Nominating a Book

Nominations for the 2022 Book Awards are now closed.
Click here for the 2022 Nominee List.

For purposes of the Awards, northeastern Minnesota is defined to include the following counties: Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Kanabec, Koochiching, Lake, Pine, and Saint Louis.

The Categories

Prizes are currently awarded in six categories:

  • Nonfiction: nonfiction works such as history, biography, guidebooks, cookbooks, books about science and nature, and scholarly works.

  • Fiction: novels, short stories, plays, and other works of narrative fiction.

  • Art, Photography: books that primarily serve to showcase (and annotate) the visual art contained in them.

  • Children’s Literature: books of any type intended for children and young adults.

  • Poetry: collections of poetry or a single poem of book length.

  • Memoir: books that examine some aspect of the world from a highly personal perspective. 

Reading Teams will choose a winner and honorable mention in each category. If a book is nominated in more than one area, the NEMBA committee will determine the category for the entry. 

PLEASE NOTE: Three or more nominated titles are required in a single category to designate a winner and honorable mention in that category. In categories with only two nominated titles a winner will be chosen but an honorable mention will not be awarded. If only one book is nominated, the NEMBA committee may move the book to another category as appropriate. If the title is retained as a single nominee in its original category, no award will be presented in that category.

All information received from the nomination form is advisory to the NEMBA committee. The final decision for category placement, retention or removal from the competition will be made by the NEMBA committee, in consultation with the Reading Teams as necessary.

Eligibility Requirements for 2022 NEMBA

The subject matter of the nominated books MUST substantially represent northeastern Minnesota in the areas of history, culture, heritage and lifestyle. For the purpose of the awards, northeastern Minnesota includes the following counties: Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Kanabec, Koochiching, Lake, Pine, and Saint Louis.

Nominated books must have 2020 or 2021 original release date. Books with a 2019 copyright that were not released until 2020 may be submitted in the 2022 NEMBA . A written explanation for why a book with a 2019 copyright is eligible must be submitted along with the nomination form.

Note: For 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. Our efforts in this inaugural year of managing the awards are to build a new high-quality organization for the future of NEMBA, which requires us to carefully manage the scope of the process this year.

Nominated books must have been written in English and published in bound paper format.

The following are NOT eligible:

  • E-books
  • Reprints of books originally published in a previous year.
  • Previously published books unless at least 50% of the content is new – documentation will be required.
  • Exhibition catalogs

Entry Guidelines

  • FOUR copies of each nominated book must be submitted along with an entry form. The books are non-returnable.

  • A $40 NON-REFUNDABLE entry fee is required for each nominated title; checks or money orders only, made payable to Lake Superior Writers with NEMBA on the memo line.

Deadline for Entry: June 1, 2022

Send a completed nomination form, four copies of each nominated book, and a $40 non-refundable entry fee to:

1626 London Road #895
Duluth, MN 55812


The winning book in each category will receive a cash prize of $200. The winning book and the honorable mention in each category will receive a glass plaque and 100 book seals.