Mike has served KAC as Prose Contest Manager in 2016 and 2019, and made himself of service in many other ways, including stepping in to assist with the prose awards at the 2018 convention when the contest manager was unable to attend.
Mike has a well-seasoned, well-pitched storytelling voice, and draws from a deep well of historical and personal anecdotes from his life. His presentations on writing the Pete Stone mysteries at the KAC convention in 2018 were insightful and enriching, and left participants thinking of the author himself as the kind of character you'd read about in one of his stories. Along with storytelling, Mike has many other qualities that bear mentioning in the line of duty: commiserating with the right amount of wisdom to win over self-pity, and bearing with all kinds of work while maintaining an attitude of being smitten with the prospect of doing so, were two that made him a most agreeable, enjoyable, thoroughly competent professional writer to have connected with the KAC and Emporia writing groups. Mike used his well-honed skills to corral judges and contest chairs alike for the KAC Literary Contests, as well as to care about the details both behind the scenes and at the front of the awards presentations, handling both with finesse and a touch of Pete Stone class. His devotion to his wife Monica and his family are touchstones to his work, and his empathy extended to the authors submitting to the Prose Contest, expressing itself in disappointment at not being able to read every entry before the judges did. What he has in spades, however, is a quality of kindness that makes him resonate with the uniquely human experience of stories, that makes how he writes and shares the world a uniquely Mike Graves experience, and that reaches out to readers, colleagues, and community alike who receive his works and get to know him better in person.
and Tracy Million Simmons, D2