BLUE MOUNTAIN LAKE - Writers, editors, publishers and book lovers gathered at the Blue Mountain Center on Sunday to hear announcements of the Adirondack Center for Writing's annual Adirondack Literary Award winners - prizes for the Park's best writing of 2013.
This year a record 51 books and articles were submitted, all written by Adirondack authors or published in the region in the previous year. All the submissions were on display, giving a visual sense of the scope of Adirondack literary achievements. Many of the authors had signed copies of their books for sale.
There was a new category this year, Best Featured Article in a newspaper and magazine. That award went to Enterprise Senior Staff Writer Chris Knight for "A phone call, and a thank you, just in time," published by the Enterprise on Sept. 21, 2013. The article told the story of Ruth King, who, as a 4-year-old in 1964, was stuck in a burning hotel in Saranac Lake and dropped from a ladder into the arms of firefighter Preston Burl. Last year she finally found out who he was and had a phone conversation with him. Less than two weeks later, he died of cancer.
For the first time the People's Choice Award was tied. The winners were "Never a Dull Moment: A Tapestry of Scenes & Stories from an Adirondack Medical Practice" by Daniel Way, M.D., and "Race to Incarcerate" by Sabrina Jones and Marc Mauer.
This year there were two fiction prizes. The award for Best Short Story Collection went to "The Hypothetical Girl" by Elizabeth Cohen of Plattsburgh, and the prize for Best Novel went to Lake Clear resident Jamie Sheffield for "Here Be Monsters."
"Lost," a young adult novel by LeeAnne Baker of Saranac?Lake, won for Best Children's Book.
Best Memoir went to "Wet Socks" by Carol Gregson.
Best Book of Edited Collections in Nonfiction went to "North Country Reflections" and "Adirondack Reflections," a pair of books edited by Neal Burdick and Maurice Kenny of Saranac?Lake.
The Best Book of General Nonfiction award went to "Out of the Blue: Blueline Essays 1979-1989" by Alice Wolf Gilborn.
The Best Book of Poetry prize went to Paul Pines for "New Orleans Variations & Paris Ouroboros."
The judges were as follows: for fiction, Bibi Wein and Jerry McGovern; for nonfiction and memoir, Ellen Rocco and Joseph Bruchac; for poetry, Roger Mitchell and Stuart Bartow; for children's literature, Ellen Wilcox and Nancy Beattie; and for featured articles, Rick Brooks of the Wall Street Journal and Michael Corkery of the New York Times.
The Adirondack Center for Writing, based in Saranac Lake, is a nonprofit organization that supports the literary arts throughout the Park, presenting workshops, conferences and readings.