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Past fiction winner Marlon James announces the 2016 fiction winner, Charles Baxter, at the Minnesota Book Awards.

Past fiction winner Marlon James announces the 2016 fiction winner, Charles Baxter, at the Minnesota Book Awards.

Now in its 32rd year, the Minnesota Book Awards is making a few changes to how they do business—specifically, making the awards, the ceremony and the judging more inclusive.

So beginning with the next awards ceremony (in April 2020), the Minnesota Book Awards will change venues to the Ordway Concert Hall in St. Paul on Rice Park. More available seats will give organizers an opportunity to offer free tickets to emerging writers and to offer less-expensive tickets for everyone.

Judges, once all volunteers, will now be paid an honorarium of $350 for their work, hopefully allowing more people to apply.

And the new Moving Words program -- which has brought Minnesota Book Award winners to libraries across the state – will be expanded to bring award-winning writers to schools, as well, so that students can be connected with authors.

Begun in 1988, the Minnesota Book Awards is a program of the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library, honoring writers, illustrators and book artists each spring.