The stage at the 2022 Colorado Books Awards on Saturday evening at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House Studio Loft in Denver. (Kevin Simpson, The Colorado Sun)

Colorado Book Award winners were announced Saturday , marking the first time since the pandemic that the finalists could gather exclusively in person to celebrate outstanding contributions by Colorado authors, editors, and illustrators in 15 categories. 

A crowd of more than 100 book lovers convened at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House Studio Loft in Denver for the awards, which featured the winners doing brief readings from their work.

The Colorado Sun is a sponsor of the annual awards, presented by Colorado Humanities and Center for the Book. The Sun’s weekly literary feature, SunLit, already has published excerpts and author interviews from five of the winners. The Sun highlights the work of the CBA contests finalists and award winners as part of its effort to share the work of Colorado-connected authors. 

Those recently published excerpts and interviews from the CBA winners are linked within the complete 2022 list:


“Shadow Atlas: Dark Landscapes of the Americas”
Edited by Carina Bissett, Hillary Dodge, and Joshua Viola and illustrated by Aaron Lovett
(Hex Publishers)


“Alpha: Eddie Gallagher and the War for the Soul of the Navy Seals”
By David Philipps
(Penguin Random House)

Children’s Literature

“Read Island”
By Nicole Magistro and illustrated by Alice Feagan
(Read Island LLC)

Creative Nonfiction

“Desert Chrome: Water, a Woman, and Wild Horses in the West”
By Kathryn Wilder
(Torrey House Press)

General Fiction

“Mixed Company”
By Jenny Shank
(Texas Review Press)

General Nonfiction

“The Holly: Five Bullets, One Gun, and the Struggle to Save an American Neighborhood”
By Julian Rubinstein
(Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)

Historical Fiction

“The Cape Doctor”
By E.J. Levy
(Little, Brown and Company)


“Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue”
By Adrian Miller
(The University of North Carolina Press)

Juvenile Literature

By Megan E. Freeman
(Simon & Schuster)

Literary Fiction

“What If We Were Somewhere Else”
By Wendy J. Fox
(Santa Fe Writers Project)


“Red Rabbit on the Run”
By Jodi Bowersox
(JB Artistry)


“We the Jury”
By Wayne Miller
(Milkweed Editions)

Science Fiction/Fantasy

“The Reincarnationist Papers”
By D. Eric Maikranz
(Blackstone Publishing)


“The Dead Husband”
By Carter Wilson

Young Adult Literature

“Rise of the Red Hand”
By Olivia Chadha
(Erewhon Books)

Kevin Simpson is a co-founder of The Colorado Sun and a general assignment writer and editor. He also oversees the Sun’s literary feature, SunLit, and the site’s cartoonists. A St. Louis native and graduate of the University of Missouri’s...