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VPR's coverage of arts and culture in the region.

Six Finalists For First Vermont Book Award Announced

The Vermont College of Fine Arts is hosting the first Vermont Book Award this year. Judges announced the six finalists in the running for the inaugural honor – and the $5,000 prize – Thursday.

The new prize was created to honor artists with deep connections to the state of Vermont, and to draw attention to a state so uniquely suited for creative enterprise. To be considered for the prize a book had to be penned by a Vermont author or take place in Vermont or be published by a Vermont press.

While there will only be one winner, books from the following categories are considered for the award: poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and children’s literature. 

Judges looked at nearly 50 books to narrow down to the six finalists:

The winner will be announced in September.

The idea for the Vermont Book Award comes from Vermont College of Fine Arts president Tom Greene, says Miciah Bay Gault, the Vermont Book Award coordinator and VCFA’s director of MFA in writing and publishing.

“We have such a rich literary culture in Vermont. There should be a major literary prize as well,” says Bay Gault.   

Books were selected by a special nominating committee, made up of the Independent Booksellers of Vermont, and chaired by Claire Benedict of Bear Pond Books in Montpelier. Publishers could also nominate books.

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
Kathleen Masterson as VPR's New England News Collaborative reporter. She covered energy, environment, infrastructure and labor issues for VPR and the collaborative. Kathleen came to Vermont having worked as a producer for NPR’s science desk and as a beat reporter covering agriculture and the environment.
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