what did.”
– Linda Ulleseit, author of The River Remembers
“What if the Ojibwa and Dakota conquered old rivalries to fight the U.S soldiers during the 1862 U.S-Dakota War? Many believe their combined forces would have pushed the whites out of Minnesota and changed history forever. Colin Mustful’s Reclaiming Mni Sota is an imaginative and intriguing story of what might have happened if this alliance had been made. Reclaiming Mni Sota may give an alternative account of this tragic episode of Minnesota history, but it also leaves the reader pondering race relationships today. It kept me reading to the very last page.”
– Candace Simar, Author of the Spur-Award winning Abercrombie Trail Series
“Mustful brings one of the most tragic events in Minnesota’s history to life in this carefully researched book.”
– Stephen E. Yoch, author of Becoming George Washington
“As an author and educator, one of my favorite things to do is pose the question “What if?” In Colin Mustful’s novel Reclaiming Mni Sota, he poses this question about the Dakota War of 1862. The answer? A compelling re-imagining of history that is accessible to the reader while also creating empathetic characters from both perspectives of the war.
Beginning with two young men who are learning from their elders how to exist in the world they were born into, Mustful’s deft hand at exposition brings us closer and closer to the penultimate moment with a growing sense of dread. When the historical events diverge into an alternate timeline, I found myself reflecting on the real timeline and questioning the “inevitability” of Manifest Destiny when the choices of two characters had the power to shape Minnesota into something much different.”
– Jason Lee Willis, Author and Educator