33rd Annual Oregon Book Award Winners

By Kris McDowell

Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) hosted a special radio show in June for Portland nonprofit Literary Arts’ 2020 Oregon Book Awards.

This was the first time in the history of the Awards that the ceremony was not able to take place with a live audience and instead was reimagined into a statewide broadcast/podcast with hosts Elena Passarello and Omar El Akkad.

Since 1997, the Awards have celebrated the work of the state’s authors. This year, 215 books from 44 towns across Oregon were submitted for consideration. Out-of-state judges determined the finalists and the winners.

2020 award winners are:

Award for Children’s Literature: Cathy Camper of Portland for Lowriders Blast From the Past (Chronical Books)

Award for Young Adult Literature: Deborah Hopkinson of West Linn for How I Became a Spy: A Mystery of WWII London (Knopf Books for Young Readers)

Frances Fuller Victor Award for General Nonfiction: David Wolman and Julian Smith of Portland for Aloha Rodeo: Three Hawaiian Cowboys, the World’s Greatest Rodeo, and a Hidden History of the American West (William Morrow)

Sarah Winnemucca Award for Creative Nonfiction: Beth Alvarado of Bend for Anxious Attachments (Autumn House Press)

Award for Graphic Literature: Greg Means & MK Reed for Penny Nichols (Top Shelf)

Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry: Ashley Toliver for Spectra (Coffee House Press)

Ken Kesey Award for Fiction: Kesha Ajose Fisher for No God Like the Mother (Inkwater Press)

Walt Morey Young Readers Literacy Legacy Award: Reading Results of Portland (readingresultspdx.org)

Stewart H. Holbrook Literacy Legacy Award: Write Around Portland of Portland (writearound.org)

Charles Erskine Scott Wood Distinguished Writer Award: Lawson Fusao Inada of Ashland

All books, with the exception of Anxious Attachments, are currently available through the Multnomah County Library.

Hear the broadcast at literary-arts.org/archive/2020-oregon-book-awards.

33rd Annual Oregon Book Award Winners

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