The Minnesota Book Artist Award is Back!

The Minnesota Book Artist Award is a unique category at the Minnesota Book Awards, going beyond the content of a book’s pages to celebrate the visual and structural qualities that are integral to the handmade book. 

Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) is pleased to host the 2022 Minnesota Book Artist Award in partnership with the Minnesota Book Awards. Sponsored by Lerner Publishing Group and presented biennially, this annual award recognizes a Minnesota book artist or collaborative group for excellence in new artistic work, depth of knowledge and quality in the book arts through supporting previous work, as well as significant contributions to Minnesota’s book arts community. The winning work will be on view in an exhibition in MCBA’s Main Gallery from January 13–March 6, 2022.

The most recent winner, in 2020, was a collaborative team of 11 led by renowned fine printer and wood engraver Gaylord Schanilec. They completed a book project called My Mighty Journey: A Waterfall’s Story. The image development, composition, printing, and binding team produced both a 4.5-foot wide fine press edition and a trade hardcover edition of the book. By comparison, in 2019 the winning work, entitled For Now, measured just three inches in height. Winning artist Jody Williams described it as “at once a book, a box, and a puzzle.” Other previous winners include Erica Spitzer Rasmussen (2018), Steven McCarthy (2017) and Wendy Fernstrum (2016).

The deadline to submit was November 1. Judging will take place in the first two weeks of November and the awardee will be notified in December.


The Minnesota Book Awards is a year-long program that connects readers and writers throughout Minnesota with the stories of our neighbors. The process begins in the fall with book submissions and continues through winter with two rounds of judging. Winners are announced at the annual Minnesota Book Awards Ceremony each spring. Woven throughout the season are various activities and events that promote the authors and connect the world of Minnesota books – writers, artists, illustrators, publishers, editors, and more – to readers throughout the state.