The Washington State Book Awards, presented by the Washington Center for the Book (a partnership of Seattle Public Library and Washington State Library), has announced the 2020 finalists in its eight categories. The awards, now in their 54th year (previously called the Governor’s Writers Awards), are judged by juries of librarians and booksellers, and honor Washington authors whose books were published during 2019. Winners will be announced Sept. 25.


●       “Hollow Kingdom” by Kira Jane Buxton, of Seattle (Grand Central Publishing)

●       “Stay and Fight” by Madeline ffitch, formerly of Seattle, now in Athens, Ohio (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

●       “One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow” by Olivia Hawker, of Friday Harbor (Lake Union Publishing)

●       “Deep River” by Karl Marlantes, of Duvall (Atlantic Monthly Press)

●       “The Cassandra” by Sharma Shields, of Spokane (Henry Holt and Co)


●       “The Bird King” by G. Willow Wilson, of Seattle (Grove Press)

Creative Nonfiction

●       “Hard to Love: Essays and Confessions” by Briallen Hopper, formerly of Tacoma, now in Queens, New York (Bloomsbury Publishing)

●       “Become America: Civic Sermons on Love, Responsibility, and Democracy” by Eric Liu, of Seattle (Sasquatch Books)

●       “Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese’s” by Tiffany Midge, of Seattle (University of Nebraska Press)

●       “Shapes of Native Nonfiction: Collected Essays by Contemporary Writers” by Elissa Washuta, formerly of Seattle now in Columbus, Ohio, and Theresa Warburton, of Bellingham (University of Washington Press)

●       “The Witches Are Coming” by Lindy West, of Seattle (Hachette Books)


General Nonfiction

●       “Seattle Style: High Fashion/High Function” by Museum of History & Industry and Clara Berg, of Seattle (University of Washington Press)

●       “Olmsted in Seattle: Creating a Park System for a Modern City” by Jennifer Ott, of Seattle (HistoryLink and Documentary Media)

●       “Seattle Walk Report: An Illustrated Walking Tour through 23 Seattle Neighborhoods” by Susanna Ryan, of Seattle (Sasquatch Books)

●       “The Big Thaw: Ancient Carbon, Modern Science, and a Race to Save the World” by Eric Scigliano, of Seattle (Braided River / Mountaineers Books)

●       “Beyond Guilt Trips: Mindful Travel in an Unequal World” by Anu Taranath, of Seattle (Between the Lines Press)


●       “The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez: A Border Story” by Aaron Bobrow-Strain, of Walla Walla (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)


●       “A House on Stilts: Mothering in the Age of Opioid Addiction”  by Paula Becker, of Seattle (University of Iowa Press)

●       “I Know What I Am: The Life and Times of Artemisia Gentileschi” by Gina Siciliano, of Seattle (Fantagraphics Books)

●       “Hangdog Days: Conflict, Change, and the Race for 5.14” by Jeff Smoot, of Seattle (Mountaineers Books)

●       “The Good Way: A Himalayan Journey” by Julie Tate-Libby, of Twisp (Koehler Books)


●       “Bright Stain” by Francesca Bell, formerly of Spokane, now lives in Novato, California (Red Hen Press)

●       “Turn Around Time: A Walking Poem for the Pacific Northwest” by David Guterson, of Bainbridge Island; illustrated by Justin Gibbens, of Thorp (Mountaineers Books)


●       “All Its Charms” by Keetje Kuipers, of Bainbridge Island (BOA Editions)

●       “Hail and Farewell” by Abby E. Murray, of Puyallup (Perugia Press)

●       “Nightingale” by Paisley Rekdal, formerly of Seattle, now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah (Copper Canyon Press)

Picture Books

●       “Ghost Cat” by Kevan Atteberry, of Bellevue (Neal Porter Books / Holiday House)

●       “Flora Forager ABC” by Bridget Beth Collins, of Seattle (Little Bigfoot)

●       “Lasting Love” by Caroline Wright, of Seattle, illustrated by Willow Heath, of Seattle (Rodale Kids)


Books for Young Readers

●       “King & Kayla and the Case of Found Fred” by Dori Hillestad Butler, of Kirkland (Peachtree Press)

●       “Sauerkraut” by Kelly Jones, of Shoreline (Alfred A Knopf/Penguin Random House)

●       “Growing Up Gorilla: How a Zoo Baby Brought Her Family Together” by Clare Hodgson Meeker, of Friday Harbor (Lerner Publishing Group)

●       “Last Meeting of the Gorilla Club” by Sara Nickerson, of Seattle (Dutton Children’s Books)

●       “Professor Renoir’s Collection of Oddities, Curiosities, and Delights” by Randall Platt, of Port Orchard (HarperCollins Children’s Books)

●       “Explorer Academy: The Falcon’s Feather” by Trudi Trueit, of Everett (National Geographic Kids)


Books for Young Adult Readers

●       “Between Before & After” by Maureen Doyle McQuerry, of Bainbridge Island (Blink)

●       “Warhead: The True Story of One Teen Who Almost Saved the World” by Jeff Henigson, of Seattle (Delacorte Press)

●       “Brave Face” by Shaun David Hutchinson, of Seattle (Simon & Schuster)

●       “Slay” by Brittney Morris, of Seattle  (Simon & Schuster)