September 19, 2019, SAINT PAUL, MN – The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library announced today that the Minnesota Book Awards Ceremony, which annually recognizes the state’s best books, will move to the Ordway in 2020. The Ceremony will be held Tuesday, April 28, 2020 in the Ordway Concert Hall.
The decision to change venues comes after The Friends’ recently completed strategic planning process, during which the organization committed to more intentionally practicing equity and inclusion in its work. The new space will allow The Friends to broaden the seating capacity and partner with writing programs and literary organizations to offer free tickets to emerging writers, as well as less expensive tickets to all attendees.
According to Friends President, Beth Burns, the move also “brings us into closer alignment with Minnesota’s arts and culture community by partnering with one of our premier arts destinations, the Ordway.”
In order to reflect its values, The Friends has made changes to the year-long Book Awards process as well as the annual Ceremony. The organization now offers a modest stipend to the 54 judges who participate, as part of a commitment to compensate individuals for their time. Additionally, the Moving Words program, which brings Minnesota Book Awards winners to libraries in every region of the state, will expand to schools beginning this year, thanks to an increase in legislative funding.
The Friends is currently accepting book submissions for the 32nd season of the Minnesota Book Awards. More information can be found at www.thefriends.org/mnba.
About The Minnesota Book Awards
The Minnesota Book Awards is a year-long program of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library that connects readers and writers throughout the state 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 Minnesota Book Awards Ceremony each spring. Woven throughout the season are events that promote the authors and connect the world of Minnesota books – writers, artists, illustrators, publishers, editors, and more – to readers throughout the state. In recognition of this and its other statewide programs and services, the Library of Congress has recognized The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library as the state’s designated Center for the Book.