About the 2009 Orion Book Award

About the Award

The Orion Book Award is given annually to recognize books that deepen our connection to the natural world, present new ideas about our relationship with nature, and achieve excellence in writing. Four additional books are recognized as finalists.


  • The context of the book is genuinely ecological, and is related to the human relationship with the natural world.
  • Consistent with Orion’s belief that the written word has the potential of deepening our connection to the natural world, the book upholds a high standard of writing.


  1. To be eligible for the 2009 Orion Book Award, nominated books must have been published in North America in 2008.
  2. Full-length books of fiction or nonfiction are eligible. Books must be written or translated into English. Picture books, photography books, and poetry are not eligible.
  3. All books must be the work of one author. Multi-author books, edited collections, and anthologies are not eligible.
  4. No entry will be ineligible because its author has previously won the Orion Book Award or any other award.
  5. In the event of a dispute as to eligibility, the Selection Committee will decide whether a book is eligible.

Nomination and Selection Process

  1. Nominations for the Orion Book Award will be made by a Nominating Committee comprised of the Orion Society Board of Advisors, the Contributing Editors of Orion, and a select number of colleagues. Members of the Nominating Committee who published books in 2008 are eligible to nominate books; however, they may not nominate their own books.
  2. Nominations will be accepted until January 16, 2009.
  3. The final selection of the winner and four Honorable Mention titles will be made by a Selection Committee comprised of five members, one of whom will be a senior member of the Orion editorial staff.
  4. The Selection Committee will be chosen by Orion’s editors and will change annually. There will be a chairperson of the Selection Committee, who is not a member of the Orion staff, who is responsible for the procedure and integrity of the selection process. No one who published an eligible book in 2008 will serve on the Selection Committee.
  5. The five finalists for the award will be announced in mid-March. The announcement of the winning book and four Honorable Mention titles will be made in early April, with an award ceremony to follow.
  6. Decisions made by the Selection Committee are final.
  7. Names of the members of the Nominating Committee and the Selection Committee will be made public.


  1. The winning title and finalists will be reported in Orion.
  2. Press releases announcing the winning titles will be sent to selected newspapers, web sites, corporate buyers, periodicals and wire services.
  3. The winning title along with cover scans and publisher links will appear on Orion‘s website.
  4. The author of the winning title will receive $3,000, and the four finalists will receive $500.
  5. Publishers of winning titles will receive a notification and a letter authorizing the use of the Orion Book Award medallion on book jackets, and permission to use the Award logo on other promotional materials.