2016 Florida Book Awards Winners Announced

With its 11th annual competition now complete, the Florida Book Awards has announced winners for books published in 2016. More than 200 eligible publications were submitted across the ten 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 Florida nonfiction and visual arts categories, where the subject matter must focus on Florida.

Setting the standard for future cash prizes, the “Gwen P. Reichert Gold Medal for Children’s Literature”, now in its third year, is awarded to Orlando resident, Ethan Long for Big Cat (Holiday House Books). This $1000 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. Support for similar cash prizes associated with the nine other award categories are in development.

The winning authors from across the state will be honored at the Abitz Family Dinner, the annual awards banquet, which will take place in Tallahassee on April 12th at the Mission San Luis. The public is invited to attend. More information will be available on the Florida Book Awards website.

Florida Book Awards 2016 Winners by Category

Young Children’s Literature

Gold/Reichert Award:  Big Cat (Holiday House) by Ethan Long (Orlando)

Older Children’s Literature

Gold:  The First Last Day (Simon & Schuster/Aladdin) by Dorian Cirrone (Davie)
Silver:  Return Fire (Scholastic Press) by Christina Diaz Gonzalez (Coral Gables)

Bronze:  Framed!  A T.O.A.S.T. Mystery (Simon & Schuster/Alladin) by James Ponti (Maitland)

Florida Nonfiction

Gold: Oh Florida! How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country (St. Martin’s Press) by Craig Pittman (St. Petersburg)

Silver:  White Sand, Black Beach:  Civil Rights, Public Space and Miami’s Virginia Key  (University Press of Florida) by Gregory W. Bush (Miami)

Bronze:  Music Everywhere:  The Rock and Roll Roots of a Southern Town (University Press of Florida) by Marty Jourard (Gainesville)

General Fiction

Gold:  The Other Traitor (Churlish Press) by Sharon Potts (Miami Beach)

Silver: Sparrow in the Wind (Bedazzled Ink Publishing, LLC) by S. Rose  (High Springs)

Bronze:  The Melting Season (Burlesque Press) by Ira Sukrungruang (Tampa)

General Nonfiction

Gold:  Lassoing the Sun (Thomas Dunne Books) by Mark Woods (Jacksonville)

Silver:  Beyond Integration (University of North Carolina Press) by J. Michael Butler (St. Augustine)

Bronze:  Kingdoms in the Air (Grove Atlantic) by Bob Shacochis (New York)


Gold: The Abridged History of Rainfall (McSweeney’s Publishing)  by Jay Hopler (Riverview)

Silver: Latest Volcano, (Marsh Hawk Press) by Tana Jean Welch, (Orlando)

Bronze:  Hour of the Ox, (University of Pittsburgh Press) by Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello (Coral Gables)

Popular Fiction

Gold:   Storm Crashers (Oak Tree Press) by Richard Wickliffe (Coral Springs)

Silver:  Passenger 19 (Oceanview Publishing) by Ward Larsen (Sarasota)

Bronze:  A Murder of Crows (Kingsbridge) by Tom Lowe (Windemere)

Spanish Language

Gold:  La Casa Viejo y Ortros Relatos (The Old House and Other Stories) (Amancay Ediciones/Isabel Jakovljevic) by Isabel Garcia Cintas (Sunny Isles Beach)

Visual Arts

Gold:  Tropical Light: The Art of A.E. Backus (Vendome Press) by Natasha Kusmanovic (New York)

Silver: Saints of Old Florida, (Self Published) by Melissa Farrell, Christina McDermott, Emily Raffield (Port St. Joe)
Bronze:  E.G. Barnhill:  Florida Photographer, Adventurer, Entrepreneur (University Press of Florida) by Gary Monroe (Deland)

Young Adult

Gold:  All We Have Left (Bloomsbury) by Wendy Mills (Bokeelia)

Silver: Autofocus (Harper Collins/Harper Teen) by Lauren Gibaldi (Winter Park)

Bronze:  The Homecoming (Sourcebooks Fire) by Stacie Ramey (Wellington)

Submissions for the 2016 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 ten 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 Florida Center for the Book; the State Library and Archives of Florida; the Florida Historical Society; the Florida Humanities Council; the Florida Literary Arts Coalition; the Florida Library Association; the Florida Association for Media in Education; the Center for Literature and Theatre at Miami Dade College; the Florida Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America; Friends of FSU Libraries; the Florida Writers Association; the Florida Literacy Coalition; and “Just Read, Florida!”

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