On Monday, Literary Arts announced the finalists for the 2021 Oregon Book Awards. A panel of non-Oregonian writers selected 35 titles from across the state to be finalists in categories of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, creative nonfiction, children’s literature, YA, and drama.

This year’s tomes range from a historical deep dive into the American tradition of insulting presidents to a children’s mystery full of zany characters. Don’t miss: Boys of Alabama, Genevieve Hudson’s debut novel—a queer coming-of-age told through magical realism. Hudson is most notably up against Vanessa Veselka’s The Great Offshore Grounds, which was long-listed for the 2020 National Book Award, and Godshot—Portlander Chelsea Bieker’s debut novel.

Deborah Hopkinson, who won an Oregon Book Award last year, is back in the running again—twice—with her books Butterflies Belong Here and We Had to Be Brave, finalists in the children’s and young adult literature categories, respectively.

Tune in to a special episode of OPB’s The Archive Project at 7 p.m. on May 2 to hear the winners of each category. Here’s the full list of nominees and literary fellowship recipients:

KEN KESEY AWARD FOR FICTION

Judges: Michael Byers, Joseph Cassara, Hilary Leichter

Chelsea Bieker of Portland, Godshot (Catapult Press)

Genevieve Hudson of Portland, Boys of Alabama (Liveright Publishing, W.W. Norton)

Mark Savage of Portland, Fictional Film Club (Deep Overstock)

Vanessa Veselka of Portland, The Great Offshore Grounds (Alfred A. Knopf)

Lidia Yuknavitch of Milwaukie, Verge (Riverhead Books, Penguin Random House PPG)

STAFFORD/HALL AWARD FOR POETRY

Judges: Tyree Daye, Erika Meitner, Kathryn Neurnberger

Anna Elkins of Jacksonville, Hope of Stones (Press 53)

Eman Hassan of Portland, Raghead (New Issues Poetry and Prose)

Floyd Skloot of Portland, Far West: Poems (LSU Press)

Ed Skoog of Portland, Travelers Leaving for the City (Copper Canyon)

Joe Wilkins of McMinnville, Thieve (Lynx House Press)

FRANCES FULLER VICTOR AWARD FOR GENERAL NONFICTION

Judges: Jordanna Bailkin, Farid Matuk, Adam Sowards

Edwin Battistella of Ashland, Dangerous Crooked Scoundrels: Insulting the President, from Washington to Trump (Oxford University Press)

Nicholas Buccola of Portland, The Fire Is upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Debate over Race in America (Princeton University Press)

Kelsey Freeman of Bend, No Option but North: The Migrant World and the Perilous Path Across the Border (IG Publishing)

Joseph E. Taylor III of Portland, Persistent Callings: Seasons of Work and Identity on the Oregon Coast (Oregon State University Press)

Ann Vileisis of Port Orford, Abalone (Oregon State University Press)

SARAH WINNEMUCCA AWARD FOR CREATIVE NONFICTION

Judges: May-Lee Chai, Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Heather Sellers

Sierra Crane Murdoch of Hood River, Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman's Search for Justice in Indian Country (Random House)

Ruby McConnell of Eugene, Ground Truth: A Geological Survey of a Life (Overcup Press)

David Oates of Portland, The Mountains of Paris (Oregon State University Press)

Melissa Matthewson of Ashland, Tracing the Desire Line: A Memoir in Essays (Split Lip Press)

Ben Moon of Pacific City, Denali: A Man, a Dog, and the Friendship of a Lifetime (Penguin Books)

ELOISE JARVIS MCGRAW AWARD FOR CHILDREN’S LITERATURE

Judges: Nikki McClure, Eliot Schrefer, Wendy Wahman

Susan Hill Long of Portland, Josie Bloom and the Emergency of Life (Paul Wiseman Books, Simon & Schuster)

Deborah Hopkinson of West Linn, Butterflies Belong Here (Chronicle Books)

Jody J. Little of Portland, Worse Than Weird (HarperCollins Children's Books)

Jenn Reese of Portland, A Game of Fox and Squirrels (Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, Macmillian)

Elizabeth Rusch of Portland, Mario and the Hole in the Sky: How a Chemist Saved Our Planet (Charlesbridge) 

LESLIE BRADSHAW AWARD FOR YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE

Judges: David Gill, Cynthia Hand, Sheba Karim

Nancy Richardson Fischer of Hood River, The Speed of Falling Objects (Inkyard Press)

Deborah Hopkinson of West Linn, We Had to Be Brave (Scholastic Focus)

Kathryn Ormsbee of Eugene, The Sullivan Sisters (Simon & Schuster)

Erin Riha of Portland, But for the Mountains (REUTS Publications)

Elizabeth Rusch of Portland, You Call THIS Democracy?: How to Fix Our Government and Deliver Power to the People (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) 

ANGUS BOWMER AWARD FOR DRAMA

Judges: Michelle Carter, Diana Grisanti, KJ Sanchez

Sara Jean Accuardi of Portland, The Delays

Conor Eifler of Portland, You Cannot Undo This Action

E.M. Lewis of Monitor, How the Light Gets In              

Anya Pearson of Portland, The Measure of Innocence     

Andrea Stolowitz of Portland, Recent Unsettling Events       

SPECIAL AWARDS:

In addition to recognizing the finest achievements of Oregon authors in several genres, Literary Arts recognizes individual contributions with the following special awards. 

Walt Morey Young Readers Literary Legacy Award

PlayWrite, Inc. of Portland 

The Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award

Elizabeth Lyon of Eugene

C.E.S. Wood Award

Molly Gloss of Portland