Vermont Book Award

“There is no better way to honor Vermont’s extensive literary culture than the Vermont Book Award. Vermont College of Fine Arts has figured out a way to gather all of Vermont’s writers and readers as one family, and it doesn’t matter that at its core it’s a competition—it feels entirely like a celebration.” Kerrin McCadden, winner of the inaugural Vermont Book Award

The 2017 Vermont Book Award finalists were announced on June 16, 2017. The winner will be crowned at the Vermont Book Award Gala on September 23, 2017. Tickets are $45.

Get your tickets today

  • Jensen Beach, Swallowed by the Cold: The intricate, interlocking stories of this collection are set in a Swedish village on the Baltic Sea as well as in Stockholm over the course of two eventful years.
  • Melanie Finn, The Gloaming: After a tragic car accident leaves her overcome with guilt, a woman alights for Africa, where she befriends the locals. After a sign of a witch doctor’s curse shows up in the village, the woman volunteers to rid the town of the box and its contents.
  • Margot Harrison, The Killer in Me: This debut psychological thriller for young adults examines which is more terrifying, the possibility that your nightmares are real or that they begin and end with you.
  • Robin MacArthur, Half Wild: Spanning nearly 40 years, the stories in this debut collection give voice to the dreams, hungers, and fears of a diverse cast of Vermonters and their struggle to make sense of their loneliness and longings.
  • Angela Palm, Riverine: This debut memoir-in-essays explores the relationship between identity and place, and the complexities of going back home.
  • Elizabeth Powell, Willy Loman’s Reckless Daughter: This theatrical book of poems plays out against and expands upon the backdrop of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.”
  • Alison Prine, Steel: This debut collection of poetry explores the absences left by two tragic events—the early loss of the poet’s mother and her brother’s death.
  • Mary Ruefle, My Private Property: Comprised of short prose pieces, this creative nonfiction collection displays Ruefle’s humor, deep imagination, mindfulness, and play.

Read more about our finalists here

The Vermont Book Award is a $5,000 literary prize created by VCFA to celebrate the literature of Vermont. To qualify, a book must be a work of outstanding literary merit by a Vermont writer.

A committee of independent booksellers of Vermont lends its expertise to nominate worthy books in four categories: Children’s Literature, Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, and Poetry. Publishers may also submit nominations.

In early summer, a group of distinguished judges chooses finalists in each of the genres. The winner is selected from these finalists and announced at the Vermont Book Award Gala in the autumn.



Miciah Bay Gault
Program Director, MFA in Writing & Publishing
Editor, Hunger Mountain