The National Book Foundation held the National Book Awards Ceremony on November 14 at Cipriani in New York. Elmore Leonard was presented with the 2012 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Louise Erdrich won the National Book Award for Fiction for The Round House. Robert A. Caro was a finalist in the Nonfiction category for The Passage of Power. Susan Wheeler was a finalist in the Poetry category for Meme. Dave Eggers’s A Hologram for the King and Kevin Powers’s The Yellow Birds were both finalists in the Fiction category.
The winners of the 31st annual Northern California Book Awards were announced on June 10 at the San Francisco Library’s Koret Auditorium. Sequoia Gardens by Ernest J. Finney won for Fiction. Finalists included Sugar Zone by Mary Mackey (Poetry), Come, Thief by Jane Hirshfield (Poetry), Lola, California by Edie Meidav (Fiction), Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death, and Astonishing Afterlife by Philip L. Fradkin (Creative Nonfiction), The Left Coast: California on the Edge by Philip L. Fradkin (Creative Nonfiction), and Rereading Women: Thirty Years of Exploring Our Literary Traditions by Sandra M. Gilbert (Creative Nonfiction).
The PEN American Center presented its 2012 PEN Literary Awards at the CUNY Graduate Center’s Proshansky Auditorium in New York City on October 23. E. L. Doctorow was the recipient of the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, which honors a living American author for the breadth and quality of his work over a sustained career. James Gleick was awarded the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award for The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood. Robert K. Massie won the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography for Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman. Janny Scott’s A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother was the runner-up for the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography. Kostya Kennedy’s 56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports was the runner-up for the PEN/ESPN Prize for Literary Sports Writing.
The Storytelling World Resource Awards are given annually to books for children that have “story-listener appeal.” The categories cover stories for children of all ages. This year’s winners included Lester L. Laminack for Three Hens and a Peacock (Young Listeners) and Ying Chang Compestine for The Runaway Wok (Pre-Adolescent Listeners). Young Listeners honorees included Lucine Kasbarian for The Greedy Sparrow: A Rewritten Armenian Folktale, Susan VanHecke for An Apple for Dinner and Wendy Henrichs for I Am Tama, Lucky Cat: A Japanese Legend. Honorees for Pre-Adolescent Listeners included Eric Kimmel for The Three Little Tamales and Josephine Nobisso for Francis Woke Up Early; Erica Silverman was an Adolescent Listeners honoree for Liberty’s Voice.
The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey won the 2012 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing in the category of Nonfiction. The award is sponsored by Stanford University Libraries and the William Saroyan Foundation and honors new and emerging talent.
Jason Berry received the 2011 Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) Book Award for Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church. The IRE Awards were presented at the 2012 IRE Conference in Boston on June 16.
Barbara Fischkin was named Senior Editor of On the Issues Magazine.
Ric Klass and his novel Excuse Me for Living were chosen to participate in the National Press Club’s 35th Annual Book Fair & Author’s Night in Washington, D.C. on November 13, 2012.
Marylee MacDonald’s short story “The Pancho Villa Coin” won the Yalobusha Review’s 2012 Barry Hannah Fiction Prize. Her short story “Tea and Sugar” won the Broad River Review’s 2011 Rash Award.
Deena Metzger won the 2012 PEN-Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award for Fiction for her novel La Negra y Blanca: Fugue and Commentary. The awards ceremony will take place on December 1 at the Oakland Public Library Rockridge Branch.
Bonnie J. Morris won Finishing Line Press’s New Women’s Voices Chapbook Competition for The Schoolgirl’s Atlas.
What the Heart Knows by Mara Purl is a finalist for the Foreword Book of the Year Award for Romance, which honors independently published titles that expand the reader’s world. Winners will be announced at the 2013 American Library Association Conference next summer. Her book also won the 2012 Indie Excellence Award for Romance.
Embers Under My Skin by Albert Russo was a finalist for the 2012 Indie Excellence Award for Poetry.