The 2022 list of Nominated Books is now final – view it here.

The Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards (NEMBA) was established in 1988 to recognize books that substantially represent northeastern Minnesota in the areas of history, culture, heritage, or lifestyle.  Starting with a single category in the early years, the Awards have grown to include six categories, selecting a Winner and an Honorable Mention in each area.

The Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards (NEMBA) marked its 32nd year in 2020, and while COVID-19 prevented an in-person event, winners were selected and celebrated. NEMBA has honored authors, publishers, poets, photographers, and illustrators for over three decades.

The awards were most recently administered by the library staff of the Kathryn A. Martin Library at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.  Following a down year in 2021 due to Covid and staffing changes, the Library made the difficult decision to step away from NEMBA in order to focus on the core aspects of its mission – support for teaching, learning, and research at UMD.

In 2021 Lake Superior Writers (LSW) agreed to assume responsibility for the awards.  We are excited to enable this important recognition to continue and pleased to announce that NEMBA will resume in 2022, allowing books published in both 2020 and 2021 to be considered for this year’s awards.

In order to promote fairness in judging, particularly regarding LSW members and those serving on NEMBA committees, we have developed Fairness Policies which may be viewed here.

This is the timeline for the 2022 Awards:

  • February 1 – Book Nominations Open
  • June 1 – Book Nominations Close
  • October 15 – Winners and Honorable Mentions are announced

Due to the change in responsibility for the awards and the uncertainties of Covid, there will be no public event for presenting the awards this year.  Instead, we/LSW will focus on handling a double year of nominations and building a new high-quality organization.  We expect to return to an in-person award presentation in the future and will reassess the form it will take at that time.  For 2022, the awards themselves are our highest priority.

For the same reason, the 2022 NEMBA, books from 2020 and 2021 will be combined for judging, with a single Winner and Honorable Mention awarded in each category. We recognize this increases the competition for the awards but felt it was better than skipping the 2020 books.

For details on categories and nominating a book, please refer to Call for Nominations.

Please see our Fairness Policies for information on these guidelines.

The NEMBA Awards are presented by Lake Superior Writers.