The life story of ex-Gunnedah youth officer Bernie Shakeshaft has been longlisted in the Indie Book Awards.
The biography of the BackTrack Youthworks founder was penned by ex-Gunnedah man James Knight and published by Hachette Australia in June.
Mr Knight said he was "pleasantly surprised" when he found out he had made the cut in the non-fiction category of the longlist.
"It's quite an honour ... I'm quite chuffed," he said.
"It's always nice to get recognition within the industry."
The author said the book awards were "quite prestigious" because book sellers chose the titles for the longlist.
"This [book], for whatever reason, has struck a chord with someone," he said.
"There are some very prominent names on the list. I don't expect to go anything further but it's nice to get on the list ... [and] it's nice recognition for Bernie and Back Track, which is great," he said.
When the book was released, Mr Knight told NVI it was "a labour of love or love of labour" but captures "the power of humanity".
The author put his life on hold for nine months, committing 70 plus hours a week, to capture the essence of Mr Shakeshaft's life-changing work in Armidale through BackTrack.
BackTrack is a not-for-profit organisation established in 2006 with the sole purpose of working alongside youth who would otherwise fall through the cracks.
- The 2020 Indie Book Awards shortlist will be announced on January 15.