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Colorado Book Awards

Join us May 30, 2020 at 4 p.m. for the 2020 Colorado Book Awards! Winners will be announced and read briefly. The event will be broadcast from the historic Evans School in Denver and stream Facebook Live [1]. A shout out to Reactiv [2] for the use of the school.

Download a Finalist Checklist [3] and order books online at BookBar [4]. Enter CBA20 in the Notes section to receive a 20% discount.

A downloadable program will be available soon!

We’d like to thank our sponsors for their on-going support. Long-time sponsor, Outskirts Press [5] helps thousands of authors develop, publish, and market thousands of high-quality award-winning books. The Colorado Sun [6], our newest sponsor, features weekly excerpts and interviews from Colorado authors.

To stay up-to-date on all the happenings at Colorado Humanities, please scroll to the bottom of the page and sign up to receive our newsletter.

Announcing the 2020 Colorado Book Award Finalists

All the Lives We Ever Lived: A Lighthouse Writers Workshop Community Anthology Vol. 1 edited by Dan Manzanares and Suzi Q. Smith (Lighthouse Writers Workshop)
Rise: An Anthology of Change edited by Northern Colorado Writers (Northern Colorado Writers, LLC)
Straight Outta Deadwood edited by David Boop (Baen Publishing Enterprises)

Children’s Literature
Pup 681: A Sea Otter Rescue Story by Jean Reidy, illustrated by Ashley Crowley (Henry Holt and Company)
The Fisherman and the Whale by Jessica Lanan (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Truman by Jean Reidy, illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Simon & Schuster)

Creative Nonfiction
Chronicles of the Forbidden: Essays of Shadow and Light by John Nizalowski (Irie Books)
Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country by Pam Houston (W.W. Norton & Company)
Soft Hearted Stories: Seeking Saviors, Cowboy Stylists, and Other Fallacies of Authoritarianism by Jenny Forrester (Lit Kit Collective)
The Lampblack Blue of Memory: My Mother Echoes by Sarah Adleman (Tolsun Books)

General Fiction
Girls on the Line by Aimie K. Runyan (Lake Union Publishing)
Light in the Shadows by Linda Lafferty and Andy Stone (Lake Union Publishing)
The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger (Riverhead Books/Penguin Random House)

General Nonfiction
Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn from the Strange Science of Recovery by Christie Aschwanden (W. W. Norton & Company)
Taste the Sweetness Later: Two Muslim Women in America by Connie Shoemaker (Amity Bridge Books)
The Land of Flickering Lights by Michael Bennet (Atlantic Monthly Press/Grove Atlantic)

Nighthawk Rising: A Biography of Accused Cattle Rustler Queen Ann Bassett of Brown’s Park by Diana Allen Kouris (High Plains Press)
Scholars of Mayhem: My Father’s Secret War in Nazi-Occupied France by Daniel C. Guiet and Timothy K. Smith (Penguin Press)
The Storm on Our Shores: One Island, Two Soldiers, and the Forgotten Battle of World War II by Mark Obmascik (Atria Books)

Juvenile Literature
Spotted Tail by David Heska Wanbli Weiden, illustrated by Jim Yellowhawk and Pat Kinsella (Reycraft Books)
Tree of Dreams by Laura Resau (Scholastic Press)
The Cryptid Keeper by Lija Fisher (Farrar Straus & Giroux)

Literary Fiction
Burn Fortune by Brandi Homan (CLASH Books)
If the Ice Had Held by Wendy J. Fox (Santa Fe Writers Project)
You Who Enter Here by Erika T. Wurth (Ecelsior Editions, State University of New York Press, Albany)

Celtic Empire by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Lost Lake by Emily Littlejohn (Minotaur Books)
Tracking Game by Margaret Mizushima (Crooked Lane Books)

Bird Parade by Patrick Loehr (Centipede Press)
Flatland by Teague von Bohlen, photographer Britten Leigh Traughber (Bronze Man Books)
Hollywood: Her Story, An Illustrated History of Women and the Movies by Jill S. Tietjen and Barbara Bridges (Lyons Press)

