DENVER (KDVR) – An award ceremony celebrating the greatest literary works published in Colorado during 2021 was held on Saturday evening.

Colorado Humanities Board Chair Taffy Lee, along with representatives from Unite for Literacy, revealed the 15 written works that edged out the competition in their respective categories to the crowd at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House Studio Loft in Denver on June 25.

According to the Colorado Humanities Executive Director Margaret Coval, the Centennial State is wrought with outstanding literary talent.

“Every year we are more impressed with the quality of Colorado Book Award entries. It is our honor to review the annual submissions and recognize Colorado’s authors,” Coval said.

In addition to hearing excerpts from the winning pieces, attendees were able to meet the authors and purchase copies of their work.

2022 Colorado Book Award Winners by category

  • Anthology: “Shadow Atlas: Dark Landscapes of the Americas
    • Edited by Carina Bissett, Hillary Dodge, and Joshua Viola
    • Illustrated by Aaron Lovett
  • Biography: “Alpha: Eddie Gallagher and the War for the Soul of the Navy Seals”
    • Written by David Phillips
  • Children’s Literature: “Read Island”
    • Written by Nicole Magistro
    • Illustrated by Alice Feagan
  • Creative Nonfiction: “Desert Chrome: Water, a Woman, and Wild Horses in the West”
    • Written by Kathryn Wilder
  • General Nonfiction: “The Holly: Five Bullets, One Gun, and the Struggle to Save an American Neighborhood”
    • Written by Julian Rubinstein
  • Historical Fiction: “The Cape Doctor”
    • Written by E.J. Levy
  • History: “Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue”
    • By Adrian Miller
  • Juvenile Literature: “Alone”
    • Written by Megan E. Freeman
  • Literary Fiction: “What If We Were Somewhere Else”
    • Written by Wendy J. Fox
  • Mystery: “Red Rabbit on the Run”
    • Written by Jodi Bowersox
  • Poetry: “We the Jury”
    • Wayne Miller
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy: “The Reincarnationist Papers”
    • Written by D. Eric Maikranz 
  • Thriller: “The Dead Husband: A Novel”
    • Written by Carter Wilson
  • Young Adult Literature: “Rise of the Red Hand”
    • Written by Olivia Chadha

The partnership that put this literary competition together consisted of the National Endowment for Humanities, the Library of Congress, the Center for the Book, The Bookies Bookstore and BookBar.