Previous Honorable Mentions

Listed by Year of Publication

2020 & 2021

  • Fiction: The Wolf’s Trail by Thomas D Peacock
  • Poetry: PA by Peggy Trojan
  • Nonfiction: Gichigami Hearts: Stories and Histories from Misaabekong by Linda LeGarde Grover
  • Children’s Literature: Sunken by Kathy Groth
  • Memoir: A Private Wilderness: The Journals of Sigurd F. Olson by Sigurd F. Olson (deceased), edited by David Backes


  • Fiction: In the Night of Memory A Novel by Linda LeGarde Grover
  • Poetry: Where Your House Is Now: New and Selected Prose Poems by Louis Jenkins
  • Nonfiction: Walking the Old Road: A People’s History of Chippewa City and the Grand Marais Anishinaabe by Staci Lola Drouillard
  • Children’s Literature: The Forever Sky by Thomas Peacock, illustrated by Annette S. Lee
  • Memoir: Tucker Lake Chronicle: Thirteen Months in the North Woods by Joan Crosby


  • Fiction: Beginnings: The Homeward Journey of Donovan Manypenny written by Thomas D. Peacock
  • Poetry: The Way She Told Her Story by Diane Jarvenpa
  • Nonfiction:  Whaleback Ships and the American Steel Barge Company written by C. Roger Pellett
  • Children’s Literature:  Where I Fly: A Hockey Story written and illustrated by K. M. Allen
  • Memoir:  Sawbill: A Search for Place written by Jennifer Case


  • Fiction: Going Coastal written by Lake Superior Writers
  • Poetry: Blue Window: Poems by Deborah Gordon Cooper
  • Nonfiction: Flames of Discontent: the 1916 Minnesota Iron Ore Strike written by Gary Kaunonen
  • Children’s Literature: Dead Man’s Rapids written by William Durbin, Barbara Durbin
  • Memoir: Deep Woods, Wild Waters: A Memoir  written by Douglas Wood


  • Fiction: The Tao of Nookomis written by Thomas D. Peacock
  • Poetry: Meridian by Mark Maire
  • Nonfiction: Jay Cooke State Park to Two Harbors: A Walking Guide to the Superior Hiking Trail written by Ron Morton and Judy Gibbs
  • Children’s Literature: Storm’s Coming! written by Margi Preus, illustrated by David Geister
  • Memoir: The Contemplative Paddler’s Fireside Companion written by Timothy McDonnell
  • Art, Photography: In and Out of Context by Tim White with excerpts from 21 Northland writers


  • Fiction: Relentless: A Striker Myster Novel written by Marcus Bruning and Jen Wright
  • Poetry: Amethyst and Agate: Poems of Lake Superior edited by Jim Perlman, Deborah Cooper, Mara Hart, and Pamela Mittlefehldt
  • Nonfiction: North Shore: A Natural History of Minnesota’s Superior Coast written by Chel Anderson and Adelheid Fischer
  • Children’s Literature: Norman Loves the Lake, written by Debbie Hoven
  • Memoir: Ship Captain’s Daughter: Growing Up on the Great Lakes written by Ann M. Lewis
  • Art, Photography: Portrait of an Artist, paintings by Sarah M. Brokke


  • Fiction: A River Through Two Harbors, written by Dennis Herschbach
  • Poetry: Night Train Red Dust: Poems of the Iron Range, by Sheila Packa
  • General Nonfiction: Sawdust in Their Blood, written by Jim Boyd
  • Children’s Literature: Wilder’s Foe, written by Diane Bradley
  • Memoir and Creative Nonfiction: Zenith City: Stories from Duluth, written by Michael Fedo
  • Art, Photography: The Other Side of Wilderness written by Richard C. Johnson


  • Fiction: Timber: Fire in the Pines written by A.L. Sanderson
  • Poetry: Tin Flag: New and Selected Prose Poems by Louis Jenkins
  • General Nonfiction: Esko’s Corner: An Illustrated History of Esko and Thomson Township written by Esko Historical Society
  • Children’s Literature: Finding Hope written by Michelle Myers Lackner
  • Memoir and Creative Nonfiction: The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo: A Child, an Elder, and the Light from an Ancient Sky written by Kent Nerburn


  • Fiction: The Long-Shining Waters written by Danielle Sosin
  • Poetry: Reindeer Camps and Other Poems by Barton Sutter
  • General Nonfiction: Rez Salute: The Real Healer Dealer written by Jim Northrup
  • Children’s Literature: Frozen written by Mary Casanova
  • Art, Photography: Words and Pictures written by Louis Jenkins, images by Richard C. Johnson
  • Memoir and Creative Nonfiction: Two Bucks and a Can of Gas written by Robert R. Olson


