COLORADO BOOK AWARDS2024-04-01T10:50:09-06:00

Colorado Book Awards 2024 – Save the Date!

We are excited to announce that the 2024 Finalists Celebration and Winners Announcement will be held on Friday, June 21, 2024 at the Tivoli Turnhalle theater at Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Auraria campus. $30 Tickets will be available for purchase starting May 6 in our store or by phone.

Adjudication is underway, and the full list of finalists will be posted to the Colorado Book Awards page by May 1.

2024 Submissions

Submissions for the 2024 season closed January 5, 2024 at 11:59pm.


The 33rd annual Colorado Book Awards season begins September 1, 2023 for books published for the first time between October 1, 2022 and December 31, 2023. We are particularly interested in receiving and reviewing works created by authors of communities that have been historically marginalized and excluded.

Books are reviewed in a two-part process by volunteer selectors and judges from across the state. In the first round of adjudication in February and March, a panel of three selectors reviews all books submitted in a category to determine the finalists (typically three per category). In the second round in April and May, a panel of three judges reviews the finalists and selects a winner. All winners will be announced at the Finalists Celebration and Winners Announcement in June 2024.

The 2024 Colorado Book Award includes:

  • Winners: a cash prize and engraved plaque
  • Winners and Finalists:
    • Opportunity to join the Colorado Center for the Book Speakers Bureau https://coloradohumanities.org/programs/ccftb-speakers-bureau/
    • Statewide publicity surrounding announcement of the Colorado Book Awards
    • Branded promotional materials

Please direct all questions to Valerie Eddy
303.894.7951 x15

Submission Requirements2023-11-27T15:43:01-07:00
  • A complete online entry form for each title submitted
  • A submission fee of $60 per entry (payable by credit/debit card or check)
  • Four (4) copies of each submitted title
    • Important: if your book is nominated as a finalist, CH staff will contact you requesting three (3) additional copies of your book for the second round of judging.

Checks should be made payable to Colorado Humanities

Deadline: Submission form, entry fee, and book copies must be received by Friday, January 5, 2024.

Send Books To: Colorado Humanities, attn: Colorado Book Awards, 7935 E. Prentice Ave., Suite 450, Greenwood Village, CO 80111

In-Person Drop-offs: If desired, books may be dropped off in person on select days at our office. Please contact Administrative Assistant Tawnya Albright (tawnya@coloradohumanities.org, 303.894.7951 x10) to arrange a drop-off time.

Contact: Please contact Valerie Eddy with questions regarding eligibility, category placement, or the submission process. Email: valerie@coloradohumanities.org / Phone: 303.894.7951 x15.

Please note: Copies of submitted books become the property of Colorado Humanities and will be donated to communities throughout Colorado following the judging process.

Disclaimer: Members of the staff and board of Colorado Humanities are not eligible to submit books to or serve as selectors and judges for the Colorado Book Awards.

  • Anthology: a collection of poems, stories, or essays by one or more authors, with a compiler or editor other than the author(s)
  • Children’s Literature: a book for readers ages seven and under, including easy readers, picture books, nonfiction, and children’s poetry collections
  • Creative Nonfiction & Memoir: a book of nonfiction that uses literary styles and techniques as well as memory, experience, observation, and opinion to create factually accurate narratives
  • General Nonfiction: a book of nonfiction, including, but not limited to, science, nature, guidebooks, cookbooks, and educational texts
  • Genre Fiction: a book of fiction that is tied to the plot and follows conventions of genres such as mystery, romance, thriller, science fiction/fantasy, etc.; if enough entries for a specific genre subcategory are received in a given year, a Colorado Book Award will be given in that specific subcategory
  • History: a nonfiction book of history, including biographies of persons born earlier than the 20th century
  • Juvenile Literature: a work of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry for middle readers ages eight to eleven; if enough entries for a specific genre subcategory are received in a given year, a Colorado Book Award will be given in that specific subcategory
  • Novel & Short Story: a novel, novella, or short story collection
  • Pictorial: A book strongly focused on photographs/illustrations/art; books in this category will be judged primarily on their illustrative content and overall book design
  • Poetry: a book-length collection of poetry by a single writer; chapbooks of at least 30 pages are also eligible
  • Young Adult Literature: a work of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry for young adults ages twelve and older

Books may be submitted in only one category. The final decision on a book’s category placement will be determined by Colorado Humanities.

Eligibility Requirements2023-11-27T15:43:51-07:00

In order to be eligible for submission, the following criteria must be met.

  • A primary contributor to the book must be a current Colorado resident engaged in ongoing literary work in the state, or with a personal history, identity, AND literary work that reflect a strong Colorado influence.
  • All submitted books must have a valid ISBN and a 2023 publication date. Exceptions are made for books with a publication date of October, November, or December 2022.

Self-published books are accepted, provided that they meet all eligibility requirements, and we strongly recommend that books be professionally edited.

The following are NOT eligible:

  • Reprinted editions or books containing previously published material UNLESS at least 50% of the book’s content is new (further documentation will be required)
  • Advance reading copies and galleys. If a book’s release date is after the submission deadline, the author or publisher must contact Colorado Humanities prior to January 5, 2024 to discuss a submission plan.
  • E-books
  • Plays or screenplays
  • Books written by staff or board members of Colorado Humanities

The final decision on a book’s eligibility is made by Colorado Humanities, and this decision will be binding.
Please read eligibility requirements carefully. Refunds will not be processed for ineligible books.

