2017-mla-sticker-mwpaIn 2017, 150 books were entered across the award’s categories, more than 80 manuscripts were submitted into the award’s Short Works Competition, and nearly 40 Maine students submitted work in the award’s Youth Competition.

+ 2017 Award Winner Interviews To read brief interviews with all of the winners of the 2017 Maine Literary Awards, click HERE.

+ 2017 Awards Ceremony The winners of the 2017 Maine Literary Awards were revealed live at a ceremony on Thursday, June 1 at SPACE in downtown Portland. To view more than 300 photos of the event, click HERE.

+ 2017 Award Finalists For a complete list of the 2017 finalists, click HERE.

2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 20132012 | 2011

WINNERS of 2017 Maine Literary Awards

Book Award for Fiction
Vexation Lullaby
Justin Tussing

Book Award for Crime Fiction
Straw Man
Gerry Boyle

Book Award for Speculative Fiction
The Time Train Eric M. Bosarge

Book Award for Nonfiction (*A tie!)
Modified Caitlin Shetterly
American Character Colin Woodard

Book Award for Memoir
Poor Your Soul
Mira Ptacin

Book Award for Poetry
Booker’s Point
Megan Grumbling

Book Award for Young People’s Literature
Wrecked Maria Padian

Book Award for Children’s
Baby Bear’s Not Hibernating
Lynn Plourde (Illustrated by Teri Weidner)

Book Award for Anthology (Editor)
Take Heart: More Poems from Maine
Wesley McNair

John N. Cole Award for Maine-themed Nonfiction
Glen Libby (Photographs by Antonia Small)

Excellence in Publishing
Stop Here. This is the Place.
Susan Conley & Winky Lewis (Down East Books)

Drama Award (for film, theater, and other scripts)
Jefferson Navicky

Short Works Competition, Fiction
Brandon Dudley

Short Works Competition, Nonfiction
Margaret Newlin Rice

Short Works Competition, Poetry
Rosa Lane

Youth Competition, Fiction
Maddie Curtis 

Youth Competition, Nonfiction
Mohammed Albehadli

Youth Competition, Poetry
Alhassan Kareem


Porter Memorial Library in Machias

Ashley Bryan for exceptional and steadfast contributions to the Maine literary arts.
Presented by Daniel Minter

A Note on Ashley Bryan from MWPA board member Megan Frazer Blakemore
“In 1968, scholar Rudine Sims Bishop wrote, “Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination become part of whatever world has been created or recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror.” Mr. Bryan’s books functioned on all three levels. And, to extend the metaphor, Mr. Bryan has always been standing in the doorway, inviting us all in. His body of work, both in words and illustrations, invites readers of all ages and backgrounds to listen, to participate, and to share in the experience.

Mr. Bryan’s work includes illustrated versions of traditional African tales, African-American spirituals, and more modern poets like Langston Hughes. His distinctive artwork brings these words to life for new generations. He brought this same magic to tales he spins himself. Most recently, in Freedom Over Me, he imagined the stories and dreams of 11 slaves sold at auction. His work shines a light on traditions and people that do not often find their way into mainstream publishing for children.

Mr. Bryan first discovered Maine when he was a student at the Skowhegan School of Painting. Over the years he visited numerous times, making extensive visits to concentrate on his work. In 1988, he moved here full time, setting up his home and studio on the Cranberry Isles. Maine could not have been more fortunate than to have this world-renowned artist make his home in our state. The MWPA presents this award to him in honor of his work and his years of cultivating community, spreading wisdom through words, and inviting us all through his doorway.”