The Colorado Book Award is a program that seeks to celebrate the accomplishments of Colorado’s literary community. The Award is meant to both recognize outstanding authors and to promote those authors to Colorado readers. Our goal is to raise the profile of the literary community and recognize its contributors while increasing their accessibility to the everyday reader who will, in turn, appreciate and share their work.

Click Here to Download a 2009 Colorado Book Award Application

Click Here to Download a copy of the Guidelines

Click here to Download a 2009 Judge or Selector Application


Past Book Award Winners. Please choose the year below:


2009 Book Award Nomination Information


1. To be eligible for a Colorado Book Award, a primary contributor to the book must be a Colorado writer, editor, illustrator or photographer. Current Colorado residents are eligible, as are individuals engaged in ongoing literary work in the state and authors whose personal history, identity, or literary work reflect a strong Colorado influence. Authors not currently Colorado residents who feel their work is inspired by or connected to Colorado should submit a letter with his/her entry describing the connection. Final eligibility determinations will be made by the Colorado Book Awards Advisory Committee.

2. Entries in the 18th Annual Colorado Book Awards must have a 2008 publication date. With the exception of fine press entries, books must be professionally published and assigned an ISBN. New editions of previously published work are not eligible unless substantive changes have been made to the text of the book. Books published and available in late 2008 that have a delayed (2009) copyright may be submitted either in the 18th or the 19th Annual Colorado Book Awards, but not both.


The Colorado Book Awards seeks to celebrate the accomplishments of Colorado's literary community and promote them to Colorado readers. Judges and Selectors are asked to apply, and each application is reviewed by the Colorado Book Awards Advisory Committee, before selecting and judging begin. Judges and Selectors may not be asked to serve in consecutive award years. Each committee is formed to represent a range of ages, gender and backgrounds, from the genre expert to the avid reader. Every book entered in the Colorado Book Awards (unless otherwise noted) is judged on three primary criteria:

  1. •  Content - The quality of the written word.
  2. •  Originality - Even if the subject of a book is popular, does the book take a new or interesting approach to that subject?
  3. •  General Appeal - Would this book appeal to a wide-variety of readers?

Secondary criteria address specific issues in each category. For instance, Children's Literature picture books are also judged on the integration of illustrations and story.

Entry Form and Fee
A complete entry packet includes five copies of each title submitted, a $50 check made out to Colorado Humanities, and an entry form with contact information for each contributor to the book. For an entry form or to sign up for our email list to receive notification of future awards, programs and events, please visit and click on Colorado Center for the Book, email or call 303-894-7951.

Anthology and Collection
A collection of poems, stories, or essays by one or more authors, with a compiler or editor. (Collections of stories or poetry by a single author, without an editor, should be submitted in the Poetry or Fiction category.) In this category, either the editor must be a Coloradan or the majority of selections must be written by Coloradans.

Children's Literature
Books for beginning or middle readers, including easy readers, chapter books, picture books and children’s poetry collections. This category is judged by teams of children and adults.

Creative Nonfiction
Dramatic, true stories using scenes, dialogue, detailed descriptions and other techniques usually employed by poets and fiction writers. Subjects range from politics, race relations, and economics to sports, the arts and sciences, and family relations. Creative Nonfiction heightens the whole concept of essay writing. It allows a writer to employ the diligence of a reporter, the shifting voices and viewpoints of a novelist, the refined wordplay of a poet and the analytical modes of the essayist. This category includes, but is not limited to, Autobiography and Memoir.

Book Arts
Unique, handmade, limited edition publications judged primarily on craftsmanship. Eligible creators in this category may include book artists, designers, writers, and illustrators.

General Nonfiction
A nonfiction book that does not fit into another category.

History and Biography
A nonfiction book of history or biography.

A novel, novella, or short story collection by a single author.

A book-length collection of poetry by a single writer. Chapbooks of at least 30 pages are also eligible.

Popular Fiction
A book of fiction written in a popular genre or style, including mystery, fantasy, romance, and science fiction. If a genre receives more than 12 entries in an awards year, a Colorado Book Award will be given for that particular genre.

A book from any genre written in Spanish.

A book from any genre translated from any language to English.

Young Adult Literature
A work of fiction or poetry for young adults age 12 and up.

A book strongly focused on photographs either by a Colorado photographer or of a Colorado subject. Books in this category will be judged primarily on their illustrative content.

Process, Deadlines & Fees

  • Download and complete a 2009 Colorado Book Award Application.
  • Check or money order for $50 processing fee (Make checks payable to Colorado Humanities)
  • 5 copies of the nominated book or manuscript.
  • The Submission Deadline is: January 31st 2009.
Send your entry to:

Colorado Center for the Book
Colorado Humanities
1490 Lafayette Street, Suite 101
Denver, CO 80218-2391


Back to Top


© 2008 The Colorado Humanities.