Past Winners




Winner: The Second O of Sorrow by Sean Thomas Dougherty


Fire Season by Patrick Coleman

Mend by Kwoya Fagin Maples

My Tarantella by Jennifer Martelli

American Radiance by Luisa Muradyan


Winner: The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon


The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Solemn Graves by James R. Benn

Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens


Winner: The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantu


Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation by Robert W. Fieseler

There Will Be No Miracles Here: A Memoir by Casey Gerald

Beneath a Ruthless Sun: A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found by Gilbert King

Young Adult/Middle Grade

Winner: Hole in the Middle by Kendra Fortmeyer


Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

I Love You, Michael Collins by Lauren Baratz-Logsted



Fiction: Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran

Poetry: Barbie Chang by Victoria Chang

Nonfiction: Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs by Beth Ann Fennelly

YA/Middle Grade: Trell by Dick Lehr




Winner: Dancing with the Tiger by Lili Wright


Modern Girls by Jennifer S. Brown

All Stories Are Love Stories by Elizabeth Percer

The Monster’s Daughter by Michelle Pretorius

The Exit Coach by Megan Staffel



Winner: Off Message by Joel Brouwer


Performance of Being Human by Daniel Borzutsky

One Hundred Hungers by Lauren Camp

Hundred Year Wave by Rachel Richardson

Diving Makes the Water Deep by Zach Savich


Young Adult and Middle Grade:

Winner: Still a Work in Progress by Jo Knowles


The Only Road by Alexandra Diaz

Go South to Freedom by Frye Gaillard

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

Life at the Speed of Us by Heather Sappenfield



Winner: The Inventors by Peter Selgin


Walking the Llano: A Texas Memoir of Place by Shelley Armitage

A Piece of Sky, A Grain of Rice by Christine Hale

The Jaguar Man by Lara Naughton

A Road Unforeseen: Woman Fight the Islamic State by Meredith Tax



Winner: Bastards of the Reagan Era, Reginald Dwayne Betts (Four Way Books)


One Blackbird at a Time, Wendy Barker (BkMk Press)

Gog, Brandi George (Black Lawrence Press)

Silent Anatomies, Monica Ong (Kore Press)

The Verging Cities, Natalie Scenters-Zapico (Center for Literary Publishing)

Fiction: (Literary Fiction) 

Winner: My Sunshine Away, M. O. Walsh (Putnam)


Nonprofit, Matt Burriesci (New Issues)

The Misadventures of Sulliver Pong, Leland Cheuk (Chicago Center for Literature and Photography)

Prudence, David Treuer (Riverhead Books)

Twister, Genanne Walsh (Black Lawrence Press)

Young Adult and Middle Grade

Winner: Romancing the Dark in the City of Light, Ann Jacobus (Thomas Dunne Books)


Leif’s Journey, Terry Hokenson (namelos)

The Saga of Gudrid the Far Traveler, Nancy Marie-Brown (namelos)

My Seneca Village, Marilyn Nelson (namelos)

The Rosemary Spell, Virginia Zimmerman (Clarion)


Winner: Planck: Driven by Vision, Broken by War, Brandon Brown (Oxford University Press)


All Who Go Do Not Return, Shulem Deen (Graywolf)

Mot: A Memoir, Sarah Einstein (University of Georgia Press)

Belief Is Its Own Kind of Truth, Lori Jakiela (Atticus Books)

Nagasaki: Life after Nuclear War, Susan Southard (Viking/Penguin)

2015 Winners 

Fiction (Genre Fiction)

Winner: Red 1-2-3, by John Katzenbach, Grove Atlantic


The Rest Is Silence, by James Benn, Soho Press

The Forgers, by Bradford Morrow, Grove Atlantic

The Nature of Truth, by Sergio Troncoso, Arte Publico Press

Island Fog, by John Vanderslice, Lavender Ink


Winner: If the Tabloids Are True What Are You? by Matthea Harvey, Graywolf Press


Tree Line, by Judy Halebsky, New Issues Press

Bone Map, by Sara Eliza Johnson, Milkweed Editions

To the Bramble and the Briar, by Steve Scafidi, University of Arkansas Press

Complicity, by Adam Sol, McClelland & Stewart


Winner: The Empathy Exams, by Leslie Jamison, Graywolf Press


Thrown, by Kerry Howley, Sarabande Books

Phoning Home, by Jacob Appel, University of South Carolina Press

Factory Man, by Beth Macy, Hachette Book Group

Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food, by Laura Silver, Brandeis Press


Winner: Beauty of the Broken, by Tawni Waters, Simon Pulse


The Carnival at Bray, by Jessie Ann Foley, Elephant Rock Books

Mending Horses, by M.P. Barker, Holiday House Books

Rory’s Promise, by Michaela MacColl and Rosemary Nichols, Boyds Mill Press

Steering Toward Normal, by Rebecca Petruck, Abrams Amulet Books




The Fifty-First State, by Lisa Borders (Engine Books)
The Mourning Hours, by Paula Treck DeBoard (Harlequin MIRA)
My Notorious Life, by Kate Manning (Scribner)
River of Dust, by Virginia Pye (Unbridled Books)

Winner: Cartwheel, by Jennifer DuBois (Random House)



Beauty Mark, Suzanne Cleary (BkMkPress)
Large White House Speaking, Mark Irwin (New Issues Poetry & Prose)
American Amnesiac, Diane Raptosh (Etruscan Press)
Vestigial, Page Hill Starzinger (Barrow Street Press)

Winner: Begin Empty-Handed, Gail Martin (Perugia Press)



Scattered: The Forced Relocation of Poland’s Ukranians after WWII, Diana Howansky Reilly (University of Wisconsin Press)
The Blind Masseuse, Alden Jones (Terrace Books)
The Next Scott Nadelson, Scott Nadelson (Hawthorne Books)
Becoming Tom Thumb, Eric Lehman (Wesleyan University Press)

Winner: Bootstrapper, Mardi Jo Link (Knopf)

Writing for Middle Grades and YA


Rules for Ghosting, by AJ Paquette (Bloomsbury)
Lone Wolves, by John Smelcer (Leapfrog Press)
After Isaac, by Avra Wing (Olinville Press)
Over the Line, by David Lloyd (Syracuse University Press)

Winner: Brotherhood, by A.B. Westrick (Viking)

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