With its twelfth annual competition now complete, the Florida Book Awards has announced winners for books published in 2017. More than 200 eligible publications were submitted across the eleven categories of competition.
Coordinated by the Florida State University Libraries, the Florida Book Awards is the nation’s most comprehensive state book awards program. It was established in 2006 to celebrate the best Florida literature. Authors must be full-time Florida residents, except in the Florida nonfiction and visual arts categories, where the subject matter must focus on Florida.
Setting the standard for future cash prizes, the “Gwen P. Reichert Gold Medal for Children’s Literature”, now in its third year, is awarded to Brandon resident, Rob Sanders for Rodzilla (Simon and Schuster) This $1000 cash award is in memory of Gwen P. Reichert and serves as a lasting tribute to her accomplishments as a rare book collector, nurturer of authors, and educator of children. Also awarded were the Richard E. Rice Gold Medal Award for Visual Arts to Jared Beck and Pamela Miner for River and Road (University of Florida Press) and the Phillip and Dana Zimmerman Gold Medal for Florida Nonfiction to Arlo Haskell for The Jews of Key West (Sand Paper Press). These two category winners each receive a $500 cash award.
The winning authors from across the state will be honored at the Abitz Family Dinner, the annual awards banquet, which will take place in Tallahassee on April 12th at the Mission San Luis. The public is invited to attend. More information will be available on the Florida Book Awards website.
Florida Book Awards 2017 Winners by Category
GWEN P. REICHERT GOLD MEDAL AWARD FOR YOUNGER CHILDREN’S LITERATURE: Rob Sanders
RICHARD E. RICE GOLD MEDAL AWARD FOR VISUAL ARTS: Jared Beck and Pamela Miner
Phillip and Dana Zimmerman Gold Medal Prize for Florida Nonfiction: Arlo Haskell
YOUNGER CHILDREN’S LITERATURE
Gold: Rob Sanders (Brandon),Rodzilla (Simon and Schuster)
Silver: Carrie Clickar (Gainesville), Dumpling Dreams (Simon and Schuster)
Bronze: Marianne Berkes, (Orange City), Baby on Board: How Animals Carry Their Young
OLDER CHILDREN’S LITERATURE
Gold: Ed Masessa (Florida), Wandmaker’s Apprentice (Scholastic)
Silver: R.M. Romero (Miami Beach), The Dollmaker of Krakow (Penguin Random House)
Bronze: Rodman Philbrick (Florida Keys) Who Killed Darius Drake? (Scholastic)
Gold: Norman Van Aken (Miami) Norman Van Aken’s Florida Kitchen (University of Florida Press)
Gold: Arlo Haskell, (Key West) The Jews of Key West (Sand Paper Press)
Silver: Frank Cassell (Sarasota), Suncoast Empire (Pineapple Press)
Bronze: Julio Capó Jr., Welcome to Fairyland (UNC Press)
GOLD: Laura Lee Smith (St. Augustine), The Ice House (Grove Press)
SILVER: Elizabeth Sims (Bradenton), Crimes in a Second Language (Spruce Park Press)
BRONZE: Randy Wayne White (Sanibel), Mangrove Lightning (G.P Putnam Sons)
GOLD: Edwidge Danticat (Miami),The Art of Death (Graywolf Press)
SILVER: D. Bruce Means (Tallahassee), Diamonds in the Rough (Tall Timbers Press)
BRONZE: Kristine Harper (Tallahassee), Make it Rain: State Control of the Atmosphere in Twentieth-Century America (University of Chicago Press)
GOLD: Kaveh Akbar (Tallahassee), Calling a Wolf (Alice James Books)
SILVER: Terry Ann Thaxton (Winter Springs), Mud Song (Truman State University Press)
BRONZE: Michael Hettich (Miami Shores), The Frozen Harbor (Red Dragonfly Press)
GOLD: Patrick Gussin (Longboat Key), Come Home (Oceanview Publishing)
SILVER: Robert Macomber (Pine Island), An Honorable War (Pineapple Press)
BRONZE: Ward Larsen (Sarasota), Assassin’s Code (Forge Books)
GOLD: Pedro Medina León (Coral Gables), Varsovia ( Sudaquia Editores)
SILVER: Carlos García Pandiello (Miami), Jaspora (Aduana Vieja Editorial)
GOLD: Jared Beck (Naples) and Pamela Miner (Fort Myers), River and Road (University of Florida Press)
GOLD: Jenny Torres Sanchez (Orlando), Because of the Sun (Delacorte Press)
Submissions for the 2017 awards were read by juries of three members, each nominated from across the state by co-sponsoring organizations. Jurors are authorized to select up to three medalists (including one gold winner, one silver runner-up and one bronze medalist) in each of the eleven categories; jurors are also authorized to make no selections in a given year.
The Florida State University Libraries coordinate the Florida Book Awards with assistance from co-sponsors including the Florida Center for the Book; the State Library and Archives of Florida; the Florida Historical Society; the Florida Humanities Council; the Florida Literary Arts Coalition; the Florida Library Association; the Florida Association for Media in Education; the Center for Literature and Theatre @ Miami Dade College; the Florida Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America; Friends of FSU Libraries; the Florida Writers Association; the Florida Literacy Coalition; and “Just Read, Florida!”
Learn more about the Florida Book Awards at floridabookawards.lib.fsu.edu.