WHAT BOOKS ARE ELIGIBLE?
In order to be eligible for the award, a book must be written by a Vermont writer and published between January 1 and December 31 of the year prior to the award. Self-published books are ineligible, as are books written by staff, trustees, and current students of VCFA.
WHO NOMINATES BOOKS?
A committee of independent booksellers of Vermont nominates books in four categories: Children’s Literature, Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, and Poetry. Publishers may also nominate books. Nominations are open each year from January 1 to March 1.
WHO ARE THE JUDGES?
Each year, VCFA selects judges in each of the four genre categories. Judges are Vermont writers, teachers, librarians, and passionate supporters of literature in Vermont. VCFA staff takes no part in the judges’ deliberations, except to verify a nominee’s eligibility.
HOW ARE THE FINALISTS CHOSEN?
The judging panel reads the nominated books and selects finalists from each category, to be announced in the summer.
HOW IS THE WINNER CHOSEN?
The judging panel selects one winner from amongst the finalists. Books are judged on literary excellence. No one, not even VCFA staff, learns who the Winner is until the evening of the Vermont Book Award Gala, which takes place in the Fall at Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier.
WHAT DOES THE AWARD ENTAIL?
The Winner of the Vermont Book Award receives a prize of $5,000 and a one-of-a-kind award statue crafted by a local artist. The winner is announced at the Vermont Book Award Gala, a celebratory evening of music, literature, and creative culture.
Miciah Bay Gault
Vermont Book Award Coordinator
Faculty, MFA in Writing & Publishing
Judges, Winners & Finalists
- Megan Mayhew Bergman
- Elizabeth Bluemle
- Hugh Coyle
- Maria Hummel
- Elizabeth Powell
- Alison Prine
- Aaron Starmer
- Joy Worland
- The Bear and the Nightingale, Katherine Arden (Fiction)
- Grand Canyon, Jason Chin (Children’s Lit, Picture Book)
- Selected Delanty, Greg Delanty (Poetry)
- Fasting and Feasting: The Life of Visionary Food Writer Patience Gray, Adam Federman (CNF)
- Event Boundaries, April Ossmann (Poetry)
- Breaking Bread: A Baker’s Journey Home in 75 Recipes, Martin Philip (CNF) – 2018 WINNER
- Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time, Tanya Lee Stone (Children’s Lit, YA Fiction)
- Swallowed by the Cold, Jensen Beach (Fiction) – 2017 WINNER
- The Gloaming, Melanie Finn (Fiction)
- The Killer in Me, Margot Harrison (Children’s Lit, YA Fiction)
- Half Wild, Robin MacArthur (CNF)
- Riverine: A Memoir from Anywhere but Here, Angela Palm (CNF)
- Willy Loman’s Reckless Daughter: Living Truthfully Under Imaginary Circumstances, Elizabeth A. I. Powell (Poetry)
- Steel, Alison Prine (Poetry)
- My Private Property, Mary Ruefle (Poetry)
- The Devil in the Valley, Castle Freeman, Jr. (Fiction)
- Dream Sender, David Huddle (Poetry)
- Roll Deep, Major Jackson (Poetry) – 2016 WINNER
- Read Between the Lines, Jo Knowles (Children’s Lit, YA Fiction)
- A Slant of Light, Jeffrey Lent (Fiction)
- The Night Sister, Jennifer McMahon (Fiction)
- Finding Abbey: A Search for Edward Abbey and His Hidden Desert Grave, Sean Prentiss (CNF)
- The Academy of Hay, Julia Shipley (Poetry)
- Another Kind of Hurricane, Tamara Ellis Smith (Children’s Lit, Middle-Grade Fiction)
- Winter Ready, Leland Kinsey (Poetry)
- Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes, Kerrin McCadden (Poetry) – 2015 WINNER
- Museum of the Americas, Gary Lee Miller (Fiction)
- If Only You People Could Follow Directions, Jessica Hendry Nelson (CNF)
- Like Water on Stone, Dana Walrath (Fiction)
- Belzhar, Meg Wolitzer (Children’s Lit, YA Fiction)
The Vermont Book Award Gala
Thanks to all who attended the 4th Annual Vermont Book Award Gala, an incredible night celebrating the literature of Vermont. Information about next year’s Vermont Book Award Gala will be coming soon, and we hope to see you there!
A special thank you to the sponsors who made this celebration of Vermont writers possible: C&W Services, Cabot Creamery, Dinse, Hunger Mountain Coop, King Arthur Flour, Mascoma Bank, MMR, MVP Health Care, Susan Z. Ritz, Three Penny Taproom, and Villanti Printers.
If you’re interested in sponsoring the 2019 Gala, please contact Libby Johnson, Director of Development, at [email protected].