Congratulations to the Colorado Book Awards Winners

On Saturday, June 2nd, I co-hosted the annual Colorado Humanities Colorado Book Awards, in Denver, Colorado.


Here are the winners. Congratulations to them all!

Beautiful Flesh: A Body of Essays
, edited by Stephanie G’Schwind (Center for Literary Publishing, Colorado State University)

Children’s Literature
Can an Aardvark Bark?
by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Steve Jenkins (Beach Lane Books, Simon & Schuster)

Creative Nonfiction
The Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in an American Classroom
by Helen Thorpe (Scribner)

General Fiction
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel
by Matthew Sullivan (Scribner)

General Nonfiction
Megafire: The Race to Extinguish a Deadly Epidemic of Flame
by Michael Kodas (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits: Inside the Fight to Reclaim Native America’s Culture
by Chip Colwell (The University of Chicago Press)

Juvenile Literature
The Last Panther
by Todd Mitchell (Delacorte Books for Young Readers)

Literary Fiction
The Blue Hour
by Laura Pritchett (Counterpoint Press)

Dead Stop
by Barbara Nickless (Thomas & Mercer, Amazon Publishing)

Once Upon a Time . . . The Western: A New Frontier in Art and Film
edited by Mary-Dailey Desmarais and Thomas Brent Smith (5 Continents Editions)

Trophic Cascade
by Camille T. Dungy (Wesleyan University Press)

Science Fiction/Fantasy
A Borrowed Hell
by L. D. Colter (Shirtsleeve Press)

Trafficked: A Mex Anderson Novel
by Peg Brantley (Bark Publishing)

Young Adult Fiction
When Dimple Met Rishi
by Sandhya Menon (Simon Pulse, Simon & Schuster)

Announcing the 2018 Colorado Book Awards Finalists

Every year Outskirts Press donates a percentage of its revenue to good causes and charities, typically revolving around literacy. One of our strongest and long-lasting alliances has been with the Colorado Humanities, and specifically the Colorado Book Awards. For the last few years I have been the presenter or co-presenter for the awards banquet that used to take place annually in Aspen until it moved to Parker, Colorado (home of Outskirts Press) a couple years ago.  I believe there may even still be some videos of the previous awards ceremonies on the Colorado Humanities website.

Now the 2018 Colorado Book Award Finalists have been announced.  Finalists will read select passages from their works at BookBar in Denver throughout April and May. You can see a full list of the finalists here. Congratulations to them all!

Pictures from the Colorado Book Awards

Outskirts Press has been a long-time sponsor and supporter of the Colorado Book Awards. Find out why in this short video, shot during the opening moments of the recent Awards Ceremony in Parker, Colorado (headquarters of Outskirts Press):

Just arrived at the Pace Center to present the awards…Brent-Sampson-Outskirts-Pre

Posing with my lovely wife as the room begins to fill up.BrentSampson

Presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award to Kent Haruf’s wife (2nd from the right), along with co-presenter Charlie Bantis and Maggie Coval.Brent-Sampson

Cause marketing and corporate sponsorships

Over the past two years Outskirts Press has donated $15,000 to the Colorado Humanities and Center for the Book.  They hold two annual literary contests: The Student Literary Awards, and the Colorado Book Awards, both sponsored by Outskirts Press

In fact, today marks the deadline for the River & Words Poetry and Art contest, the winners of which are recognized at the Student Literary Awards. And the deadline for the Colorado Book Awards is January 15th.  Visit the Colorado Humanities website for more information, to participate, donate, or join.

And just like that we have another example of the gray area between philanthropy and cause marketing.  Yes, Outskirts Press’ donations to the Colorado Humanities have been for a good cause, and tax deductable.  Yes, as a Colorado-based corporation, we join Colorado Humanities in their mission to inspire the people of Colorado to appreciate their diverse cultural heritage.

And, by sponsoring the events, getting signage at the events, logos on their websites, attending the events, and in all other ways partnering with Colorado Humanities throughout the year, this is a perfect example of cause marketing — a for-profit business collaborating with a non-profit to a mutually beneficial end.  These benefits are both obvious ($15,000) and more subtle (numerous mentions throughout our social networks, including suggestions for donations – above).

Such collaborations can sometimes lead to exciting by-products. In this case, for example, last year’s publication of the 2010 Student Literary Awards Anthology – the royalties for which went to the Colorado Humanities and Center for the Book.

And speaking of book royalties going to charitable organizations, that is the topic for my next posting…

The difference between “cause marketing” and “philanthropy”

Or, I guess I should really call this posting “The little gray area between cause marketing and philanthropy.”   

Cause marketing, basically, refers to a mutually beneficial relationship between a for-profit business and a non-profit organization.  The term more broadly encompasses any marketing endeavors involving charitable causes.  Philanthropy, on the other hand, simply involves a corporate donation to a non-profit charitable organization (usually tax deductible).

I mention this because in my mind Outskirts Press has always been a philanthropic organization that is also involved in cause marketing.  I’m not sure I agree that the two terms are mutually exclusive, or perhaps, if they are, that simply demonstrates a lack of effort by the P.R. department of the philanthropic organization.  

For example, you can donate thousands of dollars in books to the Children’s hospital — as Outskirts Press has done in the past through its involvement with the Children’s Literacy and Education Foundation — and that can be both a  philanthropic act (a pure corporate donation), and can also fall within the definition of “cause marketing” once you mention the donation on a blog or among your social networks, since ostensibly, your company is marketing the good will among your clients or customers that results from charitable donations. 

In our case we would typically write and distribute a press release about the donation.  And we would take (and subsequently circulate across our social networks) a photograph of the red wheelbarrow full of books in front of the Children’s Hospital logo. 

You see, philanthropy AND cause marketing. I have other examples I’ll discuss next, including our donations to the Colorado Humanities, and our upcoming Facebook Anthology – the royalties for which go to a charitable organization.

Outskirts Press Sponsors Colorado Humanities Colorado Book Awards

My last two posts have mentioned our recent “Best Book” winner, Irv Sternberg, and this post is no exception.  The December promotion in which we sought one amazing manuscript to publish for free provided a wonderful opportunity to reward a talented author.  And Mr. Sternberg provides a nice segue of sorts to this posting’s topic – which is about the Colorado Humanities and their annual Colorado Book Awards.  You see, Irv’s prior book, Neptune’s Chariot, was a Colorado Book Awards finalist last year.

Tomorrow, the Colorado Book Awards are being awarded at the Doerr-Hosier Center in Aspen on June 25th, the last day of the week-long Aspen Literary Festival.   Outskirts Press is a premiere sponsor of the Colorado Center for the Book and its Colorado Book Awards and I will be on-hand at the event to assist with the distribution of the awards.  For a full list of the finalists, please visit the Colorado Humanities website here. Congratulations to them all!