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

Vermont Book Award Opens Up To Reader Nominations

An illustration of books on shelves.
This year's nominations for the Vermont Book Award can be submitted by the public.

The Vermont Book Award is entering its fourth year and the prestigious honor for work of outstanding literary merit by Vermont authors has a new twist in 2018.

In the past, the nominations have been made by a committee of independent booksellers and publishers. But for the first time, this year's nominations can be submitted by the public.
"We've always seen the prize as a celebration of the literature of Vermont and part of that celebration involves the readers of Vermont. And we know that that readers have valuable opinions about the work that needs to be recognized. So we wanted to invite them into the process from the beginning," said Miciah Gault, coordinator of the Vermont Book award.

Gault is editor of the journal Hunger Mountain, program director for the MFA in writing and publishing at Vermont College of Fine Arts, and an author.
To be eligible for this year's Vermont Book Award, books need to be published in 2017. It needs to be written by a Vermont author and published by a press. There are four nominating categories: fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry or children's literature. The nominating form is on theVermont College of Fine Arts websiteand will be open for the next two weeks.

The nominees are then judged by a panel of eight writers, readers, professors, teachers, librarians, and booksellers. Finalists are announced in each of the four categories. The winner gets a $5,000 cash prize and an award designed each year by an artist. There will be a gala and award ceremony on Sept. 22 at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Last year's winner was Johnson State College professor Jensen Beach for his short story collection Swallowed by the Cold.

Click here for the nomination form.

Disclosure: Mitch Wertlieb was a Vermont Book Award judge in 2015.

Melody is the Contributing Editor for But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids and the co-author of two But Why books with Jane Lindholm.
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.
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