How To Dress a Fish by Abigail Chabitnoy (Wesleyan University Press)
My Brother’s Keeper by David J. Rothman (Lithic Press)
Variations on Dawn and Dusk by Dan Beachy-Quick (Omnidawn Publishing)

Remembering a Witch by Lauren Connolly (Lauren Connolly)
Stolen Heart, Book 2: North Fork Series by K.L. McKee (Cameo Mountain Press)
Zapata, Book 1: The Border Series by Harper McDavid (Soul Mate Publishing)

Science Fiction/Fantasy
An Illusion of Thieves by Cate Glass (Tor Books)
Denver Moon, Book II: The Saint of Mars by Warren Hammond and Joshua Viola (Hex Publishers)
The Blood of Seven by Claire L. Fishback (Dark Doorways Press, LLC)
The Legend of Carl Draco by Gary Reilly (Running Meter Press)

Short Story Collection
April Warnings by Mark Pleiss (Veliz Books)
Not a Thing to Comfort You by Emily Wortman-Wunder (University of Iowa Press)
This. This. This. Is. Love. Love. Love. by Jennifer Wortman (Split Lip Press)

Black Pearl, A Cold Case Suspense by Donnell Ann Bell (Bell Bridge Books, Belle Books)
The Extinction Agenda by Michael Laurence (St. Martin’s Press)
The Dead Girl in 2A by Carter Wilson (Sourcebooks)

Young Adult Literature
Fake by Donna Cooner (Point, Scholastic, Inc.)
Merged by Jim Kroepfl and Stephanie Kroepfl (Month9Books)
There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon (Simon Pulse, Simon & Schuster Children’s Division)

The Colorado Book Awards is an annual program that celebrates the accomplishments of Colorado’s outstanding authors, editors, illustrators, and photographers. Awards are presented in 16 categories including anthology/collection, children’s literature, creative nonfiction, general fiction, general nonfiction, history, juvenile literature, literary fiction, mystery, pictorial, poetry, romance, science fiction/fantasy, short story collection, thriller, and young adult literature.

The Colorado Book Awards online celebration is scheduled for Saturday, May 30, 4 to 6 p.m.  Winners will be announced and read briefly from their work. Everyone is welcome to attend. The event will broadcast from the historic Evans School in Denver and stream Facebook LIVE [1].  A downloadable program will be available soon.

For more information, contact Chris Goff, 303.894.7951 x19 or goff@coloradohumanities.org [7].

CBA Categories


Children’s Literature

Creative Nonfiction

General Fiction

General Nonfiction


Juvenile Literature

Literary Fiction





Science Fiction/Fantasy

Short Story Collection


Young Adult Literature

Colorado Book Awards

Submissions for the 2021 Colorado Book Awards will open in mid-September 2020 for books published in 2020. Submission deadline January 2021!

Winners and Finalists

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

The Doggie in the Window: How One Dog Led Me from the Pet Store to the Factory Farm to Uncover the Truth of Where Puppies Really Come From by Rory Kress (Sourcebooks)

Bombs Away: Militarization, Conservation, and Ecological Restoration by David C. Havlick (The University of Chicago Press)
Doggie in the Window: How One Dog Led Me from the Pet Store to the Factory Farm to Uncover the Truth of Where Puppies Really Come From by Rory Kress (Sourcebooks)
Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded by Jason Heller (Melville House Publishing)
Tales from an Uncertain World: What Other Assorted Disasters Can Teach Us About Climate Change by L. S. Gardiner (University of Iowa Press)

