The Maine Literary Awards went on the road to Bangor last week, and longtime and recently retired Bangor Public Library director Barbara McDade received the Distinguished Achievement Award for her “exceptional and steadfast contributions to the Maine literary arts.”

Barbara McDade reacts with surprise and emotion as she receives an award from the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Jeff Kirlin/Courtesy of Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance

The awards are given annually by the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. McDade recently retired as director of the Bangor library after nearly 30 years and is a member of Maine Library Commission and active with other civic groups in Bangor and around the state. During her time as director, McDade oversaw two major library renovations. An awards ceremony was Thursday at the Bangor Public Library. This year, 139 books were entered and more than 70 manuscripts submitted into the award’s Short Works Competition. Nearly 40 Maine students submitted work in the award’s Youth Competition.

The Franklin Library in Hancock County will receive a copy of every book nominated. Nominations were open to all Maine residents, including seasonal residents. The statewide competition is for published books, as well as drama, short works and student writing.

Other winners:

Book Award for Fiction
“The Futility Experts,” Margaret Broucek

Book Award for Crime Fiction
“Stowed Away,” Barbara Ross


Book Award for Speculative Fiction
“The Scrimshaw Worm,” Daniel Dunkle

Book Award for Nonfiction
“Into the Raging Sea,” Rachel Slade

Book Award for Memoir
“Wayfarer,” James S. Rockefeller Jr.

Book Award for Poetry
“Midden,” Julia Bouwsma

Book Award for Young People’s Literature
“The Lies They Tell,” Gillian French

Book Award for Anthology (Editors)
“Atomic Tangerine,” The Telling Room (Editors)


John N. Cole Award for Maine-themed Nonfiction
“Return to Moose River: In Search of the Spirit of the Great North Woods,” Earl Brechlin

Excellence in Publishing
“Isako Isako,” Mia Ayumi Malhotra (Alice James Books)

Drama Award (for film, theater, and other scripts)
Kristin J. Leonard

Short Works Competition, Fiction
Laura Levenson

Short Works Competition, Nonfiction
Sue Repko

Short Works Competition, Poetry
Jeri Theriault

Youth Competition, Fiction
Alexa Barstow

Youth Competition, Nonfiction
Elena Parr

Youth Competition, Poetry
Emma Auer

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