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 22nd Annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards Celebration took place on Saturday evening, October 19, 2019 with the following finalists announced as the award winner in their respective category:

Poetry: Search & Rescue by Michael Chitwood and Claude Before Time and Space by Claudia Emerson

Fiction: Letís No One Get Hurt by Jon Pineda

Nonfiction: Jefferson's Daughters: Three Sisters, White and Black, in a Young America by Catherine Kerrison

Mary Lynn Kotz Art in Literature Award: Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler - Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art by Mary Gabriel

People's Choice Awards:

  • Fiction: Tonyís Wife by Adriana Trigiani
  • Nonfiction: Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy

The celebratory black-tie evening included a cocktail reception, seated dinner and awards ceremony, concluding with book signings by our finalists. Sponsored by Dominion Energy, the gala was again hosted by Award-winning Virginia author Adriana Trigiani, with featured speaker, Brian Noyes, owner of the Red Truck Bakery, former Washington Post art director, and author of the Red Truck Bakery Cookbook.

Sponsorship and ticket information for next year's awards gala will be available soon.

We are now accepting nomination submissions for the 2020 Literary Awards (books published in 2019). Nominations may be submitted by completing the online form.

The nomination form may also be printed and mailed to:

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


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