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New England Book Awards

Titles submitted for the New England Book Awards must either be about New England, set in New England, or by an author residing in New England. It can be a hardcover, paperback original, or reissue but it must have published between September 1, 2019 and August 31, 2020.

NEIBA members are free to submit as many titles as they'd like. Non-NEIBA members will be charged a fee of $25 per title.

A committee of NEIBA booksellers chooses five finalists in each category. Afterwards, all NEIBA member booksellers may vote to choose the four award winners. The New England Book Awards will be announced at the annual Fall Conference. Winners will a receive $250 donation to the literary charity of their choice.

2020 Finalists

To view an Edelweiss collection of these titles, click here.


Afterlife by Julia Alvarez (Algonquin Books)
Enter the Aardvark by Jessica Anthony (Little, Brown)
Writers & Lovers by Lily King (Grove Press)
Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi (
Passage West by Rishi Reddi (Ecco)


Curry & Kimchi by Unmi Abkin & Roger Taylor (Storey Publishing)
Education of an Idealist by Samantha Power (Dey Street)
This Land is Their Land by David J. Silverman (Bloomsbury Publishing)
Sigh, Gone by Phuc Tran (Flatiron Books)
Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (One World)


Love and I by Fanny Howe (Graywolf Press)
The Absurd Man: Poems by Major Jackson (W. W. Norton & Company)
Dwellers in the House of the Lord by Wesley McNair (David R. Godine, Publisher)
After the Body by Cleopatra Mathis (Sarabande Books)
Geode by Susan Barba (Black Sparrow Press)


Saturday written and illustrated by Oge Mora (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Tiny Feet Between the Mountains written and illustrated by Hanna Cha (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Be You! written and illustrated by Peter Reynolds (Orchard Books)
A Whale of a Mistake written and illustrated by Ioana Hobai (Page Street Kids)
Uncle Bobby's Wedding written by Sarah S. Brannen and illustrated by Lucia Soto (little bee books)

Middle Grade

From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks (Katherine Tegen Books)
Chirp by Kate Messner (Bloomsbury Children's Books)
Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Show Me A Sign by Ann Clare LeZotte (Scholastic)
Keep It Together, Keiko Carter by Debbi Michiko Florence (Scholastic)

Young Adult

The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Jane Anonymous by Laurie Faria Stolarz (Wednesday Books)
Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power (Delacorte Press)
Don't Ask Me Where I'm From by Jennifer de Leon (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Caitlin Dlouhy Books)
Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger (Levine Querido)

2019 Winners
Fiction - On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (Penguin)
Nonfiction - Frederick Douglass by David W. Blight (Simon & Schuster)
Children's - New Kid by Jerry Craft (HarperCollins)
Young Adult - Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Graphix)

(Click here to view and Edelweiss collection of all 2019 finalists.)

2018 Winners
Fiction - Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (Penguin)
Non-Fiction - Vacationland by John Hodgman (Penguin)
Children's - Rescue And Jessica by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes, illust. Scott Magoon, (Candlewick)
Young Adult - The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (Little, Brown for Young Readers)

2017 Winners

Fiction - Women In The Castle by Jessica Shattuck (William Morrow)
Non-Fiction - Stranger In The Woods by Michael Finkel (Knopf)
Children's - Some Writer by Melissa Sweet (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Young Adult - The Gentleman's Guide To Vice And Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (Katherine Tegen Books)

2016 Winners

Fiction - Before the Fall by Noah Hawley (Grand Central Publishing)
Non-Fiction - Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery (Simon & Schuster)
Children's - Wolf Hallow by Lauren Wolk (Dutton/Penguin Young Readers)

2015 Winners

Fiction - Blue Horses: Poems by Mary Oliver (Penguin)
Non-Fiction - Being Mortal by Atul Gawande (Metropolitan)
Children's - Baba Yaga's Assistant by Marika McColla, illust. Emily Carroll (Candlewick)

2014 Winners

Fiction - Euphoria by Lily King (Grove Atlantic)
Non-Fiction - Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast (Bloomsbury)
Children's - Firefly July by Paul Janeczko, illust. Melissa Sweet (Candlewick)

2013 Winners

Fiction - The Art Forger by Barbara A. Shapiro (Algonquin)
Non-Fiction - Bunker Hill by Nathaniel Philbrick (Penguin)
Children's - If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen (Dial)

