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Nicole Georges and Omar El Akkad were both winners at the 2018 Oregon Book Awards. 

Portlander Nicole Georges scored a double at last night's Oregon Book Awards, taking home both the Award for Graphic Literature and the Readers Choice Award for her winning graphic novel Fetch: How a Bad Dog Brought Me Home, which chronicles the author’s journey through her late teens, depression, and bad relationships alongside a socially dysfunctional, codependent canine. Bonus? She brought her dog Ponyo to accept the award. 

Georges was among a slew of worthy winners announced at the Gerding Theater ceremony, which was hosted by award-winning YA author and social activist Renée Watson. Omar El Akkad’s searing dystopian tale American War took home the competitive Ken Kesey Award for fiction. El Akkad, whose original short story Trail was first published in Portland Monthly last summer, beat Wayne Harrison, Victor Lodato, Matthew Robinson, and previous winner Lidia Yuknavitch for the coveted prize at the Literary Arts event. 

Nonfiction awards went to Lee van der Voo for The Fish Market, a deep dive into the seafood industry, and Elena Passarello for the eloquent treatises on subjects ranging from a 39,000-year-old woolly mammoth to Cecil the Lion that comprise Animals Strike Curious Poses.

Reed College professor Samiya Bashir, whose poem Synchronous Rotation appeared in Portland Monthly, won the Stafford/Hall award for poetry for Field Theories, a visceral exploration of black bodies that draws from thermodynamics and the blues.

Other winners included Laini Taylor, whose acclaimed fantasy epic Strange the Dreamer won in the YA category, while Patricia Bailey took home the Eloise Jarvis McGraw award for Children’s Literature for her historic mystery The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan.

For a full list of winners, see below.

ELOISE JARVIS MCGRAW AWARD FOR CHILDREN'S LITERATURE 

Patricia Bailey of Klamath Falls

The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan (Albert Whitman & Company)   

LESLIE BRADSHAW AWARD FOR YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE 

Laini Taylor of Portland

Strange the Dreamer (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

FRANCES FULLER VICTOR AWARD FOR GENERAL NONFICTION 

Lee van der Voo of Portland

The Fish Market (St. Martin's Press)

SARAH WINNEMUCCA AWARD FOR CREATIVE NONFICTION 

Elena Passarello of Corvallis

Animals Strike Curious Poses (Sarabande Books)

AWARD FOR GRAPHIC LITERATURE

Nicole J. Georges of Portland 

Fetch: How A Bad Dog Brought Me Home (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

STAFFORD/HALL AWARD FOR POETRY 

Samiya Bashir of Portland

Field Theories (Nightboat Books)

KEN KESEY AWARD FOR FICTION 
Omar El Akkad of Portland

American War (Knopf)

READERS CHOICE AWARD

Nicole J. Georges of Portland  

Fetch: How A Bad Dog Brought Me Home (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

SPECIAL AWARDS:

STEWART H. HOLBROOK LITERARY LEGACY AWARD

Tracey Daugherty and Marjorie Sandor of Corvallis

WALT MOREY YOUNG READERS LITERARY LEGACY AWARD

Carmen T. Bernier-Grand of Portland

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