COLORADO BOOK AWARDS2024-07-11T15:13:03-06:00

Colorado Book Awards 2024

Colorado Humanities & Center for the Book honored the 2024 Colorado Book Awards finalists and announced the winners in 15 literary categories at a celebration on June 21, 2024 at the beautiful and historic Tivoli Turnhalle theater on the Auraria Higher Education Center campus. Finalists, press, supporters, and lovers of literature were in attendance to celebrate Colorado’s outstanding and diverse literary talent. The livestream is available to watch on our YouTube and Facebook.

Download the posters!

Celebrate Colorado’s literary excellence with the 2024 Colorado Book Awards Finalist and Winner Posters! These beautifully designed posters feature vibrant artwork, capturing the spirit of the awards, and a comprehensive list of this year’s finalists and winners.

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 Colorado Center for the Book Programs Coordinator Valerie Eddy at valerie@coloradohumanities.org 303.894.7951 x15

Congratulations to the 2024 Colorado Book Award Finalists!

Winners pictured and in bold.

Children’s Literature

Building a Dream: How the Boys of Koh Panyee Became Champions
Darshana Khiani and Dow Phumiruk
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers

Lia & Luís: Puzzled!
Ana Crespo and Giovana Medeiros

Light Speaks
Christine Layton and Luciana Navarro Powell
Tilbury House Publishers

Something Spectacular: A Rock’s Journey
Carmela Lavigna Coyle and Carly Allen-Fletcher
Muddy Boots Books

Creative Nonfiction

Crossings: How Road Ecology is Shaping the Future of Our Planet
Ben Goldfarb
W. W. Norton & Company

Living River: The Promise of the Mighty Colorado
Dave Showalter
Braided River, an imprint of Mountaineers Books

Losing Music
John Cotter
Milkweed Editions

Soil: the Story of a Black Mother’s Garden
Camille T. Dungy
Simon and Schuster

Historical Fiction

A Bakery In Paris
Aimie K. Runyan
HarperCollins Publishers

Paradise Undone: A Novel of Jonestown
Annie Dawid
Inkspot Publishing

To Die Beautiful
Buzzy Jackson
Penguin Random House, Dutton


Galloping Gourmet: Eating and Drinking with Buffalo Bill
Steve Friesen
University of Nebraska Press

HILOS CULTURALES: Cultural Threads of The San Luis Valley
Patricia B. Martinez, Herman A Martinez, and Enrique R. Lamadrid
History Colorado

Women of the Colorado Gold Rush Era
J.v.L Bell and Jan Gunia
Filter Press

Juvenile Literature

Jenny Goebel

Brave Bird at Wounded Knee: A Story of Protest on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
Rachel Bithell and Eric Freeberg
Jolly Fish Press

Polly Holyoke
Viking Books for Young Readers

The Girl From Earth’s End
Tara Dairman
Candlewick Press


Blood Betrayal
Ausma Zehanat Khan
Minotaur Books

Standing Dead
Margaret Mizushima
Crooked Lane Books

Take the Honey and Run: A Beekeeping Mystery
Jennie Marts
Crooked Lane Books


Homestead: A Novel
Melinda Moustakis
Flatiron Books

The Applicant
Nazli Koca
Grove Press

The Last Animal
Ramona Ausubel
Penguin Random House, Riverhead Books


How You Walk Alone in the Dark
Erin Block
Middle Creek Publishing & Audio

Maps You Can’t Make
Mariella Saavedra Carquin
June Road Press

Still and Still Moving
Katie Scruggs Galloway
Indie Earth Publishing


Autumn of the Big Snow
Lou Jacobs
Clinescot Publishing Colorado

Brynn and Sebastian Hate Each Other
Bethany Turner
Thomas Nelson/HarperCollins

Raising Elle
S.E. Reichert
5 Prince Publishing and Books

Science Fiction/Fantasy

Dark Moon, Shallow Sea
David R. Slayton
Blackstone Publishing

Not Quite Dead Geniuses at Large on an Angry Planet
R. Gary Raham

Ann Claycomb
Titan Books

Short Story

Defensible Spaces
Alison Turner
Torrey House Press​

This is Salvaged: Stories
Vauhini Vara
W. W. Norton & Company

Uranians: Stories
Theodore McCombs
Astra Publishing House


No Child of Mine
Nichelle Giraldes

Once Upon a Lie
Rebecca Taylor
Ophelia House

The Girls in the Cabin
Caleb Stephens
Joffe Books

Young Adult Literature

Rez Ball
Byron Graves
Heartdrum/HarperCollins Children’s Books

Seven Percent of Ro Devereux
Ellen O’Clover
HarperCollins Publishers

Surviving Daybreak
Kendra Merritt
Blue Fyre Press

2024 Colorado Book Award Submissions


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.

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

Past Winners and Finalists

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

Special thanks to our sponsors and partners

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