2018 CT Book Award Finalists

Connecticut Center for the Book, a Connecticut Humanities program, has announced the finalists for its 2018 Connecticut Book Awards. The awards recognize and honor authors and illustrators who have created the best books in or about our state in the past year.

Between three and five finalists have been selected in each of five categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Young Readers – Young Adult, and Young Readers – Juvenile. Five distinguished judges per category read each entry and reviewed works using rigorous criteria. A total of 140 books were submitted this year, up 28% over last year, as the returning awards program gains momentum. The finalists follow.


Abby Fabiaschi, West Hartford, CT, I Liked My Life, St. Martin’s Press
Jane Green, Westport, CT, The Sunshine Sisters, Penguin Random House
Georgia Hunter, Rowayton, We Were the Lucky Ones, Penguin Books
Rene Denfeld, Portland, OR, The Child Finder, Harper Collins
Courtney Maum, Norfolk, CT, Touch, G. P. Putnam’s Sons


Virginia DeJohn Anderson, Boulder, CO, The Martyr and the Traitor – Nathan Hale, Moses Dunbar, and the American Revolution, Oxford University Press
Duo Dickinson, Madison, CT, and Steve Culpepper, New Haven, CT, A Home Called New England, Globe Pequot
David Hays, Chester, CT, Setting the Stage: What We Do, How We Do It, and Why, Wesleyan University Press
James C. Scott, Durham, CT, Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States, Yale University Press


Gina Athena Ulysse, Middletown, CT, Because When God is Too Busy, Wesleyan University Press
Jose B. Gonzalez, Quaker Hill, CT, When Love was Reels, Arete Publico Press
John Surowiecki, Amston, CT, Martha Playing Wiffle Ball in Her Wedding Dress, Encircle Publications
Charles Rafferty, Sandy Hook, CT, The Smoke of Horses, BOA Editions, Ltd.

Young Readers – Young Adult

Jake Burt, Hamden, CT, Greetings from Witness Protection!, MacMillan
Karen Romano Young, Bethel, CT, Whale Quest, Lerner Publishing Group
Sarah Albee, Watertown, CT, Poison, Random House

Young Readers – Juvenile (includes authors and illustrators)

Gigi Priebe, New Canaan, CT, The Adventures of Henry Whiskers, Simon and Schuster
Lauren Baratz-Logsted, Danbury, CT, I Love You, Michael Collins, Farrar Straus Giroux
Susan Hood, Southport, CT, Double Take! A New Look at Opposites, Candlewick Press
Deborah Freedman, Hamden, CT, This House, Once, Simon and Schuster
Andrea Wisnewski, Storrs, CT, Trio, The Tale of a Three-legged Cat, David R. Godine

Winners will be announced at the 2018 Connecticut Book Awards ceremony on Sun., Oct. 14, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. at Staples High School in Westport, CT. Okey Ndibe, the 2017 Connecticut Book Award winner for nonfiction, will deliver the keynote speech. A reception and book signing with this year’s winners, finalists, and Mr. Ndibe will immediately follow from 3:00-4:00; all finalists’ and winners’ books will be available for purchase.

The awards ceremony and reception are open to the public, and conclude Saugatuck StoryFest, a three-day literary festival and writers’ conference.

Buy One, Get One tickets are available for $25 through Oct. 12. Tickets will also be available at the door for $30. Tickets may be purchased here.

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