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Selectors and Judges Needed

Colorado Humanities & Center for the Book’s Book Awards Advisory Committee assigns volunteer selectors and judges to panels of diverse readers (e.g., scholars, librarians, booksellers, teachers, and writers) from across the state. The Book Awards judging process has two parts. Selection of finalists begins January 15, 2022 and is completed by the end of February 2022. Judging of finalists begins March 1, 2022 and is completed by April 1, 2022.

Selectors help choose three finalist books in a given Colorado Book Award category and then Judges help choose a Colorado Book Award winner from the three finalists. If you are interested in volunteering to select or judge for the 2022 Colorado Book Awards, please fill out and submit your application. If you have previously applied, please update your application to make sure we have the correct contact information. Please do not submit to select or judge in a category you may be entering or participated in the year before.


View the 30th annual Colorado Book Awards Winners Celebration live broadcast from Saturday, June 26 on Facebook [2] and YouTube [3].

All finalist and winners books are available for order online at BookBar [4].

Print the program, [5] download a checklist [6] to keep track of your favorite titles and try these recipes [7] from BookBar and The Aspen Cookbook!

Finalists and Winners

Lifetime Achievement Award

Charles F. Wilkinson

This year we are delighted to present Charles F. Wilkinson the Lifetime Achievement Award in History for his contributions to the Colorado and national literary and legal communities. Writer, advocate, and distinguished university professor emeritus, Charles is the author of numerous articles, chapters, and books, including Messages from Frank’s Landing and Blood Struggle—the Rise of Modern Indian Nations, winners of the 2000 and 2005 Colorado Book Awards.


Kevin J. Anderson

Stories That Need to Be Told 2020: A Tulip Tree Anthology [8]
edited by Jennifer Top (TulipTree Publishing)
Wild: Uncivilized Tales from Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers [9]
edited by Rachel Delaney Craft and Natasha Watts (RMFW Press)
Monsters, Movies & Mayhem [10]
edited by Kevin J. Anderson (WordFire Press)


David A. Varel

Chasing Excellence: The Remarkable Life and Inspiring Vigilosophy of Coach Joe I. Vigil [11]
by Pat Melgares (Soulstice Publishing)
Heartbreak Kennel: The True Story of Max and His Breeder [12]
by Cary Unkelbach (Walden Resources Press)
The Scholar and the Struggle: Lawrence Reddick’s Crusade for Black History and Black Power [13]
by David A. Varel (University of North Carolina Press)

Children’s Literature

Gregory Barrington

Cow Boy Is NOT a Cowboy [14]
by Gregory Barrington (HarperCollins)
Flibbertigibbety Words: Young Shakespeare Chases Inspiration [15]
written by Donna Guthrie, illustrated by Åsa Gilland (Page Street Publishing)
I Will Dance [16]
written by Nancy Bo Flood, illustrated by Julianna Swaney (Simon & Schuster)
Snoozapalooza [17]
written by Kimberlee Gard, illustrated by Vivian Mineker (Families)

Creative Nonfiction

Kelsey and Tess Freeman

The Unreality of Memory and Other Essays [18]
by Elisa Gabbert (Farrar Straus & Giroux)
Edge of the Map: The Mountain Life of Christine Boskoff [19]
by Johanna Garton (Mountaineers Books)
No Option But North: The Migrant World and the Perilous Path Across the Border [20]
written by Kelsey Freeman, photography by Tess Freeman (IG Publishing)
Bridging Worlds: A Sherpa’s Story [21]
by Pemba Sherpa and Jim McVey (Sherpa Publishing)

General Fiction

R.L. Maizes

Wesley Yorstead Goes Outside [22]
by Stephanie Harper (Propertius Press)
Memories in the Drift: A Novel [23]
by Melissa Payne (Lake Union Publishing)
Other People’s Pets: A Novel [24]
by R.L. Maizes (Celadon Books)

General Nonfiction

Sasha Geffen

Lean & Strong: Eating Skills, Psychology, and Workouts
by Josh Hillis (On Target Publications)
Caregiving Done Differently: A Commonsense Approach for Families, Caregivers, and Seniors
by Loretta J. Gilbert and Nancy E. Walker (The Common Sense Approach)
Glitter Up the Dark: How Pop Music Broke the Binary [25]
by Sasha Geffen (The University of Texas Press)

Historical Fiction

Molly Tanzer

Creatures of Charm and Hunger [26]
by Molly Tanzer (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Fierce Dreamer: A Novel [27]
by Linda Lafferty (Linda Lafferty)
Across the Winding River [28]
by Aimie K. Runyan (Lake Union)


Jeffrey B. Miller

Colorado’s Highest: The History of Naming the 14,000-Foot Peaks [29]
written by Jeri Norgren, photography by John Fielder (John Fielder Publishing)
Yanks Behind the Lines: How the Commission for Relief in Belgium Saved Millions from Starvation during World War I [30]
by Jeffrey B. Miller (Rowman & Littlefield)
The Bad Old Days of Colorado: Untold Stories of the Wild West [31]
by Randi Samuelson-Brown (Two Dot/Rowman & Littlefield)

