Olsen's first book,

Cynthia Olsen wins honors for her writing.

About a year ago, Monroe’s Olsen published “The Home for Friendless Children, Finding Hope, Joy and a Place in the World.”

The book is the true story of her husband Rob’s life in a Pennsylvania orphanage. It won first place at the recent Chanticleer Book Awards.

“I was very honored to be on the long list (51 pounds), not expecting to go any further,” Olsen said.

But, she made the short list of 16 finalists. She and her husband recently attended the Chanticleer Writers Conference and Awards in Bellingham, Washington.

“I was so honored to even be there as a finalist at the dinner and almost fell over when I heard them calling my name as the first winner of the Journey Award for Narrative Fiction,” Olsen said. “I received a blue ribbon, first place stickers for my book, and membership in the Chanticleer Author’s Club.”

Olsen’s book is also currently a finalist for the Killer Nashville Book Awards.

“Looks like we’re going to Nashville for a writers conference and awards dinner next month,” Olsen said.

“The Home for Friendless Children” also recently received a five-star award for its memoir from ReadersFavorites.com.

“A friend encouraged me to submit my book to several writing competitions. I was really shy to do it, but I decided to be brave and sign up a few,” Olsen said. “Who knew something so exciting would happen to me at 70.”

Olsen said sales of his first book were steady. She just finished her second title. “Old Crabby Turtle” is a children’s picture book. It will be released in September.

“It was one of the wonderful stories my late mother made up. She was a magical storyteller. It’s about bravery, kindness, forgiveness and trust,” Olsen said.

Olsen is an interior designer by trade and has taught yoga at the Monroe Family YMCA and IHM Monroe.

“The Home for Friendless Children” is available on Amazon.com and the Gathering Volumes bookstore in Perrysburg, Ohio and through the Monroe County Library System.

On the Internet: clolsenwrites.com.

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