The 2018 Colorado Book Awards Are Open for Submissions

Submissions for the 2018 Colorado Book Awards are now open and entry forms can be found at coloradohumanities.submittable.com/submit. The deadline is to submit the entry form is Monday, January 8, 2018, and books must also be postmarked by this date. Submissions are welcomed for books published in 2017. 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 at least ten categories including anthology/collection, biography, children’s, creative nonfiction, fiction, history, nonfiction, pictorial, poetry and young adult.




2017 CAL Writing Award Winners

POETRY, SINGLE POEM: Stones, by Carol Grever, of Boulder

FROM THE JUDGES: The poet uses a stack of stones as a vivid and effective metaphor for painful secrets, held too long but finally released.

POETRY COLLECTION: High Plains Register, 5 poems, by Art Elser, Denver, in High Plains Register

FROM THE JUDGES: Thoughtful and moving poems that address a variety of themes, from memories of the Vietnam War to the search for extraterrestrial life, to the plight of those (both human and animal) who are lonely, disabled, or homeless.

BLOG:Susan J. Tweit Blog, by Susan J. Tweit, Cody, WY

FROM THE JUDGES: Susan’s blog is excellent in the way a blog should excel. Her voice is personal and engaging, and her subjects are varied and always interesting. Great photos, wonderful blog.

FEATURE ARTICLE: The Embodiment of Wild, by Mary Taylor Young, Castle Rock, in Colorado Outdoors.

FROM THE JUDGES: Mary’s article is excellent, well researched, and well delivered. All of the articles were worthy of winning, but Mary’s stood out.

ESSAY: No Species is an Island, by Susan J. Tweit, Cody, WY, Center for Humans and Nature.

FROM THE JUDGES: Susan has a wonderful voice. Her words tumble out in a smooth and effortless stream, exactly right to convey her point while letting the reader know who she is.

CHILDREN’S BOOK: Trouble Returns, by Nancy Oswald, Cotopaxi, Filter Press.

FROM THE JUDGES: Nancy Oswald portrays Ruby and Cripple Creek in the 1890s in colorful detail. The language and events are engaging, and who wouldn’t love a girl whose best friend is a donkey named Maude?

YOUNG ADULT BOOK: Soldier Sister, Fly Home, by Nancy Bo Flood, Glenwood Springs, Charlesbridge Publishing.

FROM THE JUDGES: Nancy Bo Flood has created a story of finding who you are when everything is changing, and her young character feels she doesn’t fit in anywhere. The Navajo background and setting are skillfully and accurately portrayed. Beautifully written and emotionally satisfying.

CHILDREN’S/YOUNG ADULT NONFICTION: Princess Monori, by Beth Walker, Boulder, Our Golden Hour.

FROM THE JUDGES: Impressive gathering of stories from an area where their language is disappearing.

GENERAL NONFICTION: Forensic Plant Science, Jane Bock, Loveland, by Academic Press.

FROM THE JUDGES: A fascinating book about a fascinating subject. It’s well researched and well written. One can see the book being of interest to a wide number of disparate groups, such as scientists, forensic labs, plant lovers, and even mystery and thriller writers.

CREATIVE NONFICTION: FBI Wife: A Memoir, by Sandra Windsor, Denver, Abbott Press.

FROM THE JUDGES: A fascinating story that’s well told and keeps you wondering what’s on the next page.

eBOOK: Turnings: Reflections on a Conscious Life, by Carol Grever, Boulder, CreateSpace.

FROM THE JUDGES: Carol has written a beautiful and honest story of her spiritual journey, punctuated by lovely poems.

MAINSTREAM FICTION: Gil, by Darin Gibby, Lone Tree, Koehler Books.

FROM THE JUDGES: Gil has everything a reader looks for in a novel. A flawed by likeable character with an impossible dream, top-notch writing, a story that keeps you turning pages, an ending that brings you to the edge of your seat, and a haunting theme that will make you rethink your life. Loved this book.

GENRE FICTION: Blood on the Tracks, by Barbara Nickless, Colorado Springs, by Thomas and Mercer.

FROM THE JUDGES: Ms. Nickless immediately draws the reader into Sydney Rose Parnell’s world of railroad police work and rail riders. As Parnell and her K-9 partner, Clyde, investigated a brutal murder for which a fellow veteran was blamed, she also brings understanding about the difficulties faced by those with PTSD; Parnell, Clyde, and the suspect all suffered the long-lasting effects of war. The author’s easy style of telling two terrifying tales at once is applauded. She keeps the reader turning pages right to the end.

