On Saturday, October 12, 2019, booklovers gathered at the Seattle Public Library Central Library to celebrate books at the 2019 Washington State Book Awards ceremony and reception. The event was recorded for a podcast; as of this posting, it was not yet live on the website, but we will continue to check back here.
The Washington State Book Awards honor works of outstanding literary merit by Washington authors. An award is given based on the strength of the publication’s literary merit, lasting importance and overall quality.
The book awards program is administered by the Washington Center for the Book, an affiliate of the national Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. The Washington Center is managed through a partnership of The Seattle Public Library and the Washington State Library.
How are finalists and winners selected?
A panel of judges comprised of librarians and booksellers evaluate every book submitted. They determine the list of finalists and winners. Judges for the 2019 Washington State Book Awards are:
Judges for Books for Adults:
Kelly Evert, Owner, Village Books, Bellingham
Kalani Kapahua, Bookseller, Offsite Event Manager, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park
Zola Mumford, Librarian, North Seattle College, Seattle
Brian Soneda, Librarian (former director of Mount Vernon City Library)
Jenna Zarzycki, Librarian, King County Library System
Judges for Books for Youth:
Sheri Boggs, Youth Collection Development Librarian, Spokane County Library District
Chris Robert, Teacher-Librarian, Seattle Public Schools
Janelle Smith, Owner, Wishing Tree Books, Spokane
So Lucky by Nicola Griffith
See Tom Nissley’s review of the novel here.
Instruments of the True Measure by Laura Da’
Sample a poem at the Seattle Review of books here.
Arctic Solitaire by Paul Souders
Learn more about the book at the author’s website here.
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Read the 2019 Northwest Book Awards Shortlist committee’s recommendation here.
All Are Welcome, illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman
See literacy nonprofit Page Ahead’s love for this book here.
Books for Young Readers (ages 6 and up):
Peanut Butter and Jelly, written and illustrated by Ben Clanton
Watch a storytime TV video about the book here.
Middle Grade (ages 8 and up):
Winterhouse by Ben Guterson
Watch a video about the series here.
Young Adult (ages 12 and up):
Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough
Read Dianah Hughley’s Face Out recommendation of the book here.
To appreciate what a competitive field it was this year, you can see the longlist for this year’s award here.