Call for Readers

The deadline has passed to apply for 2023 Reading Teams. Thank you to all who applied – we had a wonderful response, and we appreciate your willingness to volunteer for this important work!



Join a NEMBA Reading Team and help choose a winning book that captures the
spirit of northeastern Minnesota!

Who can serve on a Reading Team? We’re looking for book-lovers to serve on one of the reading teams that will select the winning book in each of the six categories—Nonfiction, Fiction, Children’s Literature, Middle Grade/Young Adult, Poetry, and Memoir. We are not looking for professional literary critics, but rather a group of open-minded readers who represent the different backgrounds and lifestyles of the Northland.

How does a Reading Team work? Each of the six reading teams will be composed of up to 4 members with a designated leader. When you apply, you share your preference as to which team you would like to serve on, and we do our best to place you on the best team for you. After the book nominations window has closed on May 31, 2023 we will let you know to which reading team you have been assigned.

After receiving their bundles of books, teams will meet several times (meeting by Zoom can be an option) between June and September 2023 to discuss the nominated books. They will select a Winner and Honorable Mention and write a short synopsis of each book. Winners will be notified by mid-October 2023.

If you would like to join a Reading Team, please complete this online application form. Applications will be accepted from February 15 to May 1, 2023, and you will be notified in mid to late May. If you have served on a reading team in the past, please consider serving as a team leader. We would very much appreciate your willingness to lead a team.

Questions? Please contact Pauline Nuhring at with any questions about joining a reading team.

What is NEMBA? The Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards recognize books that substantially represent the history, culture, heritage or lifestyle of northeastern Minnesota, which includes the following counties: Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Kanabec, Koochiching, Lake, Pine and St. Louis. This is the second year that Lake Superior Writers will present the awards, previously coordinated by UMD’s Kathryn A. Martin Library.. This year, the Reading Teams will be looking at books published in 2022, with winners announced in fall of 2023.

Thank you for your interest in serving on a NEMBA Reading Team!

Team members will be notified in mid to late May 2023.