 




Barbara Nickless Wins Colorado Book Award for Debut Novel

It was a big month for Barbara Nickless and her debut novel, Blood on the Tracks, about a former-Marine-turned-railroad-cop, won both the Colorado Authors’ League Writing Award for genre fiction, in addition, the novel won the Colorado Book Award in the mystery category. Read more about Nickless here.




CAL Members Finalists for Colorado Book Award

Colorado Humanities and Center for the Book announces that finalists have been selected in the 26th annual Colorado Book Awards. “We had a record-breaking number of entries this year,” said program coordinator Bess Maher. “I was very impressed by the quality of the work across all categories. The finalists should truly be proud.” Sponsored by Outskirts Press and First Western Trust Bank, the Colorado Book Awards recognize outstanding contributions by Colorado authors, editors, illustrators and photographers in fourteen categories. CAL Members who are finalists include:

Children’s Literature
Sissy Bear at The Fort by Holly Arnold Kinney, illustrations by Christine Wald (Fur Trade Press, LLC)
Space Boy and the Space Pirate by Dian Curtis Regan, illustrations by Robert Neubecker (Boyds Mills Press)

Mystery
Blood on the Tracks by Barbara Nickless (Thomas & Mercer)

Young Adult Literature
Life at the Speed of Us by Heather Sappenfield (Flux/North Star Editions)

For more information, please visit coloradohumanities.org or call 303.894.7951 x19.




Grever, Tweit Lead Winners of 75th Anniversary CAL Writing Awards

Carol Grever of Boulder and Susan J. Tweit of Cody, Wyoming each won two 75th anniversary CAL Writing Awards at the annual dinner, held May 5 at Arvada Center. They were Grever’s third and fourth CAL Awards, and the fourth and fifth for Tweit. Awards were presented in 13 categories, including eBook for the first time. Grever won that one for Turnings: Reflections on a Conscious Life. She also won the Single Poem category for a poem titled, Stones. Tweit, who moved to Wyoming from Salida in the past year, took home the awards for Essay (No Species is an Island) and Blog (Susan J. Tweit Blog).

Celebrating their CAL Awards (left to right) are Susan J. Tweit,
Mary Taylor Young, Carol Grever and Barbara Nickless.

Three other authors were repeat winners:

*Art Elser of Denver, his second, in Poetry Collection (High Plains Register)

*Mary Taylor Young of Castle Rock, her fifth, in Feature Article (The Embodiment of Wild)

*Nancy Bo Flood of Glenwood Springs, also her fifth, in Young Adult Book (Soldier Sister, Fly Home)

First-time winners were:

*Nancy Oswald of Cotopaxi in Children’s Book for Trouble Returns

*Beth Walker of Boulder in Children’s/Young Adult Non-Fiction for Princess Monori

*Jane Bock of Loveland in General Nonfiction for Forensic Plant Science

*Sandra Windsor of Denver in Creative Nonfiction for FBI Wife

*Darin Gibby of Lone Tree in Mainstream Fiction for Gil

*Barbara Nickless of Colorado Springs in Genre Fiction for Blood on the Tracks

A record 81 entries were submitted to Awards Chair Jerry Mitchell and were judged by Southwest Writers of New Mexico. Winners each received a $100 cash prize and a glass likeness of a book etched with their name and category.

Phyllis Perry of Boulder, whose 87th title will be published in December, received CAL’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Jim Kroll, manager of the Denver Public Library’s Western History and Genealogy Department, home of the Colorado Authors Collection, received the Author Advocate Award.

Judges’ Comments

Here are the judges’ comments on the award-winning entries:

Single Poem: Stones, by Carol Grever: The poet uses a stack of stones as a vivid and effective metaphor for painful secrets, held too long but finally released.

Poetry Collection: High Plains Register, 5 poems, by Art Elser: Thoughtful and moving poems that address a variety of themes, from memories of the Vietnam War to the search for extraterrestrial life, to the plight of those (both human and animal) who are lonely, disabled, or homeless.

Blog: Susan J. Tweit Blog, by Susan J. Tweit: Susan’s blog is excellent in the way a blog should excel. Her voice is personal and engaging, and her subjects are varied and always interesting. Great photos, wonderful blog.

Feature Article: The Embodiment of Wild, by Mary Taylor Young: Mary’s article is excellent, well researched, and well delivered. All of the articles were worthy of winning, but Mary’s stood out.

Essay: No Species is an Island, by Susan J. Tweit: Susan has a wonderful voice. Her words tumble out in a smooth and effortless stream, exactly right to convey her point while letting the reader know who she is.