1992   Telling Distance: Conversations with the American Desert by Bruce Berger
1993   West of the Divide by Jim Carrier
1994   The Four-Cornered Falcon: Essays on the Interior West and the Natural Scene by Reg Saner
1995   Breast Cancer Journal by Juliet Wittman
1996   Red Earth White Lies by Vine Deloria
1997   Photographing the Landscape by John Fielder
1998   Herbs in the Garden by David Macke and Rob Proctor
1999   Innocents on the Ice by John Behrendt
1999   Chokecherry Places by Merrill Gilfillan
2000   Cutthroat by Stephen Keating
2000   Making the News by Jason Salzman
2001   10 Smart Money Moves for Women by Judith Briles
2001   Living the Renewed Life by M. Wayne Brown
2001   The Angelic Year by Ambika Wauters
2001   Beethoven’s Hair by Russell Martin
2002   The Coldest March: Scott’s Fatal Antarctic Expedition by Susan Solomon
2002   Fighting for Your Marriage by Howard Markman
2003   Writing to Heal the Soul by Susan Zimmerman
2003   Colorado Colore: A Palate of Tastes by Junior League of Denver
2003   The Encyclopedia of the American Civil War by David & Jeanne Heidler
2003   Blood Diamonds by Greg Campbell
2004   Under the Banner of Heaven by John Krakauer
2004   Bats of the Rocky Mountain West by Rick Adams
2004   Embracing the World by Jane. E. Vennard
2004   The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander by Barbara Coloroso
2004   Shadowcasting: An Introduction to the Art of Fly Fishing by John Dietsch and Gary Hubbell
2005   The Candy Men: The Rollicking Life and Times of the Notorious Novel CANDY by Nile Southern
2005   Xeriscape Colorado: The Complete Guide by Connie Lockhart Ellefson and David Winger
2006   Wild at Heart: Town of Snowmass by Janis Lindsay Huggins
2007   Walking Into Colorado’s Past: 50 Front Range History Hikes, written and photographed by Ben Fogelberg and Steve Grinstead
2008   Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway by Kirk Johnson, illustrated by Ray Troll
2009   Storey’s Illustrated Breed Guide to Sheep, Goats, Cattle, and Pigs by Carol Ekarius
2009   Unexpected Intimacy: Everyday Connections that Nourish the Soul by Sarah Gabriel
2010   Voices of the American West by Corinne Platt & Meredith Ogilby
2011   The Heroine’s Bookshelf: Life Lessons, From Jane Austen to Laura Ingalls Wilder by Erin Blakemore
2012   Math for Life by Jeffrey Bennett, Roberts and Company
2013   Full Body Burden by Kristen Iversen
2014   Tasting Colorado: Favorite Recipes from the Centennial State by Michele Morris
2015   Eating Dangerously: Why the Government Can’t Keep Your Food Safe–And How You Can by Michael Booth & Jennifer Brown
2016   Rust: The Longest War by Jonathan Waldman
2017   Colorado Then and Now by Grant Collier
2018   Megafire: The Race to Extinguish a Deadly Epidemic of Flame by Michael Kodas

https://coloradohumanities.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2018_420_AnthologyCNF.mp3 [11]

2019   The Doggie in the Window: How One Dog Led Me from the Pet Store to the Factory Farm to Uncover the Truth of Where Puppies Really Come From by Rory Kress

Not a category for 2019

Not a category for 2019

2000   (Romance) Meant to be Married by Ruth Wind by Barbara Samuel
2001   (Romance) Flowers Under Ice by Jean Ross Ewing
2001   (Mystery) The Spirit Woman by Margaret Coel
2002   (Romance) My Dark Prince by Julia Ross (Jean Ross Ewing)
2002   (Mystery) Two O’Clock, Eastern Wartime by John Dunning
2002   (Science Fiction) Passage by Connie Willis
2003   Song of the Beast by Carol Berg
2003   (Mystery) The Shadow Dancer by Margaret Coel
2003   A Winter Haunting by Dan Simmons
2004   (Romance) A Piece of Heaven by Barbara Samuel
2004   (Mystery) Extreme Indifference by Stephanie Kane
2005   (Mystery) Wife of Moon by Margaret Coel
2006   Eye of the Wolf by Margaret Coel
2007   Iron Ties by Ann Parker
2008   The Girl With Braided Hair by Margaret Coel
2009   Breath and Bone by Carol Berg
2010   A Land Beyond Ravens: Book 4 of the Macsen’s Treasure Series by Kathleen Cunningham Guler
2010   The Radio Magician and Other Stories by James Van Pelt
2011   The Spider’s Web by Margaret Coel
2012   The Soul Mirror by Carol Berg
2013   KOP Killer by Warren Hammond
2013   The View from Here by Cindy Myers
2014   Changes by Pamela Nowak

