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Vermont Book Award

The Vermont Book Award, created in 2015, is an annual prize for outstanding literature by a Vermont author. It is awarded through a partnership between Vermont Humanities, the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and the Vermont Department of Libraries.

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Vermont Book Awards: A Celebration of Vermont Writers

Vermont Book Award winners will be revealed at a celebration on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at 7:00pm at Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier. Join Vermont authors, librarians, and friends of literature for this special dessert and cocktail reception featuring the announcement of this year's winners in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and children’s literature. The annual prize is supported by a partnership between Vermont Humanities, Vermont Department of Libraries, and Vermont College of Fine Arts with additional support from Phoenix Books and the Vermont Arts Council

Purchase VBA Celebration Tickets

Finalists for the 2023 Award:

Creative Nonfiction

  • Brad Kessler for Deep North: Stories of Somali Resettlement in Vermont
  • Mary Ruefle for The Book
  • Jeff Sharlet for The Undertow: Scenes from a Slow Civil War


  • J. Vanessa Lyon for Lush Lives
  • Genevieve Plunkett for In the Lobby of the Dream Hotel
  • Sandra Simonds for Assia


  • Michael Dumanis for Creature
  • Vievee Francis for The Shared World
  • Leslie Sainz for Have You Been Long Enough at Table
  • Ellen Bryant Voigt for Collected Poems

Children’s Literature

  • Kekla Magoon for The Minus-One Club (young adult novel)
  • M.T. Anderson for Elf Dog and Owl Head (middle grade novel)
  • Kenneth M. Cadow for Gather (young adult novel)
  • Dan Nott for Hidden Systems (graphic literature)

Nominations will open for books of excellent literary merit published by Vermont authors in 2024 later this year. To be eligible, the author must live in Vermont more than half the year. Self-published books are not eligible. Books are initially nominated by booksellers of Vermont, Vermont librarians, and by publishers anywhere. Nominations open to the general Vermont public later in the year. Nominated books are read by a team of judges looking for literary excellence as they pick finalists and then winners. 

2022 Vermont Book Award Celebration

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On Saturday, May 6, 2023, the Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA), Vermont Humanities, and Vermont Department of Libraries hosted the 2022 Vermont Book Award celebration. About 120 Vermont authors, book sellers, librarians, and friends of literature attended the dessert reception at VCFA’s Alumnx Hall.

“In a country that suffers from loneliness, books are often life affirming companions,” Leslie Ward, president of Vermont College of Fine Arts, said in her welcoming remarks at the celebration. “We gather tonight to celebrate the writers of our great state because we owe them our deepest gratitude for the work they do and the gifts they offer to us. And because community is what sustains writers,” Ward said.

The previous year’s Vermont Book Award winners — Alison Bechdel, Melanie Finn, and Shanta Lee Gander — and author M.T. Anderson announced the winners. A panel of judges composed of writers, readers, editors, librarians and booksellers of Vermont chose the winners from among 14 finalists.

The 2022 Vermont Book Award winners were:

  • for Children's Literature: Zoë Tilley Poster for The Night Wild
  • for Creative Non-Fiction: Kathryn Davis for Aurelia Aurelia
  • for Fiction: Caren Beilin for Revenge of the Scapegoat
  • for Poetry: Bianca Stone for What Is Otherwise Infinite

Vermont Book Award 2022 Press Release

The 2022 Vermont Book Award finalists were:

Creative Nonfiction

· Nancy Marie Brown for Looking for the Hidden Folk: How Iceland's Elves Can Save the Earth
· Kathryn Davis for Aurelia, Aurélia
· Peter Orner for Still No Word from You: Notes in the Margin


· Caren Beilin for Revenge of the Scapegoat
· Ann Dávila Cardinal for The Storyteller’s Death
· Louise Glück for Marigold and Rose
· Erin Stalcup for Keen


· Rage Hezekiah for Yearn
· Carol Potter for What Happens Next Is Anyone's Guess
· Bianca Stone for What Is Otherwise Infinite

Children’s Literature

· Margot Harrison for We Made it All Up (young adult)
· Jo Knowles for Meant to Be (middle grade)
· Zoë Tilley Poster for The Night Wild (picture book)
· Leda Schubert for Firsts and Lasts: The Changing Seasons (picture book)


Vermont Book Award FAQ

  • What is the Vermont Book Award?

Established in 2015 by Vermont College of Fine Arts, the Vermont Book Award is a literary prize that honors work of outstanding literary merit by Vermont authors and celebrates the long tradition of literature in the state.

  • 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 (books published in 2023 will be considered for this year's award.) A “Vermont writer” is a writer who lives in Vermont for at least half the year. Self-published books are not eligible for the Book Award, nor are books written by staff of VCFA, the Vermont Department of Libraries, and Vermont Humanities. Anthologies containing work written by multiple authors are also not eligible.

  • Who nominates books?

A committee of librarians and independent booksellers of Vermont nominates books in three categories: Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Poetry, and Children's Literature. Graphic literature should also be entered into the appropriate category; for example, a graphic memoir should be entered as Creative Nonfiction.

  • Who are the judges?

Each year, the Vermont Book Award leadership team selects a panel of judges made up of Vermont writers, teachers, librarians, and passionate supporters of literature in Vermont. Staff members and trustees of leadership team organizations are not included in this independent panel of judges.

  • How are the finalists and the winner chosen?

A committee of librarians and independent booksellers of Vermont nominates books in four categories: Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Poetry, and Children's Literature. 

  • What does the award entail?

The Winners of the Vermont Book Award receive a prize of $1,000. The winners are announced at a celebration hosted by Vermont Humanities in the spring.

  • Where can a list of previous year's finalists and winners be found?

Find a listing of all Vermont Book Award finalists and winners on the Vermont College of Fine Arts awards celebration page


For More Information

Please contact Miciah Gault ( Vermont Book Awards Coordinator with any questions regarding the Award.