2012 Winners

Fiction - The Flight Of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey (HarperCollins)
Non-fiction -Remembering the Music by Kate Whouley (Beacon Press)
Children's - More by I. C. Springman & illustrated by Brian Lies (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

2011 Winners

Fiction - Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks (Viking)
Non-fiction - Warmth Of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson ( Random House)
Children's - Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall (Knopf)

2010 Winners

Fiction - Father of the Rain by Lily King (Grove Atlantic)
Non-fiction - Let's Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell (Random House)
Children's - City Dog, Country Frog written by Mo Willems, illust. Jon J Muth (Hyperion)

For 20 years, NEIBA recognized New England authors’ body of work with the New England Book Awards. In 2010 we chose the focus on titles in specific categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Children’s. In 2017, the Young Adult award was added.



2009 Geraldine Brooks

2008 Alice Hoffman

2007 Gregory Maguire

2006 Richard Ford

2005 William Martin

2004 Archer Mayor

2003 Jodi Picoult

2002 Chris Bohjalian

2001 Elinor Lipman

2000 Suzanne Strempek Shea

1999 Wally Lamb

1998 Anita Shreve

1997 Elizabeth Berg

1996 Jamaica Kincaid

1995 Howard Norman

1994 Richard Russo

1993 Jill McCorkle

1992 Cathie Pelletier

1991 Howard Frank Mosher

1990 May Sarton


2009 Sy Montgomery

2008 Nathaniel Philbrick

2007 Roy Blount, Jr.

2006 Kevin Phillips

2005 Jane Brox

2004 Linda Greenlaw

2003 Simon Winchester

2002 Howard Zinn

2001 Robert Finch

2000 John Hanson Mitchell

1999 Bill Bryson

1998 Bernd Heinrich

1997 James Carroll

1996 David Herbert Donald

1995 Doris Kearns Goodwin

1994 Tracy Kidder

1993 Donald Hall

1992 Jonathan Kozol

1991 Geoffrey Ward, Ric Burns,
and Ken Burns

Children's Books

2009 Andrew Clements

2008 Tomie dePaola

2007 Julius Lester

2006 Jane Yolen

2005 Marc Simont

2004 Molly Bang

2003 Lois Lowry

2002 Leonard Everett Fisher

2001 Joan Bauer

2000 Marcia Sewall

1999 Karen Hesse

1998 Susan Meddaugh

1997 Natalie Kinsey-Warnock

1996 Steven Kellogg

1995 Natalie Babbitt

1994 Ashley Bryan

1993 William Steig

1992 Katherine Paterson

1991 Barbara Cooney

1990 Jan Brett 


Other distinctions previously awarded by NEIBA include Editorial Excellence and Literary Excellence, as well as an award for exemplary New England Publishing. 


 New England Publishing

2009 Tilbury House

2008 Down East Books

2007 Shambhala Publications

2006 Commonwealth Editions

2005 Chelsea Green

2004 Storey Publishing

2003 Candlewick Press

2002 University Press of
New England

2000 Steerforth Publishing

1998 Houghton Mifflin

1996 Curbstone Press

1994 South End Press

1993 Alyson Publications

1992 Beacon Press

1991 University of
Massachusetts Press
Literary Excellence

2001 John Edgar Wideman

1999 Mary Oliver

1995 Peter Davison 
Editorial Excellence

1997 Henry Louis Gates, Jr.


One of the longest-running New England Book Awards is the President's Award, given by the NEIBA Board President for lifetime achievement in arts and letters.

2019 Stephen King

2018 Elizabeth McCracken

2017 John Irving

2016 Elizabeth Strout

2015 Lois Lowry

2014 Sy Montgomery

2013 Wendell & Florence Minor

2012 Wally Lamb

2011 Howard Frank Mosher

2010 Dahlov Ipcar

2009 Ward Just

2008 David Macaulay

2007 Richard Russo

2006 Richard Ford

2005 Tracy Kidder

2004 James Carroll

2003 Doris Kearns Goodwin

2002 Donald Hall

2001 David McCullough

2000 Seamus Heaney

1999 Arthur Miller

1998 Saul Bellow

1997 Cornel West

1996 Grace Paley

1995 Seymour Lawrence

1994 Dr. Robert Coles

1993 Doris Grumbach

1992 John Kenneth Galbraith

1991 Robert McCloskey