Children’s Book: Trouble Returns, by Nancy Oswald: Nancy Oswald portrays Ruby and Cripple Creek in the 1890s in colorful detail. The language and events are engaging, and who wouldn’t love a girl whose best friend is a donkey named Maude?

Young Adult Book: Soldier Sister, Fly Home, by Nancy Bo Flood: Nancy Bo Flood has created a story of finding who you are when everything is changing, and her young character feels she doesn’t fit in anywhere. The Navajo background and setting are skillfully and accurately portrayed. Beautifully written and emotionally satisfying.

Children’s/Young Adult Nonfiction: Princess Monori, by Beth Walker: Impressive gathering of stories from an area where their language is disappearing.

General Nonfiction: Forensic Plant Science, Jane Bock: A fascinating book about a fascinating subject. It’s well researched and well written. One can see the book being of interest to a wide number of disparate groups, such as scientists, forensic labs, plant lovers, and even mystery and thriller writers.

Creative Nonfiction: FBI Wife: A Memoir, by Sandra Windsor: A fascinating story that’s well told and keeps you wondering what’s on the next page.

eBook: Turnings: Reflections on a Conscious Life, by Carol Grever: Carol has written a beautiful and honest story of her spiritual journey, punctuated by lovely poems.

Mainstream Fiction: Gil, by Darin Gibby: Gil has everything a reader looks for in a novel. A flawed by likeable character with an impossible dream, top-notch writing, a story that keeps you turning pages, an ending that brings you to the edge of your seat, and a haunting theme that will make you rethink your life. Loved this book.

Genre Fiction: Blood on the Tracks, by Barbara Nickless: Ms. Nickless immediately draws the reader into Sydney Rose Parnell’s world of railroad police work and rail riders. As Parnell and her K-9 partner, Clyde, investigated a brutal murder for which a fellow veteran was blamed, she also brings understanding about the difficulties faced by those with PTSD; Parnell, Clyde, and the suspect all suffered the long-lasting effects of war. The author’s easy style of telling two terrifying tales at once is applauded. She keeps the reader turning pages right to the end.

Here’s a simple caption for the one called 4Winners:

The others are self-evident by the names of the files, but some don’t have first names, so in case it saves you time:

Beth Walker
Art Elser
Jim Kroll (Author Advocate recipient)
Nancy Oswald
Phyllis Perry (Lifetime Achievement Award recipient)
Sandra Windsor (incoming Board member and new CAL member)

Also attached is photo of Penny Hamilton, CAL member from Granby, and Tom Evans, Margi’s husband, who volunteered at the check-in desk. If you include this image, here’s a caption:

Greeting arrivals at the CAL Awards Dinner were volunteers Tom Evans and Penny Hamilton, the latter an Awards finalist in Feature Articles from Granby. (If you credit this one: Bill Hamilton photo)




Congratulations 2017 CAL Writing Award Finalists

For a second straight year CAL set a record for numbers of entries and categories judged for the CAL Writing Awards. There were 39 finalists selected in 13 categories. Southwest Writers, the Albuquerque-based writing group that judged our entries, again had high praise for the quality of work from Colorado authors. They are recommending a strong list for recognition, and setting the stage for an outstanding awards banquet on Friday, May 5, 6 p.m. at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd, Arvada. Tickets for the banquet are available now -sign up here! This year’s featured speaker is Drew Litton, award-winning sports cartoonist and creator of ‘win, lose & DREW.’

In addition to the thirteen category winners to be announced at the banquet, CAL will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the CAL Writing Awards. We will also honor this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Phyllis J. Perry, author of 87 titles, including children’s and adult books and works of poetry. Phyllis joins previous year’s winners including 2016 winner, mystery writer Margaret Coel, 2015 winner, adventure/thriller writer Clive Cussler, and 2014 winner, poet Lois Beebe Hayna. Jim Kroll, Manager of the Western History and Genealogy Department at Denver Public Library will receive CAL’s Author Advocate Award.

The 2017 CAL Writing Award finalists (authors in alphabetical order, by category) are:

Poetry, single poem—Carolyn Evans Campbell, Evergreen,  “A Love Story”, New Millennium Writings.  Carol Grever, Boulder, “Stones”,  Create Space.  Dan Guenther, Morrison, “Among the White-Barked Gums”, Quadrant Magazine. Varerie A. Szarek, Louisville, “Letters to an Unknown God”, Encore: Prize Poems 2016.

Poetry, collection—Art Elser, Denver, “High Plains Register, 5 poems”, High Plains Register. Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, Placerville, “Even Now: Poems & Drawings”, Lithic Press.