  • Fiction: The Winds of Change written by Duane Schwartz
  • Poetry: Migrations: Poetry and Prose for Life’s Transitions edited by Sheila Packa
  • General Nonfiction: Twelve Owls written by Laura Erickson, illustrations by Betsy Bowan
  • Children’s Literature: Utterly Otterly Night written by Mary Casanova, illustrated by Ard Hoyt
  • Art, Photography: Old Minnesota written by Nace Hagemann
  • Memoir and Creative Nonfiction: Hauling Water: Reflections on Making a Home in the North Woods written by Becca Manlove, illustrated by Sharon Brin Manlove


  • Fiction: The Burying Place written by Brian Freeman
  • Poetry: Under the Influence of Lilacs by Deborah Gordon Cooper
  • General Nonfiction: The Assassination of Hole in the Day written by Anton Treuer
  • Children’s Literature: Big Belching Bog written by Phyllis Root, illustrated by Betsy Bowan
  • Memoir and Creative Nonfiction: Tales from the Creel written by Rudy Senarighi


  • Fiction: Big Noise: A Jo Spence Mystery written by Jen Wright
  • Poetry: The Gravity of Flesh by Jill Breckenridge
  • General Nonfiction: 61 Gems on Highway 61 written by Kathryn Mayo and William Mayo
  • Children’s Literature: Manoomin: A Wild Rice Adventure written by Joshua Whitebird
  • Memoir and Creative Nonfiction: Chaos and Grit: Barbless Bits & Little Chits  written by Phyllis Burgess


  • Fiction: Shelter Half written by Carol Bly
  • Poetry: Between the Ceiling & the Moon written by Deborah Gordon Cooper
  • General Nonfiction: Invincible: History of the Duluth Boat Club written by Michael J. Cochran
  • Children’s Literature: Face to Face with Wolves written by Jim and Judy Brandenburg
  • Art, Photography: Edge of Forever: Images of Lake Superior written by Peter Scott Eide
  • Memoir and Creative Nonfiction: Blueberry Summers: Growing Up at the Lake written by Curtiss Anderson


  • Fiction, Poetry, Drama: The Mother Tongue written by Sheila Packa
  • Nonfiction, Memoir: Skiing the North Shore: A Guide to Cross Country Trails in Minnesota’s Spectacular Lake Superior Region written by Andrew Slade
  • Children’s Literature: Storm Codes written by Tracy Nelson Maurer and illustrated by Christina Rodriguez
  • Art, Photography : We Are At Home: Pictures of the Ojibwe People written by Bruce White


  • Fiction, Poetry, Drama: The Keeper’s Daughter written by Leanne Denise Knott
  • Nonfiction, Memoir: By the Ore Docks: A Working People’s History of Duluth written by Richard Hudelson and Carl Ross
  • Children’s Literature: The Legend of Minnesota written by Kathy-jo Wargin and illustrated by David Geister


  • Fiction, Poetry, Drama: Mercy Falls by William Kent Krueger
  • Nonfiction, Art, Scholarship: Rudy! The People’s Governor by Betty Wilson


  • Fiction, Poetry, Drama: Sea Smoke: Prose Poems by Louis Jenkins
  • Nonfiction, Art, Scholarship: Pride of the Inland Seas: An illustrated History of the Port of Duluth by Bill Beck and C. Patrick Labadie


  • Fiction, Poetry, Drama: Mittens in the Boundary Waters by Larry Ahlman
  • Nonfiction, Art, Scholarship: Will to Murder: The True Story behind the Crimes & Trials Surrounding the Glensheen Killings by Gail Feichtinger with John DeSanto and Gary Waller


  • Fiction, Poetry, Drama: Chasing Fire: Danger in Canoe Country by Earl Fleck
  • Nonfiction, Art, Scholarship: Stories in Log and Stone: The Legacy of the New Deal in Minnesota State Parks by David R. Benson


  • These Granite Islands: A Novel by Sarah Stonich


  • The Journal of Otto Peltonen, A Finnish Immigrant by William Durbin )


  • Boundary Waters by William Kent Krueger


  • Iron Lake by William Kent Krueger


  • Hometown Folks by Gerald Carlson


  • The Boundary Waters Wilderness Ecosystem by Miron Heinselman


  • Gathering: A Northwoods Counting Book by Betsy Bowen


  • The Birch: Bright Tree of Life and Legend by John Peyton
  • Gooseberry by Nadine and Craig Blacklock


  • For the Birds: An Uncommon Guide by Laura Erickson


  • Canoe Country Wildlife: A Field Guide to the Boundary Waters and Quetico by Mark Stensaas


  • Witch Tree by Joanne Hart and Hazel Belvo


  • Distant Fires by Scott Anderson