2023 Washington State Book Award Finalists Announced!
The Washington Center for the Book (an affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book administered by Washington State Library) has selected 30 finalists in seven categories for the 2023 Washington State Book Awards (WSBA) for outstanding books published by Washington authors in 2022. This is the 57th year of the program, formerly called the Governor’s Writers Awards.
A winner in each category will be announced on Sept. 26, 2023.
2023 WSBA FINALISTS: BOOKS FOR ADULTS CATEGORIES
Fearlessly Different by Mickey Rowe of Seattle
(Rowman & Littlefield)
Ma and Me: A Memoir by Putsata Reang of Burien
Red Paint: The Ancestral Autobiography of a Coast Salish Punk by Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe of Tacoma
Where the Language Lives: Vi Hilbert and the Gift of Lushootseed by Janet Yoder of Seattle
(Girl Friday Books)
The Angel of Rome and Other Stories by Jess Walter of Spokane
The Final Case by David Guterson of Bainbridge Island
(Alfred A. Knopf)
Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree of Spokane
Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century by Kim Fu of Seattle
Never Meant to Meet You by Alli Frank and Asha Youmans of Seattle
I Never Thought of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times by Mónica Guzmán of Seattle
(BenBella Books, Inc.)
Northwest Know-How: Beaches by Rena Priest of Bellingham
Of Blood and Sweat: Black Lives and the Making of White Power and Wealth by Clyde W. Ford of Bellingham
(Amistad Press, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers)
Ten Tomatoes that Changed the World: A History by William Alexander of Bainbridge Island
(Grand Central Publishing)
The Wok: Recipes and Techniques by J. Kenji López-Alt of Seattle
(W.W. Norton & Company)
banana [ ] by Paul Hlava Ceballos of Seattle
(University of Pittsburgh Press)
Cipota Under the Moon by Claudia Castro Luna of Seattle
(Tia Chucha Press, distributed by Northwestern University Press)
Contemplations by Scott Oki of Bellevue
The Necessity of Wildfire by Caitlin Scarano of Bellingham
We Had Our Reasons by Ruiz Ricardo of Seattle
(Pulley Press | Poetry From Rural America)
When I Was the Wind by Hannah Lee Jones of Port Townsend
(June Road Press)
2023 WSBA FINALISTS: BOOKS FOR YOUTH CATEGORIES
The Birders: An Unexpected Encounter in the Northwest Woods by Rob Albanese of Seattle
How to Hug a Pufferfish by Ellie Peterson of Kirkland
(Roaring Brook Press)
Old Wood Boat by Nikki McClure of Olympia and the Salish Sea
Working Boats: An Inside Look at Ten Amazing Watercraft by Tom Crestodina of Bellingham
Books for Young Readers
Jennifer Chan Is Not Alone by Tae Keller of Seattle
Narwhalicorn and Jelly by Ben Clanton of Seattle
Sir Fig Newton and the Science of Persistence by Sonja Thomas of Vancouver
(Aladdin/Simon & Schuster)
Books for Young Adult Readers
Howl by Shaun David Hutchinson of Seattle
(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
The Language of Seabirds by Will Taylor of Seattle
The Turning Pointe by Vanessa L. Torres of Olympia
(Knopf/Random House Children’s Books)
ABOUT THE AWARDS
The Washington State Book Awards are presented by the Washington Center for the Book (an affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book administered by Washington State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State). The 2023 awards are administered by Sara Peté, Director of the Washington Center for the Book.
These awards honor outstanding books published by Washington authors in 2022. An award is given based on the strength of the publication’s literary merit, lasting importance and overall quality to an author who is a current resident of Washington state. For the 2023 book awards, judges read and evaluated 242 books.
Submissions for the 2024 awards cycle are being accepted at this time. For more information, see the Washington Center for the Book’s website.
2023 WSBA Judges are librarians, authors, and independent booksellers.
Judges for adult titles:
Heather Carruth, Librarian, Ritzville Public Library
Andrea Y. Griffith, Owner, Browsers Bookshop
Sarah Jaffa, Librarian, Kitsap Regional Library
Valerie McBeth, Librarian, Northwest Indian College Library
Tiffany Midge, Author and 2020 WSBA Finalist
Judges for youth titles:
Lauren Kessel, Teacher-Librarian, Kent Elementary School
Jane López-Santillana, Librarian, Sno-Isle Libraries
Avery Mead, Teacher-Librarian, East Valley High School Library
Washington State Book Awards in the News
The 2023 Washington State Book Awards Finalists = Your Fall Reading List
509-raised author up for regional award
Here are the 2023 Washington State Book Award nominees
Washington State Book Awards on Digital Display
- 2023 Washington State Book Award Finalists (WSBA). A list of 2023 WSBA Finalists that are available via the Washington Anytime Library.
- Washington Fresh: A selection of Washington State Book Awards winners and finalists in fiction and nonfiction in the Kitsap Regional Library OverDrive collection.
- Washington State Fresh: A selection of Washington State Book Awards winners and finalists in fiction and nonfiction in the Kitsap Regional Library collection via bibliocommons.