Eighth annual Florida Book Award winners announced

David Kirby

With its eighth annual competition now complete, the Florida Book Awards has announced winners for books published in 2013 in the nine categories of competition.

Coordinated by the Florida State University Libraries, the Florida Book Awards is the nation’s most comprehensive state book awards program. It was established in 2006 to celebrate the best Florida literature. Authors must be full-time Florida residents, except in the nonfiction and visual arts categories, where the subject matter must focus on Florida.

Florida State University graduate student Craig Blais took the top poetry award, and David Kirby, the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of English, took the silver in that category.

Florida Book Awards 2013 Winners by Category

Children’s Literature

Gold: Nancy J. Cavanaugh, “This Journal Belongs to Ratchet” (Sourcebooks)

Silver: Dianne Ochiltree, “It’s a Firefly Night” (Blue Apple Books)

Bronze: Marianne Berkes, “Over in a River: Flowing Out to the Sea” (Dawn Publications)

Florida Nonfiction

Gold: Henry Knight, “Tropic of Hopes: California, Florida, and the Selling of American Paradise, 1869-1929” (University Press of Florida)

Silver: Daniel L. Schafer, “Zephaniah Kingsley Jr. and the Atlantic World: Slave Trader, Plantation Owner, Emancipator” (University Press of Florida)

Bronze: Nathaniel Millett, “The Maroons of Prospect Bluff and Their Quest for Freedom in the Atlantic World” (University Press of Florida)

General Fiction

Gold: Randy Wayne White, “Deceived” (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

Silver: Laura Lee Smith, “Heart of Palm” (Grove/Atlantic)

Bronze: Steven P. Locklin, “Beneath Hallowed Ground” (Grey Gecko Press)

General Nonfiction

Gold: Tom Williams, “Surrounded by Thunder” (Inspire on Purpose)

Silver: Dave Horner, “The Earhart Enigma: Retracing Amelia’s Last Flight” (Pelican Publishing Company)

Bronze: Bruce Gamble, “Target: Rabaul: The Allied Siege of Japan’s Most Infamous Stronghold, March 1943-August 1945” (Zenith Press)


Gold: Craig Blais, “About Crows” (University of Wisconsin Press)

Silver: David Kirby, “The Biscuit Joint” (LSU Press)

Bronze: Terry Ann Thaxton, “The Terrible Wife” (Salt Publishing)

Popular Fiction

Gold: John Tkac, “Talking to Water” (Southeast Books)

Silver: Brad Meltzer, “The Fifth Assassin” (Grand Central Publishing)

Bronze: Alex Kava, “Stranded” (Double Day)

Spanish Language

Gold: Manuel A. Lopez, “Los Poetas Nunca Pecan Demasiado” (Editorial Betania)

Visual Arts

Gold: Jerald T. Milanich and Nina J. Root, “Enchantments: Julian Dimock’s Photographs of Southwest Florida” (University Press of Florida)

Silver: Carlton Ward Jr., “Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition: Everglades to Okefenokee” (Compass Editions)

Bronze: Rick Kilby, “Finding the Fountain of Youth: Ponce de Leon and Florida’s Magical Waters” (University Press of Florida)

Young Adult

Gold: Rick Yancey, “The Final Descent” (Simon & Schuster)

Silver: Mary Lois Sanders, “The Vision Seeker” (Court Jester Publications)

All award recipients will be honored at a banquet March 17 at Mission San Luis in Tallahassee, and the nine gold medalists will be recognized March 18 at the Florida Heritage Month Awards Presentation sponsored by the Florida Department of State’s Division of Cultural Affairs.

Submissions for the 2013 awards were read by juries of three members, each nominated from across the state by co-sponsoring organizations. Jurors are authorized to select up to three medalists (including one gold winner, one silver runner-up and one bronze medalist) in each of the nine categories; jurors are also authorized to make no selections in a given year.

Read more about the Florida Book Awards at floridabookawards.lib.fsu.edu.

Co-sponsors are the Florida Center for the Book, State Library and Archives of Florida, Florida Historical Society, Florida Humanities Council, Florida Literary Arts Coalition, Florida Library Association, “Just Read, Florida!,” Florida Association for Media in Education, Florida Center for Literature and Theatre, the Friends of FSU Libraries, Florida Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America and the Florida Writers Association.