2024 Selector/Judge Application

Thank you for your interest in volunteering to be a judge or selector! We are no longer accepting applications for the 2024 Colorado Book Awards and will begin accepting applications again next fall.

2023 Colorado Book Awards

In 2023 we received 206 entries in 16 categories: anthology, children’s literature, creative nonfiction, general fiction, general nonfiction, historical fiction, history/biography, juvenile literature, literary fiction, mystery, pictorial, poetry, romance, science fiction/fantasy, thriller, and young adult literature. Volunteer selectors and judges from across Colorado read submissions to choose finalists and winners.

Finalists were announced throughout the spring and read from their work and answered questions in person at various Pikes Peak Library District locations. The finalists celebration and winners announcement event was held at Penrose House in Colorado Springs on June 10, 2023 and streamed live. Recordings of all events are posted to YouTube and Facebook.

About the Colorado Book Awards

The Colorado Book Awards annually celebrates the accomplishments of Colorado’s outstanding authors, editors, illustrators, and photographers. Volunteer selectors and judges from across Colorado read submissions to choose finalists and winners. To learn more about, partner with, or sponsor the Colorado Book Awards, please contact Director of Programs & Center for the Book Valerie Eddy at valerie@coloradohumanities.org 303.894.7951 x15

Congratulations to the 2023 Winners and Finalists!

Winners pictured


Bizarre Bazaar: A Collection of Stories from Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers
Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers

Denver Noir
Cynthia Swanson
Akashic Books

The Long Devotion
Emily Pérez
The University of Georgia Press


Life is a Game: Adventures of a World War II Interrogator and U.S. Soccer Pioneer
G.K. Guennel & Flint Whitlock
Cable Publishing

The Continuing Storm: Learning from Katrina
Kai Erikson & Lori Peek
University of Texas Press

The Earth Is All That Lasts: Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, and the Last Stand of the Great Sioux Nation
Mark Lee Gardner
Harper Collins

Children’s Literature

If Tigers Disappeared
Lily Williams
Roaring Brook Press

Swim, Jim!
Kaz Windness
Simon & Schuster

Jean Reidy & Lucy Ruth Cummins
Simon & Schuster

Creative Nonfiction

A Pros and Cons List for Strong Feelings
Will Betke-Brunswick
Tin House

Finding Querencia
Harrison Candelaria Fletcher
The Ohio State University Press

Tell Me Everything
Erika Krouse
Flatiron Books

Western Journeys
Teow Lim Goh
The University of Utah Press

General Fiction

A Light in the Forest
Melissa Payne
Lake Union Publishing

A Quick Trip to Moab: Insurrection in the Wilderness
Kevin T. Jones
Lost Souls Press

The Immortal King Rao
Vauhini Vara
W.W. Norton and Company

General Nonfiction

Ecosystems as Models for Restoring Our Economies
John Giordanengo
Alo Terra

Tracing Time
Craig Childs
Torrey House Press

Visual Thinking
Temple Grandin
Penguin Random House

Historical Fiction

The School for German Brides
Aimie K. Runyan
Harper Collins

Woman of Light
Kali Fajardo-Anstine
Penguin Random House

Little Souls
Sandra Dallas
St. Martin’s Press

Juvenile Literature

Dad’s Girlfriend and Other Anxieties
Kellye Crocker
Albert Whitman & Company

Middle School: Safety Goggles Advised
Jessica Speer & Lesley Imgart

Sisterhood of Sleuths
Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
Little, Brown and Company

Totality! An Eclipse Guide in Rhyme and Science
Jeffrey Bennett
Big Kid Science

Literary Fiction

Any Other Family
Eleanor Brown
Penguin Random House

Bratwurst Haven
Rachel King
West Virginia University Press

Sean Eads
Hex Publishers


Aunt Dimity & the Enchanted Cottage
Nancy Atherton
Viking Books

The Chimera Club
Chuck Greaves
Tallow Lane Books

Where Is Mary Bergen?
Craig Marshall Smith


In Pursuit of Happenstance
Barbara Ford & Roberta Smith
Ruby Creek Press

To Aspen and Back: An American Journey
Peggy Clifford, David Hiser, and Daniel Joseph Watkins
The Meat Possum Press

Vibrant Interiors
Andrea Monath Schumacher
Gibbs Smith


Katherine Indermaur
Seneca Review Books

What Flies Want
Emily Pérez
University of Iowa Press

You Better Be Lightning
Andrea Gibson
Button Poetry/Exploding Pinecone Press


All the Flowers of the Mountain
Christina Holbrook
Sunroom Studios

Hope is Built
Davalynn Spencer

The Duke in Question
Amalie Howard

Science Fiction/Fantasy

Conscious Designs
Nathanial White
Miami University Press

Demon Riding Shotgun
L.R. Braden
Belle Bridge Books

Denver Moon: The thirteen of Mars
Warren Hammond and Joshua Viola
Hex Publishers


Dark of Night 
Barbara Nickless
Thomas & Mercer

Deep Waters of Destiny 
Peter Carlson
Calumet Editions

The Wrong Woman 
Leanne Kale Sparks
Crooked Lane Books

Young Adult Literature

Azar on Fire
Olivia Abtahi
Penguin Random House

Bright Ruined Things
Samantha Cohoe
St. Martin’s

Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves
Meg Long
St. Martin’s

Past Winners and Finalists

Congratulations to our winners and finalists! Click the buttons below to view category definitions and past award recipients.

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