The Colorado Book Awards is annual program that celebrates the accomplishments of Colorado’s outstanding authors, editors, illustrators, and photographers. Awards are presented in at least ten categories including anthology/collection, children’s literature, creative nonfiction, general fiction, general nonfiction, genre fiction, history, pictorial, poetry, and young adult literature. We also welcome work written in Spanish by a Colorado writer and work from another language translated in English by a Colorado translator.
Submissions for the 2020 Colorado Book Awards are now closed. We received 211 entries in the 2020 Colorado Book Awards, our highest number ever! We will announce the finalists in 16 categories to entrants and on our website and social media in mid-March 2020. Check back here in mid-March to be among the first to discover the finalists of the 2020 Colorado Book Awards!
Winners are chosen in two rounds of adjudication. In the first round, three selectors work together to choose three category finalists out of all books submitted in that category, using rubric sheets we provide. In the second round, three judges work together to choose the winner in that category, using the same rubric sheets. The rubric sheets guide selectors and judges to rate the book on general criteria and category criteria. Examples of “general criteria” that apply to most categories include quality of writing, appeal to a broad audience, and originality in writing. “Category criteria” include factors specific to that genre. For instance, General Fiction criteria include mastery of literary language and convention.
Selectors and judges read the books in isolation (i.e., without conferring with each other or anyone else) and after all selectors and judges have completed reading and rating, they engage in group discussions and negotiations.
A facilitator may be appointed to the committee. The facilitator guides selectors and judges through the process and leads the committee discussions. In lieu of a facilitator, the Colorado Book Awards program coordinator will serve this role. Selectors and judges are asked to come prepared to both contribute and listen in a civil discussion, demonstrating respect for fellow selectors and judges, authors, and publishers. Information about which books were entered and all discussions about entries are considered strictly confidential.
We do not make public exactly who our volunteer selectors and judges are in each category and we ask judges and selectors to maintain confidentiality about their volunteer service and recuse themselves if they have a conflict of interest. They are invited from dedicated librarians, historians, writers, editors, teachers, artists, photographers, and readers — and former Colorado Book Awards entrants, finalists, and winners — who apply to be selectors and judges. They contribute topical expertise, academic knowledge, and industry experience. We do not allow our staff or board members to serve as selectors or judges.
For more information, contact Bess Maher, 303.894.7951 x19, fax 303.864.9361, firstname.lastname@example.org.