Juvenile Literature

Fleur Bradley

Born Curious: 20 Girls Who Grew Up to Be Awesome Scientists [32]
written by Martha Freeman, illustrated by Katy Wu (Simon & Schuster)
When You Know What I Know [33]
by Sonja K. Solter (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Midnight at the Barclay Hotel [34]
written by Fleur Bradley, illustrated by Xavier Bonet (Viking/Penguin Random House)

Literary Fiction

Dylan Fisher

St. Christopher on Pluto [35]
by Nancy McKinley (West Virginia University Press)
The Gringa: A Novel [36]
by Andrew Altschul (Melville House Press)
The Loneliest Band in France: A Novella [37]
by Dylan Fisher (Texas Review Press)


M.E. Browning

Death of a Car Salesman [38]
by Collin Brantmeyer (Ready Demolition Books)
Shadow Ridge: A Jo Wyatt Mystery [39]
by M.E. Browning (Crooked Lane Books/The Quick Brown Fox & Company)
Gone to Darkness [40]
by Barbara Nickless (Thomas & Mercer)


Thomas Brent Smith and J.R. Henneman

The Aspen Cookbook: 100+ favorite recipes from local chefs and restaurants [41]
edited by Amanda Rae Busch, illustrated by Julia Bridgforth (Aspen Board of Realtors)
Chicana Activists of Colorado: Powerful Women Paper Dolls and Their Stories
by Deborah Martinez Martinez, illustrated by Robert W. Pacheco (Vanishing Horizons)
The American West in Art [42]
edited by Thomas Brent Smith and Jennifer R. Henneman (5 Continents Edition)


Linda Hogan

A History of Kindness [43]
by Linda Hogan (Torrey House Press)
This Way to the Grand As-Is: New and Selected Poems [44]
by Aaron Anstett (Sagging Meniscus)
Anodyne [45]
by Khadijah Queen (Tin House)


Bronwyn Long Borne

A Cowboy State of Mind: A Creedence Horse Rescue Novel [36]
by Jennie Marts (Sourcebooks Casablanca)
Shall We Dance? [46]
by Shelley Shepard Gray (Blackstone Publishing)
Custodian of the Spirits [47]
by Bronwyn Long Borne (The Wild Rose Press)

Science Fiction/Fantasy

Catherine Wallace Hope

Tower of the Four: The Champions Academy Episodes 1-3 [48]
by Todd Fahnestock (F4 Publishing)
White Trash Warlock [49]
by David R. Slayton (Blackstone Publishing)
Once Again: A Novel [50]
by Catherine Wallace Hope
(Alcove Press/Crooked Lane Books)


Sue Hinkin

The Burn Patient: A Vega and Middleton Novel [51]
by Sue Hinkin (Literary Wanderlust)
Winter Counts: A Novel [52]
by David Heska Wanbli Weiden (Ecco/HarperCollins)
Her Perfect Life: A Novel [53]
by Rebecca Taylor (Sourcebooks Landmark)

Young Adult Literature

Sandhya Menon

10 Things I Hate about Pinky [54]
by Sandhya Menon (Simon & Schuster)
Turtle under Ice [55]
by Juleah del Rosario (Simon & Schuster)
by Donna Cooner (Point/Scholastic)

The Colorado Book Awards annually celebrates the accomplishments of Colorado’s outstanding authors, editors, illustrators, and photographers. Winners will be announced at a celebration event June 26, 2021. This year there were 190 entries in 17 categories: anthology, biography, children’s literature, creative nonfiction, general nonfiction, general fiction, history, historical fiction, juvenile literature, literary fiction, mystery, pictorial, poetry, romance, science fiction/fantasy, thriller, and young adult literature. About 70 volunteer selectors and judges read submissions to choose finalists and winners.

To learn more, partner, or sponsor the Colorado Book Awards, contact Program Director Josephine Jones at jones@coloradohumanities.org [56], 303.894.7951 x14

for National Book Festival Colorado Great Reads from Great Places

Our Finalist Readings with live Q&As recent recordings may be viewed on our Facebook [2] or YouTube [58] channels anytime.


Colorado Book Awards


Volunteer to Be a Colorado Book Award Selector or Judge

Be the first to read what leading members of Colorado’s book community are creating by participating as a selector or judge for the Colorado Book Awards. Colorado Humanities and Center for the Book seeks applications from a diverse mix of Colorado readers (e.g., scholars, librarians, booksellers, teachers, writers, reviewers, and avid readers) from across the state each year. To learn more or volunteer, visit coloradohumanities.submittable.com. [60]

Submit to the Colorado Book Awards

Submissions for the Colorado Book Awards open  September 15 and the postmark due date is  January 7, 2022.

Follow us for updates on events and calls to submit!

[61] [62] [63] [64]

Winners and Finalists

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

Anthology [134]
Biography [134]
Children’s Literature [134]
Creative Nonfiction [134]
General Fiction [134]
General Nonfiction [134]
Genre Fiction [134]
Historical Fiction [134]
History [134]
Juvenile Literature [134]
Literary Fiction [134]
Mystery [134]
Pictorial [134]
Poetry [134]
Romance [134]
Science Fiction/Fantasy [134]
Thriller [134]
Young Adult [134]
Lifetime Award [134]

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