2017 Finalists and Winners!

Text reads Washington State Book Awards: Recognizing significant contributions to Washington's literary landscape

Congratulations to the finalists and winners in the 2017 Washington State Book Awards! Thirty-two books by Washington authors were honored at a special awards ceremony and reception at The Seattle Public Library’s Central Library on October 14. There were 19 finalists in the adult categories and 13 in the youth categories, together representing 33 authors and illustrators. Notably, 10 books were from publishers based in Washington state: Chin Music Press, Sasquatch Books (two finalists), Mountaineers Books (two finalists), Wave Books, Copper Canyon Press, Two Sylvias Press, Judith Kitchen’s Ovenbird Books, and University of Washington Press.

A book award is given based on the strength of the publication’s literary merit, lasting importance and overall quality to an author who was born in Washington state or is a current resident and has maintained residence here for at least three years. The 2017 awards were funded by The Seattle Public Library Foundation.

 

 

 

2017 Washington State Book Award finalists: Adult Categories

 

 

FICTION

WINNER: Daredevils by Shawn Vestal, of Spokane (Penguin Press)

Finalists:
The Solace of Monsters by Laurie Blauner, of Seattle (Leapfrog Press)
Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang (Vintage Books; reissued 2016; original publication date 2002)
Barkskins by Annie Proulx, of Carnation (Scribner)
Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff, of Seattle (HarperCollins Publishers)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book cover image of "My, My, My, My, My" with photo of the author, Tara Hardy, on the right.

 

 

POETRY

WINNER: My, My, My, My, My by Tara Hardy, of Seattle (Write Bloody Publishing)

Finalists:
Hardly War by Don Mee Choi, of Seattle (Wave Books)
Imaginary Vessels by Paisley Rekdal, who was born in Washington state and now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah (Copper Canyon Press)
Blood Song by Michael Schmeltzer, of Seattle (Two Sylvias Press)
Wintering by Megan Snyder-Camp, of Seattle (Tupelo Press)

 

 

 

Book cover image of "An Earlier Life" with photo of the author, Brenda Miller, next to it.
 

BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR

WINNER: An Earlier Life by Brenda Miller, of Bellingham (Judith Kitchen’s Ovenbird Books)

Finalists:
Inside: One Woman’s Journey through the Inside Passage by Susan Marie Conrad, of Arlington (Epicenter Press)
Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West, of Seattle (Hachette Books)
My Old Man and the Mountain by Leif Whittaker, of Bellingham (Mountaineers Books)

 

 

 

Book cover image of "Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens" with photo of the author, Steve Olson, next to it.

 

GENERAL NONFICTION/HISTORY

WINNER: Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens by Steve Olson, of Seattle (W.W. Norton & Company)

Finalists:
The Immortal Irishman by Timothy Egan, of Seattle (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
While the City Slept: A Love Lost to Violence and a Young Man’s Descent into Madness by Eli Sanders, of Seattle (Viking / Penguin Random House)
Turning Homeward: Restoring Hope and Nature in the Urban Wild by Adrienne Ross Scanlan, of Seattle (Mountaineers Books)
Seawomen of Iceland by Margaret Willson, of Seattle (University of Washington Press)

 

 

 

2017 Washington State Book Awards finalists: Books for Youth Categories

 

Book cover of "Thunder Boy Jr" with a photo of the author, Sherman Alexie, to the right.

 

PICTURE BOOKS:

WINNER: Thunder Boy Jr. written by Sherman Alexie, of Seattle, and illustrated by Yuyi Morales (Little, Brown Books for Children)

Finalists:
A Ticket to the Pennant: A Tale of Baseball in Seattle written by Mark Holtzen, of Seattle, and illustrated by John Skewes, of Seattle (Little Bigfoot, an imprint of Sasquatch Books)
Are You an Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko written by David Jacobson, of Seattle with translation by Sally Ito and Michiko Tsuboi,and illustrated by Toshikado Hajiri (Chin Music Press)
Journey: Based on the True Story of OR7, the Most Famous Wolf in the West illustrated by Robin James, of Snohomish, and written by Emma Bland Smith (Little Bigfoot, an imprint of Sasquatch Books)

 

 

 

Book cover of "Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea" with photo of the author, Ben Clanton, to the right.

 

 

BOOKS FOR YOUNGER READERS (ages 6 to 8):

WINNER: Narwhal Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton of Tacoma (Tundra Books)

Finalists:
Zach and Lucy and the Museum of Natural Wonders written by the Pifferson Sisters (Jennifer Bradbury, of Burlington, and Stephanie Guerra, of Seattle (Simon Spotlight, an imprint of Simon & Schuster)
Quackers by Liz Wong, of Edmonds (Alfred A. Knopf)

 

 

 

 

 

Book cover of "Some Kind of Courage" with photo of the author, Dan Gemeinhart, to the right.

 

 

BOOKS FOR MIDDLE GRADE READERS (ages 8 to 12)

WINNER: Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart, of Cashmere (Scholastic Press)

Finalists:
Cleo Edison Oliver: Playground Millionaire by Sundee T. Frazier, of Seattle (Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic)
Audacity Jones to the Rescue by Kirby Larson, of Kenmore (Scholastic Press)

 

 

 

 

 

Book cover of "Useless Bay" with photo of the author, M.J. Beaufrand, to the right.

 

BOOKS FOR YOUNG ADULT READERS (ages 13 and up)

WINNER: Useless Bay by M.J. Beaufrand, of Seattle (Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams)

Finalists:
Essential Maps for the Lost by Deb Caletti, of Kenmore (Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster)
Up to This Pointe by Jennifer Longo, of Mercer Island (Random House)

 

 

 

 

 

JUDGES

Jury for Adult Awards: Linda Andrews, English Instructor, Walla Walla Community College; Lisa Bitney, Branch Manager, Tacoma Public Library; Pam Cady, Manager, University Book Store; and Lisa Gresham, Collection Support Manager, Whatcom County Library System.

Jury for Youth Categories: Sheri Boggs, Youth Collection Development Librarian, Spokane County Library District; Tom Brown, Librarian, Seattle Public Schools; Raina Sedore, Youth Services Librarian, Timberland Library System.