The Woolly West: Colorado’s Hidden History of Sheepscapes by Andrew Gulliford (Texas A&M University Press)

Remembering Lucile: A Virginia Family’s Rise from Slavery and a Legacy Forged a Mile High by Polly E. Bugros McLean (University Press of Colorado)
The Woolly West: Colorado’s Hidden History of Sheepscapes by Andrew Gulliford (Texas A&M University Press)
WWI Crusaders: A Band of Yanks in German-Occupied Belgium Help Save Millions from Starvation as Civilians Resist the Harsh German Rule by Jeffrey B. Miller (Milbrown Press)

1999   The Ute Indians of Colorado in the Twentieth Century by Richard Young
2002   Crucible of War by Fred Anderson
2005   Painting a New World: Mexican Art and Life, 1520-1821 by the Denver Art Museum, editors Donna Pierce, Rogelio Ruiz Gomar, and Clara Bargellini
2006   Blood Struggle: The Rise of Modern Indian Nations by Charles Wilkinson
2011   Rival Rails: The Race to Build America’s Greatest Transcontinental Railroad by Walter R. Borneman
2012   From Jars to the Stars by Todd Neff
2013   The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King – The Five-Star Admirals Who Won the War at Sea by Walter R. Borneman
2014   Denver Mountain Parks: 100 Years of the Magnificent Dream by Erika D. Walker, Wendy Rex-Atzet, Sally L. White, W. Bart Berger, Thomas J. Noel, and John Fielder
2015   Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People by Elizabeth A. Fenn
2016   Colorado: A Historical Atlas by Thomas J. Noel
2017   Coyote Valley: Deep History in the High Rockies by Thomas G. Andrews
2018   Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits: Inside the Fight to Reclaim Native America’s Culture by Chip Colwell

https://coloradohumanities.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2018_54_GNFHistoryPictorial.mp3 [34]

2019   The Woolly West: Colorado’s Hidden History of Sheepscapes by Andrew Gulliford

Del Toro Moon by Darby Karchut (Owl Hollow Press)

Del Toro Moon by Darby Karchut (Owl Hollow Press)
Nadya Skylung and the Cloudship Rescue by Jeff Seymour (G. P. Putnam’s Sons)
The Lighthouse between the Worlds by Melanie Crowder (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Simon & Schuster)

2011   Warriors: In the Crossfire by Nancy Bo Flood
2012   City of Orphans by Avi
2013   Katerina’s Wish by Jeannie Mobley
2014   Grave Images by Jenny Goebel
2015   Searching for Silverheels by Jeannie Mobley
2016   The Lightning Queen by Laura Resau
2017   Waiting for Augusta by Jessica Lawson
2018   The Last Panther by Todd Mitchell

https://coloradohumanities.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2018_422_JuvenileYA.mp3 [38]

2019   Del Toro Moon by Dar by Karchut

Mad Boy: A Novel by Nick Arvin (Europa Editions)

Awayland: Stories by Ramona Ausubel (Riverhead Books)
Mad Boy: A Novel by Nick Arvin (Europa Editions)
Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities by Nancy Stohlman (Big Table Publishing Company)
The Past Is Never: A Novel by Tiffany QuayTyson (Skyhorse Publishing)

