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. The judges selected Continuum: Native North American Art at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art by Gaylord Torrence as this year's recipient. Learn more here.

Nomination submission forms for the 2022 Art in Literature: Mary Lynn Kotz Award (books published in 2021) are now being accepted and can be found here; nominations will be accepted through March 15, 2022.

The 2021 People's Choice Award finalists were announced this past July. Visit here to learn more about this year's finalists.

Nine authors are finalists for the Library of Virginia's 24th Annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards. The finalists were chosen by an independent panel of judges from more than 110 books nominated for the awards. The winner in each mailed to: Library of Virginia, Attn: Nancy Orr, 800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23219. category will be selected from among these finalists and announced during a virtual celebration at the Library of Virginia on Saturday, October 16, 2021.

The 2021 Library of Virginia Literary Award finalists are:

  • RACHEL BEANLAND | Florence Adler Swims Forever
  • BRIAN CASTLEBERRY | Nine Shiny Objects
  • ALMA KATSU | The Deep

  • CHIP JONES | The Organ Thieves
  • RYAN K. SMITH | Death and Rebirth in a Southern City
  • NICOLE MYERS TURNER | Soul Liberty

  • BILL GLOSE | Postscript to War
  • ANNIE KIM | Eros, Unbroken
  • KIKI PETROSINO | White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia

We are now accepting nomination submissions for the 2022 Literary Awards (books published in 2021). Guidelines for nominations can be found here and may be submitted by completing the online form or may also be printed and mailed to: Library of Virginia, Attn: Office of the Librarian of Virginia, 800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23219.

The 24th Annual Library of Virginia Awards Celebration will be celebrated on Saturday, October 16, 2021. Visit here for sponsorship information.

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