2018 Florida Book Awards winners announced

With its 13th annual competition now complete, the Florida Book Awards has announced winners for books published in 2018. More than 200 eligible publications were submitted across 11 categories of competition.

The Florida Book Awards, coordinated by the Florida State University Libraries, 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 Florida nonfiction and visual arts categories, where the subject matter must focus on Florida.

The Gwen P. Reichert Gold Medal for Children’s Literature, now in its fourth year, was awarded to Miami resident Silvia Lopez for “Just Right Family: An Adoption Story,” published by Albert Whitman & Company. This $1,000 cash award is in memory of Gwen P. Reichert and serves as a lasting tribute to her accomplishments as a rare book collector, nurturer of authors and educator of children.

Also awarded were the Richard E. Rice Gold Medal Award for Visual Arts to Richard Shieldhouse for “William Morgan: Evolution of an Architect” (University Press of Florida) and the Phillip and Dana Zimmerman Gold Medal for Florida Nonfiction to Gilbert King for “Beneath a Ruthless Sun: A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost & Found” (Penguin Random House). These two category winners each receive a $500 cash award.

The winning authors from across the state will be honored April 11 at the Abitz Family Dinner, the annual awards banquet, at the Mission San Luis in Tallahassee. The public is invited to attend. Please contact Jenni McKnight at floridabookawards.com or (850) 644-6323.

Florida Book Awards 2018 Winners by Category

GOLD: Silvia Lopez, Miami, “Just Right Family: An Adoption Story” (Albert Whitman & Company)
SILVER: Margaret Cardillo, Miami, “Just Being Jackie” (HarperCollins)
BRONZE: Rob Sanders, Brandon, “Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights” (Simon & Schuster)

GOLD: Ryan Calejo, Miami, “Charlie Hernádez & the League of Shadows” (Simon & Schuster)
SILVER: Jennifer Swanson, Jacksonville, “Astronaut-Aquanaut: How Space Science and Sea Science Interact” (National Geographic Partners)

GOLD: Gilbert King, “Beneath a Ruthless Sun: A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost & Found” (RiverHead Books)
SILVER:  Jim Ross, editor, Ocala, “In Season: Stories of Discovery, Loss, Home, and Places in Between” (University Press of Florida)
BRONZE: Bruce Horovitz, Jacksonville, “Gamble Rogers: A Troubadour’s Life” (University Press of Florida)

GOLD: Kimberly Lojewski, Ocala, “Worm Fiddling Nocturne in the Key of a Broken Heart” (Burrow Press)
SILVER: Ron Cooper, Ocala, “All My Sins Remembered” (Goliad Press)
BRONZE: Gale Massey, St. Petersburg, “The Girl from Blind River” (Crooked Lane)

GOLD: Dawn Davies, Fort Lauderdale, “Mothers of Sparta” (Flatiron Books)
SILVER: Kevin Begos, Apalachicola, “Tasting the Past: The Science of Flavor & the Search for the Origins of Wine” (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill)
BRONZE: Luis Martínez-Fernández, Orlando, “Key to the New World: A History of Early Colonial Cuba” (University Press of Florida)

GOLD: Erica Dawson, Tampa, “When Rap Spoke Straight to God” (Tin House Books)
SILVER: D.M. Aderibigbe, Tallahassee, “How the End First Showed” (University of Wisconsin Press)
BRONZE: Erin Hoover, Tallahassee, “Barnburner” (Elixir Press)

GOLD: Michael Jordan, Longboat Key, “Company of Demons” (Greenleaf Book Group Press)
SILVER: Veronica H. Hart, Ormond Beach, “The Knife” (Paranormalice Press)
BRONZE: Tom Lowe, Windermere, “The Jefferson Prophecy” (Kingsbridge Entertainment)

GOLD: Hernán Vera Álvarez, Miami, “La librería del mal salvaje” (Suburbano Ediciones)
SILVER: Glenda Galán, Miami, “Ventanas: Entrevistas de Glenda Galán a escritores latinoamericanos” (Grupo Editorial)
BRONZE: Félix Anesio, Miami, “Los cuervos y la infamia” (Betania)

GOLD: Richard Shieldhouse, Jacksonville, “William Morgan: Evolution of an Architect” (University Press of Florida)
SILVER: Sharon Koskoff, Delray Beach, “Murals of the Palm Beaches” (Acadia Publishing)
BRONZE: Andre Frattino, Gainesville, “A Land Remembered: A Graphic Novel” (Pineapple Press)

GOLD: Tara Lynn Masih, St. Augustine, “My Real Name Is Hanna” (Mandel Vilar Press)
SILVER: Kristina Neihouse, Key West, “Knowing When to Leave” (SeaStory Press)

Submissions for the 2018 awards were read by juries of three members, who were nominated by co-sponsoring organizations from across the state. Jurors are authorized to select up to three medalists (one gold winner, one silver runner-up and one bronze medalist) in each of the 11 categories; jurors are also authorized to make no selections in a given year.

The Florida State University Libraries coordinate the Florida Book Awards with assistance from co-sponsors, including the the State Library and Archives of Florida; the Florida Humanities Council and the Florida Library Association.

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