Blogs—Sharon Cairns Mann, Denver, “Swindled”.  Susan J. Tweit, Cody, WY, “Susan J. Tweit Blog”. Claire Walter, Boulder, “Culinary Colorado”.

Feature Articles—Jon Ackerman, Parker, “Most Valuable Mike”, Mile High Sports Magazine. Denny Dressman, Englewood, “These Guys Can Rake”, Mile High Sports.  Penny Rafferty Hamilton, Ph.D., Granby,  “Paul Amen, 1916-2005: A Legend in Banking and Baseball”, Nebraska Bankers Association. Mary Taylor Young, Castle Rock, “The Embodiment of Wild”, Colorado Outdoors.

Essays—Lou Dean, Dinosaur, “Lost in the Storm” Guideposts. Page Lambert, Golden, “Mother Tongue”, Sojourns, Peaks, Plateaus, and Canyons Association. Ellen Nordberg, Louisville, “Telling My Twins Their Birth Story Changed Their Relationship”, Multiples Illuminated. Susan J.  Tweit, Cody, WY, “No Species is an Island”,  Center for Humans & Nature.

General Non-Fiction—Jane Bock, Loveland, “Forensic Plant Science”, Academic Press.  Abraham M. Nussbaum, Denver, “The Finest Traditions of My Calling: One Physician’s Search for the Renewal of Medicine”, Yale University Press. William Wei, Boulder, “Asians in Colorado: A History of Persecution and Perseverance in the Centennial State”, University of Washington Press. “

Creative Non-Fiction—Carol Grever, Boulder, “Turnings: Reflections on a Conscious Life”, Create Space. Tanja Pajevic, Boulder, “The Secret Life of Grief: A Memoir”, Abbondanza Press.  Sandra Windsor, Denver, “FBI Wife: A Memoir”, Abbott Press.

Children’s Fiction—Aaron LaPedis, Denver, “A Boy Named Penguin & His Great Adventure”, Attila Publishing.  Nancy Oswald, Cotopaxi, “Trouble Returns”, Filter Press. Kathleen T. Pelley, Greenwood Village, “Happy Mamas”, Child Welfare League of America.

Young Adult—M.J. Evans, Foxfield, “The Stone of Mercy: Book 1 of the Centaur Chronicles”, Dancing Horse Press.  Nancy Bo Flood, Glenwood Springs, “Soldier Sister, Fly Home”, Charlesbridge Publishing.  Leslea Wahl, Greenwood Village, “An Unexpected Role”, eLectio Publishing.

Childrens/Young Adult Nonfiction—Daniel Ginsberg, Denver, “African American Heritage”,  Ginsberg Publications. Beth Walker, Boulder, “Princess Monori”, Our Golden Hour.

Mainstream Fiction—Sheldon Friedman, Englewood, “The Velvet Prison”, Custom Book Publications. Darin Gibby, Lone Tree, “Gil”, Koehler Books.  JB Winsor, Boulder, “The Punishments”, Boulder Digital Publishing, LLC.

Genre Fiction—Sara Hoffman, Fort Collins, “Finding Baby Ruth”, Ingram Sparks.  Barbara Nickless, Colorado Springs, “Blood on the Tracks”, Thomas and Mercer.  Kevin Wolf, Littleton, “The Homeplace”, St. Martins Press.

eBook—Rex Burns, Boulder, “The Better Part of Valour”, Tirgearr Publishers.  Carol Grever, Boulder, “Turnings: Reflections on a Conscious Life”, Create Space.




CAL Scholarship Time!

Once again, the Colorado Authors’ League will offer a $1000 scholarship to a Colorado college or university student. Please help spread the word, and advise those students you know to go to the CAL Website, click on the Awards/Scholarships link and download the application. Let’s find another budding writer in Colorado! For more info, contact Joy Lawrance, joy.of.travel@comcast.net.




Submissions Open for Colorado Book Awards

colorado-humanities-center-for-the-book-colorado-book-awardCalling all Colorado authors, publishers and bibliophiles. Submissions are now open for the 2017 Colorado Book Awards for Colorado’s best books published in 2016 or November or December 2015. Colorado Humanities & Center for the Book has published guidelines and entry forms at coloradohumanities.org. The submission deadline is January 9, 2017.

The Colorado Book Awards celebrate the accomplishments of Colorado’s outstanding authors, editors, illustrators and photographers. Now in their 26th year, the awards are presented in at least ten categories including anthology/collection, biography, children’s literature, creative nonfiction, fiction, history, nonfiction, pictorial, poetry and young adult literature.




