Creative Coloradans get their due in book awards

Two ceremonies honor authors, editors, illustrators, photographers


Writers of mystery, history, poetry, fine arts accounts, fiction and creative nonfiction, as well as works intended for tots and teens, abound in our supportive-of-the-arts Colorado. And we read that nationwide, bookstores, publishers and libraries are growing and busy — wonderful news to this former bookseller!

In Colorado, awards to writers were recently announced by two important organizations: Colorado Authors’ League, founded in 1931 with the melding of a men’s group and a women’s group, and Colorado Humanities/Center for the Book, celebrating the 14th year of collaboration in supporting the humanities in Colorado, both of which hold annual competitions for writers. (Information on eligibility can be found on the websites for future reference — and Both organizations sponsored a number of public readings at area bookstores prior to the award ceremonies: look for them next year at the Tattered Cover and Book Bar shops, as well as at literary festivals in the metro area.

On May 4, at a membership dinner/ceremony at the Arvada Center, the Colorado Authors’ League recognized the late Littleton children’s author Caroline Stutson for her delightful picture book, “Blue Corn Soup.” The gentle tale has generated so much attention among children’s literature aficionados that it resulted in the decision to provide a copy to each first-grader living in New Mexico. It is a lovely legacy for an especially sweet local woman who spun stories at libraries for hundreds of little ones. Another south area winner is “Wealth by Virtue” by Chad Gordon of Centennial (General Nonfiction).

Other CAL awards include: Poetry, single poem, “Like a Seam” by Constance E. Boyle, Arvada; Poetry Collection, “A Death at Tollgate Creek” by Art Eiser, Denver; Featured Articles, “Keeper’s Return” by Art Eiser, Dinosaur; Essays, “12 Truths About My Life With Bell’s Palsy” by Pam Moore, Boulder; Children, “Blue Corn Soup” by Caroline Stutson, Littleton; Young Adult, “The Last Panther” by Todd Mitchell, Fort Collins; Children’s/Young Adult Nonfiction, “When Jackie Saved Grand Central,” by Natasha Wing, Fort Collins; Creative Nonfiction, “Heading Home Field Notes” by Peter Anderson, Crestone; Mainstream Fiction, “Trafficked” by Peg Brantley, Aurora; Genre Fiction, “Dead Stop” by Barbara Nickless, Colorado Springs; and Screenplay, “Parrish” by Jalynn Venis of Lakewood.

The 2018 Colorado Book Awards were presented on June 2 at the Sie Film Center, attended by about 120 literary types. Winners read briefly from their works and authors, editors, illustrators and photographers were honored in 14 categories. Colorado Humanities and the Center for the Book are headquartered in Greenwood Village. Fourteen winners were recognized: Anthology, “Beautiful Flesh: A Body of Essays,” edited by Stephanie G’Schwind; Children’s Literature, “Can an Aardvark Bark?” by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Steve Jenkins; Creative Nonfiction, “The Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship and Hope in an American Classroom” by Helen Thorpe; General Fiction, “Megafire: The Race to Extinguish a Deadly Epidemic of Flame” by Michael Kodas; History, “Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits: Inside the Fight to Reclaim Native America’s Culture” by Chip Colwell (of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science); Juvenile Literature, “The Last Panther” by Todd Mitchell; Literary Fiction, “The Blue Hour” by Laura Pritchett; Mystery, “Dead Stop” by Barbara Nickless; Pictorial, “Once Upon a Time … The Western: A New Frontier in Art and Film” by Mary Dailey-Desmarais (Montreal Museum of Fine Art) and Thomas Brent Smith (Denver Art Museum — the catalog from the wonderful exhibit at the DAM); Poetry: “Trophic Cascade” by Camille T. Dungy; Science Fiction/Fantasy, “A Borrowed Hell” by L.D. Colter; *Thriller, “Trafficked: A Mex Anderson Novel” by Peg Brantley; and Young Adult Fiction, “When Dimple Met Rishi” by Sandhya Menon.

Look for these at your local library or bookstore and enjoy summertime reading — perhaps with a tall, cool glass of lemonade!


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