The Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance has announced the finalists for its annual literary awards, the winners of which will be announced this month.

The works in the running for the Maine Literary Awards are wide-ranging, including the tale of an infamous blizzard, a children’s book about a 102-year-old lobsterwoman, a novel about a murder at a Midcoast music festival and a memoir about the war in Afghanistan by a former Air Force linguist.

The winners will be revealed May 30 at the awards ceremony at Pascal Hall in Rockport. The event is free, but RSVPs are requested. A Zoom link is available for those who want to watch online. Visit for more information.

The finalists are:

Crime Fiction
Barbara Burt, “Dissonance: A Novel of Music & Murder”
Katherine Hall Page, “The Body in the Web”
Bryan Wiggins with Lee Thibodeau, “The Corpse Bloom”

Shannon Bowring, “The Road to Dalton”
William Dameron, “The Way Life Should Be”
Nick Fuller Googins, “The Great Transition”
Rebecca Turkewitz, “Here in the Night”


Gretchen Cherington, “The Butcher, the Embezzler, and the Fall Guy: A Family Memoir of Scandal and Greed in the Meat Industry”
Cathie Pelletier, “Northeaster: A Story of Courage and Survival in the Blizzard of 1952”
Jennifer Neves, “Chainsaws and Cherry Burls”

Blue Butterfield, “Maine, A Love Story”
Ian Fritz, “What the Taliban Told Me”
Cynthia Thayer, “We’re Going Home: A True Story of Life and Death”
Emerson Whitney, “Daddy Boy”

Adrian Blevins, “Status Pending”
Richard Foerster, “With Little Light and Sometimes None at All”
Maya Williams, “Refused a Second Date”

Young People’s Literature
Anica Mrose Rissi, “Wishing Season”
Cameron Kelly Rosenblum, “The Sharp Edge of Silence”

Children’s Literature
Elisa Boxer (Author) & Amy June Bates (Illustrator), “Hidden Hope: How a Toy & a Hero Saved Lives During the Holocaust”
Alexandra S. D. Hinrichs (Author) & Jamie Hogan (Illustrator), “The Lobster Lady”
Meghan Wilson Duff (Author) & Taylor Barron (Illustrator), “How Are You, Verity?”

Speculative Fiction
Brandon Ying Kit Boey, “Karma of the Sun”
Katherine Silva, “The Wild Fall”


Excellence in Publishing
Kristie Billings, “Sea Witch: Photographs, Poems and Forget Me Nots from a Mainer Growing Up,” Seapoint Books
Emily Stoddard Burnham, “Downtown, Up River: Bangor in the 1970s,” Islandport Press
Willie Lee Kinard III, “Orders of Service,” Alice James Books

The Telling Room, “From the Edge of the World”
Steven Long (editor), “Rivers of Ink: Literary Reflections of the Penobscot”

Drama Award
Erin Enberg, “Weird & High Voltage”
Andrea Lepcio, “The Last Jew”
Jule Selbo, “Mary Shelley: Year with No Summer”

Short Works Competition in Fiction
Shannon Bowring, “Nativity”
Jodi Paloni, “Beast”
Dave Patterson, “You’re Supposed to Fall Over”

Short Works Competition in Nonfiction
Amy Dempsey, “Me and Her”
Tanuja Desai Hidier, “A Recipe for Love; Accompaniments for Grief”
Lee Reilly, “My Fathers”

Short Works Competition in Poetry
Leonore Hildebrandt, “Lessons in Love’s Grammar”
Judy Kaber, “This is the Last Backyard and Other Poems”
Rosa Lane, “French Sardines and Other Poems”

Youth Competition in Fiction
Morgan Crawford, “The Tide Casts No Shadow”
Nevyn Harvey, “Our Last Encounter”
Avery Olson, “Memories”

Youth Competition in Nonfiction
Kirby Douglas, “The View from Halfway Down”
Sophie Kilbreth, “Nobody’s Perfect, But Some Like It That Way”
Keza Ineza, “They Carve Their Words Through Clay”

Youth Competition in Poetry
Oliver Black, “would you love the earth”
Sophia Farago-Dumsch, “Crowgirl”
Lily Jessen, “Never”
Sophie Kilbreth, “Waxwing”

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