Library of Virginia Literary Awards


2008 Literary Awards

IN 1997, the Library of Virginia established its annual Literary Awards program to honor Virginia writers and celebrate their contributions to the literary landscape of our state and nation. Given to Virginia authors in the categories of fiction and poetry—and to nonfiction authors for works about a Virginia subject as well—the awards are presented at an annual gala celebration that has become the Library’s signature event and an eagerly anticipated cultural tradition in Richmond. While the main award recipients are selected by independent panels of judges, the Library also invites book lovers and readers to vote for their favorite works for the People’s Choice Awards for Fiction and Nonfiction. In the past, the Library has also bestowed a Literary Lifetime Achievement Award to recognize the enduring influence of an outstanding Virginia writer, with past winners including Earl Hamner, Lee Smith, Jan Karon, Tom Robbins, Charles Wright, Barbara Kingsolver, Rita Dove, John Grisham, Tom Wolfe, and David Baldacci.

The Library also partners each year with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to present the Art in Literature: The Mary Lynn Kotz Award for an outstanding literary work with art or works of art as its primary subject. Learn more here.

The 21st Annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards Celebration took place on Saturday evening, October 20, 2018 with the following finalists announced as the award winner in their respective category:

Poetry: For the Scribe by David Wojahn
Fiction: The Exact Nature of Our Wrongs by Janet Peery
Nonfiction: Code Girls: The Untold Story of American Women Code Breakers of World War II by Liza Mundy
Mary Lynn Kotz Art in Literature Award: Sargent’s Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas by Donna M. Lucey
People’s Choice Awards:
Fiction: Say Nothing by Brad Parks
Nonfiction: Code Girls: The Untold Story of American Women Code Breakers of World War II by Liza Mundy

The celebratory black-tie evening included a cocktail reception, seated dinner and awards ceremony, and book signings by our finalists. Our featured speaker for the evening was Susan Orlean, author of The Library Book. Sponsorship and ticket information for the 2019 awards gala is available by calling Dawn Greggs at (840) 692-3813.

We are now accepting nominations for the 2019 awards (books published in 2018). Nominations may be submitted by completing the online form.

The form may also be printed and mailed to:

Library of Virginia Literary Awards
Attn: Nancy Orr
Library of Virginia
800 East Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23219.


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