1992   With the Snow Queen by Joanne Greenberg
1993   Booked to Die by John Dunning
1994   The Ballad of Rocky Ruiz by Manuel Ramos
1995   Lead Us Not into Penn Station by Bruce Ducker
1996   Solar Storms by Linda Hogan
1997   A Killing in Quail Country by Jameson Cole
1998   MARI: A Novel by Jane Valentine Barker
1999   A Good Doctor’s Son by Steven Schwartz
2000   The Crook Factory by Dan Simmons
2001   Color of Law by David Milofsky
2002   The Good Journey by Micaela Gilchrist
2003   This Side of the Sky by Elyse Singleton
2004   Land that Moves, Land that Stands Still by Kent Nelson
2005   Eventide by Kent Haruf
2006   Articles of War by Nick Arvin
2007   The Pull of the Earth by Teague Bohlen
2008   Migration Patterns: Stories by Gary Schanbacher
2009   The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
2010   Spoon by Robert Greer
2011   Postcards from a Dead Girl by Kirk Farber
2012   The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
2013   East of Denver by Gregory Hill
2014   Little Raw Souls by Steven Schwartz
2015   The Painter: A Novel by Peter Heller
2015   (Short Story Collection) The Rise & Fall of the Scandamerican Domestic by Christopher Merkner
2016   How To Walk Away by Lisa Birman
2016   (Short Story Collection) Night in Erg Chebbi and Other Stories by Edward Hamlin
2017   13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad
2018   The Blue Hour by Laura Pritchett

https://coloradohumanities.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2018_427_GeneralFictionLiterary.mp3 [42]

2019   Mad Boy: A Novel by Nick Arvin

Death by G-String: A Coyote Canyon Ladies Ukulele Club Mystery by C. C. Harrison (Written Dreams Publishing)

Burning Ridge: A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery by Margaret Mizushima (Crooked Lane Books)
Death by G-String: A Coyote Canyon Ladies Ukulele Club Mystery by C. C. Harrison (Written Dreams Publishing)
Her Kind of Case: A Lee Isaacs, Esq., Novel by Jeanne Winer (Bancroft Press)

2014   Desperado: A Mile High Noir by Manuel Ramos
2015   Trapline: An Allison Coil Mystery by Mark Stevens
2016   The Reckoning Stones: A Novel of Suspense by Laura DiSilverio
2017   Blood on the Tracks by Barbara Nickless

https://coloradohumanities.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2017_414_GenreFiction.mp3 [46]

2018   Dead Stop by Barbara Nickless
2019   Death by G-String: A Coyote Canyon Ladies Ukulele Club Mystery by C. C. Harrison

Not a category for 2019

Not a category for 2019

2002   Riverwalk by William Wylie
2003   Reclaiming the American West by Alan Berger
2004   Medal of Honor by Nick Del Calzo
2006   14,000 Feet: A Celebration of Colorado’s Highest Mountains by Walter Borneman, photographs by Todd Caudle
2007   Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park: Then & Now by James H. Pickering and Carey Stevanus, photographs by Mic Clinger
2008   Prairie Thunder: The Nature of Colorado’s Great Plains by Dave Showalter
2009   Colorado Scenic Byways, Taking the Other Road by Jim Steinberg and Susan J. Tweit
2010   Phlogs: Journey to the Heart of the Human Predicament by George Stranahan and Nicole Beinstein Strait
2011   Touchstones of Design: Redefining Public Architecture by Curtis Fentress
2011   Landscapes on Glass: Lantern Slides for the Rainbow Bridge-Monument Valley Expedition by Jack Turner
2012   Thomas W. Benton: Artist/Activist by Daniel Joseph Watkins
2013   Crazy: A Creative and Personal Look at Mental Illness edited by Michael Hanna and Tami Leino Hanna
2014   Firmament: A Meditation on Place in Three Parts by Andrew Beckham
2015   High Road to Aspen: Leadville To Aspen Over The Continental Divide by Paul Andersen, photographs by David Hiser
2016   Colorado’s Yampa River: Free Flowing and Wild from the Flat Tops to the Green by John Fielder and Patrick Tierney
2018   Once Upon a Time . . . The Western: A New Frontier in Art and Film edited by Mary-Dailey Desmarais and Thomas Brent Smith

https://coloradohumanities.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2018_54_GNFHistoryPictorial.mp3 [34]

