NEMBA Call for Nominations

32nd Annual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards (NEMBA)

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Call for Nominations

The 32nd Annual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards (NEMBA) will be presented at a public celebration on Thursday, May 21, 2020. The celebration will include a featured speaker, book fair and refreshments.

Nominations are now being accepted, along with a $30 non-refundable entry fee for each nominated title.


Nominations may be submitted in one of six categories:

  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. 

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 committee will determine the category for the entry. 

NOTE: Three or more nominated titles are required in a single category to designate a winner and honorable mention in that category. In categories with only two nominated titles a winner will be chosen but an honorable mention will not be awarded. If only one book is nominated, the NEMBA committee may move the book to another category as appropriate. If the title is retained as a single nominee in its original category, no award will be presented in that category.

All information received from the nomination form is advisory to the NEMBA committee. The final decision for category placement, retention or removal from the competition will be made by the NEMBA committee, in consultation with the Reading Teams as necessary.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • The subject matter of the nominated books MUST substantially represent northeastern Minnesota in the areas of history, culture, heritage and 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 2019 original release date. Books with a 2018 copyright that were not released until 2019 may be submitted in the 32nd annual NEMBA . A written explanation for why a book with a 2018 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.

The following are NOT eligible:

  • E-books
  • Reprints of books originally published in a previous year.
  • Previously published books unless at least 50% of the content is new - documentation will be required. 
  • Exhibition catalogs

Entry Guidelines:

  • TWO copies of each nominated book must be submitted along with an entry form. The books are non-returnable.
  • A $30 NON-REFUNDABLE entry fee is required for each nominated title; checks or money orders only, made payable to the Kathryn A. Martin Library.

Deadline for Entry:  February 1, 2020

Send a PDF iconcompleted nomination formtwo copies of each nominated book, and a $30 non-refundable entry fee to:

UMD Kathryn A. Martin Library
Library Administration Office
416 Library Drive
Duluth, MN 55812

Telephone: 218-726-7889
Fax: 218-726-8019
Email: [email protected]


The winning book in each category will receive a cash prize of $200. The winning book 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 at the Kirby Ballroom on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus, Duluth, Minnesota, on Thursday, May 21, 2020.

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

and the Friends of the Duluth Public Library