Videos from CAL Awards Banquet

CAL members enjoyed a great night of celebrating on May 6th – both our 85th birthday as well as all of our Award Winners. If you missed the banquet, you can still watch the videos about our special award winners.

httpv://youtu.be/WQ3yz8Tyokw
Margaret Coel, 2016 CAL Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

httpv://youtu.be/Fm5Nn48_6cA
Pamela Hallaren – 2016 CAL Author Advocate Award Winner

And you’ll find the full list of CAL Writing Award winners here.




2016 CAL Writing Award Winners

Poetry, Single Poem
When the Owl Came to Gunnamatta Park, by Dan Guenther

FROM THE JUDGES: This engaging poem makes us acquainted with a visiting owl, which is by turns a bird of prey, an eccentric old man laying claim to the neighborhood, a mysterious shape-shifter, or perhaps a lover calling to his beloved. Or even a conjurer seeking to communicate with “the great beyond.”

Poetry, Collection
Moon-Hung Midnights, by Lois Beebe Hayna

FROM THE JUDGES: A lyrical and luminous meditation on life, on what it means to have “hooked a brief ride on an almost infinitesimal carousel” called earth. Her gaze ranges widely, from flowers, birds, weather and the phases of the moon to the personal and historical. Poems beautifully crafted and a pleasure to read.

Blog
Between Urban and Wild, by Andrea M. Jones

FROM THE JUDGES: Delicious writing, gentle and deep. Enough detail to draw us in and enough gentleness to make it worth our while.

Feature Articles
And the AWARD WINNER is A New Breed of Therapy, by Jen Reeder

FROM THE JUDGES: Great subject that was well crafted. Like the best features, it tells a story. In this case, a powerful story of healing and giving back. It’s easy to slip into sentiment with this type of subject. Reeder keeps a steady hand and goes for the heart, not the sensational.

Essays
After Charleston, by Patricia Raybon

FROM THE JUDGES: Both powerful and gentle, the description of the outpouring love after Charleston is excellent.

Children’s Books
The Mermaid’s Gift, by Claudia Cangilla McAdam

FROM THE JUDGES: The rich language of the text combines with beautiful water color illustrations to present not only a moral tale, but also a feast for the eyes and ears of the picture book reader.

Young Adult Books
War Bonds – Remembering One Small Town in America During World War II, by Beverly Jones

FROM THE JUDGES: Well written coming of age story takes full advantage of the WWII time period and small town setting to explore a girl’s shattered view of life by prejudice and intolerance where she least expected to find it. Jones has created a confident and brave character who learns from all the “rocks” Jones throws her way. Betsy is a delight, and the period details ring true.

General Non-Fiction
Prophets and Moguls, Rangers and Rogues, Bison and Bear, by Heather Hansen

FROM THE JUDGES: An important book for anyone who values our national park system and who wants to understand it’s sometimes turbulent history. Well-written and well researched, but more than just another dry history book. It’s a fascinating read about how we got here and its many anecdotes, interesting facts, and wonderful images. It was an ambitious undertaking that succeeds with its mission of educating the reader.

Creative Non-Fiction
Flying with El Condor, by Carolyn Evans Campbell

FROM THE JUDGES: A memoir composed of vignettes from the author’s experiences in Peru, and about the many wacky and interesting characters she met during a decade-long adventure. A great story that’s well written and amuses the reader with flashes of humor.

Short Fiction
Knife River Flint, from the collection, Tesserae: A Mosaic of Story, by Sharon Cairns Mann

FROM THE JUDGES: Excellent story of loss and the very beginnings of tentative healing. Well crafted, nicely told.

Mainstream Fiction
Contrition, by Maura Weiler

FROM THE JUDGES: Well-written, well-plotted, and engaging characters. The questions of what it means to create and what it means to destroy as well as what is the definition of art seem to be among the most fundamental questions of life and by far the most difficult to answer. Weiler’s characters ultimately answer this for themselves, but leave us to ponder our own interpretations, and that is what of work of art like Contrition should do.

Genre Fiction
Murder on the Tracks, by Bruce Most

FROM THE JUDGES: Set in 1949 in lower downtown Denver, a hard-boiled cop deals with the death of an Indian near the tracks and the intricate implications that follow. An easy read and a page-turner. The writing was transparent, which puts the reader inside the story. Good use of senses, a good voice, and good attention to details.

Click here to download a slide show of the winners, including the Lifetime Achievement Award winner and the Author Advocate Award winner.