On June 13, 2014 the Colorado Book Awards were announced in Aspen, Colorado at the Jerome Hotel. The Colorado Book Awards honor excellent authors, editors, illustrators, and photographers from Colorado, a state with plenty of talent to choose from.

This year, awards were presented in sixteen different categories including literary fiction, nonfiction, poetry, memoir, thriller/suspense, children’s literature and young adult, just to name a few. Finalists for the award ranged from stories of cowboys and outdoor adventures to wine tasting guides and good old-fashioned revenge tales, each with its own special Colorado twist.

Winners include I Promise Not to Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail by Gail D. Storey, a member of the Boulder Writers’ Workshop. Her memoir recounts the risky journey of a city girl taking on the west coast as she hikes from the boarder of Mexico to the boarder of Canada with her husband. Danger and discovery lurk around every corner from both the landscape and the inner self. To read an interview with Gail D Storey, visit the Boulder Writers’ Workshop webpage.

In the young adult category, Ascendant by Rebecca Taylor took the prize. Charlotte Stevens, a sixteen-year-old girl spends the summer at her absent mother’s childhood home. It quickly becomes clear through a combination of puzzles, pentagrams, and a mysterious foe, that there is more to be learned about her missing mother than anyone could have guessed, and more to learn about herself, just as soon as she can solve the mystery of her family’s past.

A new category for poetry chapbook was introduced this year, allowing for a smaller sub-category of poetry to gain some well-deserved exposure. This year’s winner is Uche Ogbuji with his chapbook collection “Ndewo Colorado.” Ogbuji’s collection is written in the point of view of a Nigerian raised immigrant who eventually settles in Colorado. Ogbuji has taken the liberty of inventing his own form called the dialette. His experimentation with form and language are both challenging and fascinating.

The full list of 2014 winners:


“Ernest L. Blumenschein: The Life of an American Artist,” by Robert W. Larson and Carole B. Larson

Children’s Literature

“The Tumbleweed Came Back,” by Carmela LaVigna-Coyle and Kevin Rechin

Creative Nonfiction

“Animal, Mineral, Radical: Essays on Wildlife, Family, and Food,” by BK Loren

General Nonfiction

“Tasting Colorado: Favorite Recipes from the Centennial State,” by Michele Morris

Genre Fiction

“Changes,” by Pamela Nowak

Historical Fiction

“The Drowning Guard: A Novel of the Ottoman Empire,” by Linda Lafferty


“Denver Mountain Parks: 100 Years of the Magnificent Dream,” by Erika D. Walker, Wendy Rex-Atzet, Sally L. White, W. Bart Berger, Thomas J. Noel and John Fielder

Juvenile Literature

“Grave Images,” by Jenny Goebel

Literary Fiction

“Little Raw Souls,” by Steven Schwartz


“I Promise Not to Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail,” by Gail D. Storey


“Desperado: A Mile High Noir,” by Manuel Ramos


“Firmament: A Meditation on Place in Three Parts,” by Andrew Beckham


“Natural Takeover of Small Things,” by Tim Z. Hernandez


“Ndewo, Colorado,” by Uche Ogbuji


“Double Dare,” by Michael Madigan

Young Adult Literature

“Ascendant,” by Rebecca Taylor