Ghost Of by Diana Khoi Nguyen (Omnidawn Publishing)

Ghost Of by Diana Khoi Nguyen (Omnidawn Publishing)
Light Wind Light Light by Bin Ramke (Omnidawn Publishing)
Real Life: An Installation by Julie Carr (Omnidawn Publishing)

1992   Wandering Roots/From the Hothouse by Ma. Fatima Lim
1993   Hands of the Saddlemaker by Nicholas Samaras
1994   The Book of Medicines by Linda Hogan
1995   The Fever of Being by Luis Alberto Urrea
1996   Deep Red by Rawdon Tomlinson
1997   The Very Stuff by Stephen Beal
1998   Tattooed Woman by Carolyn Evans Campbell
1999   Letters from a Stranger by James Tipton
2000   In the Colorado Gold Fever Mountains by Robert Cooperman
2001   White City by Mark Irwin and Swan, What Shores by Veronica Patterson
2002   Colcha by Aaron Abeyta
2003   Never Summer by Chris Ransick and Air Into Breath by Kathryn Winograd
2004   Shooting Script: Door of Fire by Bill Tremblay
2005   Bright Hunger by Mark Irwin
2006   Body Painting by Jane Hilberry
2007   The Prayers of Others by David Keplinger
2008   Ludlow by David Mason
2009   A Murmuration of Starlings by Jake Adam York
2010   Theory of Mind: New & Selected Poems by Bin Ramke
2011   The Diminishing House by Nicky Beer
2012   Circle Apprentice by Dan Beachy-Quick
2013   Second Nature by Jack Collom
2014   Natural Takeover of Small Things by Tim Z. Hernandez
2014   (Poetry Chapbook) Ndewo, Colorado by Uche Ogbuji
2015   Abide by Jake Adam York
2016   The Octopus Game by Nicky Beer
2017   Post-: Poems by Wayne Miller

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2018   Trophic Cascade by Camille T. Dungy

https://coloradohumanities.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2018_427_GeneralFictionLiterary.mp3 [42]

2019   Ghost Of by Diana Khoi Nguyen

While Gods Sleep by L. D. Colter (Tam Lin Publishing)

Denver Moon: The Minds of Mars by Warren Hammond and Joshua Viola (Hex Publishers)
Murder on the Titania and Other Steam-Powered Adventures by Alex Acks (Queen of Swords Press)
While Gods Sleep by L. D. Colter (Tam Lin Publishing)

2016   Clockwork Lives by Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart

2017   Amaryllis and Other Stories by Carrie Vaughn

https://coloradohumanities.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2017_414_GenreFiction.mp3 [46]

2018   A Borrowed Hell by L. D. Colter

https://coloradohumanities.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2018_46_GenreFiction.mp3 [57]

2019   While Gods Sleep by L. D. Colter

Mister Tender’s Girl by Carter Wilson (Sourcebooks)

Killing Godiva’s Horse: A Novel by J.M. Mitchell (Prairie Plum Press)
Mister Tender’s Girl by Carter Wilson (Sourcebooks)
The Circumstantial Man by Gary Reilly (Running Meter Press)

2014   Double Dare by Michael Madigan
2015   The Intern’s Handbook: A Thriller by Shane Kuhn
2016   The Comfort of Black: A Novel by Carter Wilson
2017   Revelation: A Thriller by Carter Wilson

https://coloradohumanities.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2017_414_GenreFiction.mp3 [46]

2018   Trafficked: A Mex Anderson Novel by Peg Brantley

https://coloradohumanities.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2018_46_GenreFiction.mp3 [57]

2019   Mister Tender’s Girl by Carter Wilson

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Veterans Writing: The Business of Writing [71]

May 27 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


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An event every week that begins at 1:00 pm on Thursday, repeating until May 29, 2020


2020 Colorado Book Awards Online Celebration [74]

May 30 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm



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