Vermont Humanities

Vermont Book Award

Rep. John Lewis and Andrew Aydin with students in front of a schoolbus


Supported by a new partnership between Vermont College of Fine Arts, the Vermont Department of Libraries, and Vermont Humanities, the Vermont Book Award is an annual prize for outstanding literature by a Vermont author.


Nominations for 2023 Vermont Book Award

Nominations are now open for books of excellent literary merit published by Vermont authors in 2023. To be eligible, the author must live in Vermont more than half the year. Self-published books are not eligible.

Nominated books are read by a team of judges looking for literary excellence as they pick finalists and then winners. The winners of the Vermont Book Award will be revealed at a celebration in May 2024 hosted by Vermont Humanities and on the Vermont College of Fine Arts campus in Montpelier.



2022 Vermont Book Award Winners

Vermont authors Zoë Tilley Poster, Kathryn Davis, Caren Beilin, and Bianca Stone have won the 2022 Vermont Book Award. The four authors received their awards during the Vermont Book Award celebration hosted by Vermont Humanities at Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA) on May 6.

  • Zoë Tilley Poster won the award for Children’s Literature for her debut picture book The Night Wild, which was both written and illustrated by Poster. This is the first year the Vermont Book Award has been awarded in the Children’s Literature category.
  • Kathryn Davis, the author of eight acclaimed novels, won this year’s Vermont Book Award in Creative Nonfiction for her debut memoir Aurelia, Aurélia.
  • Caren Beilin received the Award in Fiction for her novel Revenge of the Scapegoat.
  • The Award in Poetry went to poet Bianca Stone for What Is Otherwise Infinite. Stone is Creative director at the Ruth Stone House.

The winners were chosen from a pool of fourteen finalists by a panel of judges made up of writers, readers, editors, librarians, and booksellers of Vermont.

Last year’s Vermont Book Award winners—Alison Bechdel, Melanie Finn, and Shanta Lee—announced this year’s winners during the program in Alumnx Hall on the VCFA campus. In a pre-recorded video aired during the program Senator Peter Welch congratulated the finalists and the winners.


The full list of 2022 finalists:

Creative nonfiction

· Nancy Marie Brown for Looking for the Hidden Folk: How Iceland’s Elves Can Save the Earth

· Kathryn Davis for Aurelia, Aurélia

· Peter Orner for Still No Word from You: Notes in the Margin


· Caren Beilin for Revenge of the Scapegoat

· Ann Dávila Cardinal for The Storyteller’s Death

· Louise Glück for Marigold and Rose

· Erin Stalcup for Keen


· Rage Hezekiah for Yearn

· Carol Potter for What Happens Next Is Anyone’s Guess

· Bianca Stone for What Is Otherwise Infinite

Children’s literature

· Margot Harrison for We Made it All Up (young adult)

· Jo Knowles for Meant to Be (middle grade)

· Zoë Tilley Poster for The Night Wild (picture book)

· Leda Schubert for Firsts and Lasts: The Changing Seasons (picture book)


Established in 2014 by Vermont College of Fine Arts, the Vermont Book Awards are literary prizes that honor work of outstanding literary merit by Vermont authors and celebrate the long tradition of literature in the state.


In order to be eligible for the award, a book must be written by a Vermont writer and published between January 1 and December 31 of the year prior to the award. A “Vermont writer” is a writer who lives in Vermont for at least half the year. Self-published books are not eligible for the 2022 book award, nor are books written by staff and trustees of VCFA, the Vermont Department of Libraries, and Vermont Humanities. Anthologies containing work written by multiple authors are also not eligible.


A committee of librarians and independent booksellers of Vermont nominates books in three categories: Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, and Poetry. Writing for children and young adults should be entered in the appropriate category; for instance, a middle grade novel should be entered as Fiction, and a book of poems for young adults should be entered as Poetry. Graphic literature should also be entered into the appropriate category; for example, a graphic memoir should be entered as Creative Nonfiction.

Publishers may also nominate books. Nominations will be open to the public this winter.

If you’re an independent bookseller, librarian, or publisher, you can nominate books as soon as nominations are open via the form linked here.


Each year, the Vermont Book Awards leadership team selects a panel of judges made up of Vermont writers, teachers, librarians, and passionate supporters of literature in Vermont.


The judging panel reads the nominated books and selects finalists from each category before deciding on winners.  The winners will be revealed at a spring celebration hosted by Vermont Humanities.

The Vermont Book Awards celebration honors Vermont writers and readers. The 2022 awards will be announced at the Vermont Book Awards celebration this spring. Prizes will be awarded for the best poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and children’s literature published by Vermont authors in 2022.


The winners of the Vermont Book Awards receive a prize of $1,000. The winners are announced at a celebration hosted by Vermont Humanities in the spring.


If you’re an independent bookseller, librarian, publisher, or member of the general public, you can nominate books using our online form.


For more information:

Vermont Book Awards Coordinator
Miciah Bay Gault

Vermont Humanities*** August 6, 2021