Daily Bytes

2016 15 Bytes Book Awards

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Natasha Saje, winner of the 2015 15 Bytes Book Award for Poetry, reads at Weller Book Works in Salt Lake City.

15 Bytes Literary Editor David Pace first saw a need for a book award program specific to Utah four years ago when the Utah Book Award went on hiatus for a year. Since then the 15 Bytes Book Award has steadily sought out the best and brightest of Utah fiction, poetry and art books published the previous year for recognition.

And while the purse remains modest, the program meets an important need in the writing community here in the Beehive State as well as beyond where authors now live after coming to Utah for school and/or who write compellingly about content, settings or themes indigenous to the state.

For one thing, the awards, linked to at least one public event, is yet another convocation of artists who may find themselves the most isolated, hiding away as they are behind a notebook or screen as they work. The annual awards are also a call to writers to remember that the literary arts community is small, not unlike the Fabulous Invalid of live theater—always an outlier to even book culture, but never willing or able (thank, God) to call it quits.

Writers and authors are artists who need to gather, buy and read one another’s work, write about the work of others, and further burnish the lit conversation to a high sheen. Book reviews, book cover blurbs, readings, panel discussions, interviews, festivals and other important outlets of public discourse are as much where writers and authors live as between the covers of their books; among the pages of their manuscripts.

Celebrate reading and books and art by nominating your favorite Utah/Utah-related novels, collections of short stories and poetry, and art books for this year’s 15 Bytes Book Awards. And look for more public literary events in the near future with Artists of Utah/15 Bytes in collaboration with the Salt Lake City Arts Council.

Give that gleaming, irascible “invalid” of ours a reason to sit up and hold court one more time.

To be eligible, a nominated book must be:

  • Written by a Utah resident or former resident and/or has a Utah theme or setting
  • Published in 2015 as indicated by the original copyright date
  • Professionally published and bound, and assigned an ISBN

Enter each book in one of three categories

  • Fiction (50,000 words minimum)
  • Poetry (48 pages minimum)
  • Art books (20 page minimum)

The winner in each category receives $100

Vetting of nominations and final judging for this year’s competition will be made up of the staff of 15 Bytes as determined by the chief editor and literary editor. Judges decisions are final.

Publishers and/or nominators should mail three copies of the nominated book to:
Artists of Utah
P.O. Box 526292
SLC, UT 84152

Deadline for all nominations: March 1, 2016

Winners will be announced in Summer 2016.

For additional information contact:
David Pace, Literary Editor, 15 Bytes

literary@artistsofutah.org

2015 15 Bytes Book Award Winners

Fiction
Pale Harvest (Torrey House Press)

by Braden Hepner

read the review by Larry Menlove here.

Poetry
Vivarium (Tupelo Press) by Natasha Saje 
read the review by Danielle Dubrasky here

Art
No award given.

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