Local author Anna Svetchnikov has received two finalist awards at this year’s National Indie Excellence Awards.

Svetchnikov’s book “I Deserve More” was a finalist in the Children’s Fiction category, while her book “Always Together” was a finalist in the Picture Books: All Ages category.
Svetchnikov, a licensed marriage and family therapist, is the executive director of Longwood Care, a community-focused, nonprofit mental-health provider with locations in Lynnfield and Danvers.

She said that she likes to incorporate therapeutic techniques in her books to help readers understand them better.

“It’s helpful so kids can learn more through reading the book and being part of the story, and then they can utilize those skills,” she said.

“I Deserve More,” which Svetchnikov self-published in September for children ages 5 to 8, tells the story of Claire and her cat Archie, who find a magic wand with the power to change their lives. The story uses concepts of narrative therapy and includes therapeutic exercises for children and their parents to practice at home.
“She’s looking for ultimate happiness, and realizes her happiness was right in front of her with family and friends,” Svetchnikov said.

“Always Together,” published in February by Too Sweet Press, follows a Berber girl named Illi and her friend Fennec the fox as they travel through the Sahara Desert to bring healing water to Illi’s sick grandmother. Svetchnikov said she did a lot of research on the region of Africa where her main character lives to make it more accurate.

Svetchnikov has published around 15 picture books for various ages, she said, and is getting ready to publish her first chapter book on parenting this fall.
The National Indie Excellence Awards are awarded to recent, English-language books in print from self- and independently-published works. This year marked the 15th annual competition.

“This past year’s entries stand as a testament to the art of self-publishing,” said Doug Fogelson, president of the awards organization. “Once a small sector of the industry, self and independent publishing has now grown to rival that of the bigger players. The National Indie Excellence Awards proudly cheer these authors for their enduring vision, talents and dedication.”