Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards NEMBA

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CURRENT NOMINEES for the 29th Annual NEMBA

29th Annual NEMBA 
Thursday, May 18, 2017

Book Fair, Reception, Featured Speaker, and Awards Presentation

Thursday, May 18, 2017
Kirby Ballroom, UMD Campus

5:00 - 6:30  Book Fair / Refreshments
6:30 - 8:00 Speaker Larry Weber/ Awards Presentation
8:00 - 9:00 Extension of the Book Fair 

The 29th annual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards (NEMBA) will be presented at a public celebration on Thursday, May 18, 2017, at the Kirby Ballroom on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus. The 29th annual NEMBA will honor books published in 2016. The awards showcase and honor authors and books that capture the spirit of the Northland and substantially represent northeastern Minnesota. The celebration will include featured speaker Larry Weber, a book fair, and refreshments. The program and awards presentation, in the Kirby Ballroom on the UMD campus, is free and open to the public, with parking available in several lots and meters on campus.

This year's speaker, Larry Weber, is a retired teacher of 40 years; 1967-2008. The last 30 of those years were spent at the Marshall School of Duluth, MN. During these years, he taught mostly seventh grade science, where he developed and implemented a phenology-based Natural Science class. This award-winning class was highly successful and led to many presentations at teacher workshops.

larry weber

After retirement from the classroom, he continued to teach at the University for Seniors at UMD. As he said, "I went from teaching students who were in their seventh grade to teaching students who were in their seventh decade." Larry Weber is a regular speaker at state parks and nature centers and is one of the instructors in the Minnesota Naturalist Program. He has produced weekly nature programs on KUMD for more than 20 years, and on WTIP for about 10 years.

He began nature writing in the mid 1990s and expanded this after his retirement. He has authored 14 books, including: Butterflies of the North Woods, Spiders of the North Woods, Fascinating Fungi of the North WoodsBackyard AlmanacMinnesota PhenologyWebwood: Seasons of Life in the North Woods, and In a Patch of Goldenrod. He has written articles for various publications, including The Minnesota Conservation Volunteer. Beginning in 1997 and continuing to the present, he has written a weekly nature column, “Northland Nature,” for the Duluth Budgeteer News.

Through writings and speaking, he continues to use his phenology-based teaching as a means of conveying that “Nature is Here and Now.” He lives on a forested former farm in Carlton County, where he takes daily walks to observe nature and watch the seasons go by. “There’s a new story out here every day.”

Nominations for the 29th annual NEMBA are now closed.

NOTE: Winners will not be notified prior to the awards event on May 18, 2017.


Nominations were accepted in one of six categories (nominations closed February 1, 2017):

(1) Nonfiction: nonfiction works such as history, biography, guidebooks, cookbooks, books about science and nature, and scholarly works.

(2) Fiction: novels, short stories, plays, and other works of narrative fiction.

(3) Art, Photography: books that primarily serve to showcase (and annotate) the visual art contained in them.

(4) Children's Literature: books of any type intended for children and young adults.

(5) Poetry: collections of poetry or a single poem of book length.

(6) Memoir: books that examine some aspect of the world from a highly personal perspective whether in the form of a memoir, personal essay, or other work of creative nonfiction.

Reading teams will choose a winner and honorable mention in each category. If a book is nominated in more than one area, the Library NEMBA Team will determine the category for the entry.

Eligibility Requirements and Entry Guidelines:

  • The subject matter of nominated books must substantially represent northeastern Minnesota in the areas of history, culture, heritage, or lifestyle. For the purpose of the awards, northeastern Minnesota includes the following counties: Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Kanabec, Koochiching, Lake, Pine, and St. Louis.

  • Nominated books must have a 2016 publishing date. Books with a 2015 copyright that were not published and available until 2016 may be submitted in the 29th annual NEMBA.  A written explanation for why a book with a 2015 copyright is eligible must be submitted along with the nomination form.

  • Nominated books must have been written in English and published in bound paper format or ebook.

  • One copy of each nominated book must be submitted along with an entry form.

  • A $25 NON-REFUNDABLE entry fee is required for each nominated book; the fee MUST accompany the nomination form and book in order for the nomination to be processed. Checks or money orders only, made payable to the Kathryn A. Martin Library.

Nominations for the 29th Annual NEMBA, Honoring Books Published in 2016, 
Closed on February 1, 2017

NOTE: Nominations for the 30th annual NEMBA, honoring books published in 2017, will be accepted beginning in October 2017.


The winning author in each category will receive a cash prize of $200. The winning author and the honorable mention in each category will receive a glass plaque and 100 book seals.

Awards Presentation: 

Winning and honored authors will be announced at a reception in the Kirby Ballroom on the UMD campus on Thursday, May 18, 2017.

NEMBA winner seal  NEMBA honorable mention seal 
NEMBA Book Seals now available!


Presented by the UMD Kathryn A. Martin Library
416 Library Drive
Duluth, MN 55812

& Friends of the Duluth Public Library
with generous support from 
Lake Superior Magazine 

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