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The Rittenhouse Award is given annually at the PubWest conference in memory of Jack D. Rittenhouse, the West’s legendary bookman. It was established in 1990 as a way to thank and honor those who have made an important contribution to the community of the book in the West.

DEADLINE FOR 2023 NOMINATIONS - August 31, 2022.

Nominations are open to publishers, authors, booksellers, sales representatives, librarians, and book designers, as well as anyone who has made a significant and lifelong contribution to the community of the book in the West. The award may be given to a living person or it may be given posthumously. One does not have to be a member of PubWest to be nominated. The nominee does not have to know they have been nominated, but that is up to the individual nominating the person.

Nominations may be made by any member of PubWest, as an individual or in a role as a corporate member.


DETAILED Guidelines

The Jack D. Rittenhouse Award is given annually at the PubWest Conference. It is a lifetime achievement award recognizing a person (or persons), thanking and honoring them for making a real contribution to the Western community of the book. The award was established in 1990, in memory of Jack D. Rittenhouse, the West’s consummate bookman.

Nominations are open to individuals who may be or have been book publishers, authors, booksellers, sales representatives, librarians, editors, book critics, book designers or even a combination of book-industry-related roles who have made a significant and lifelong contribution to the community of the book in the western United States or Canada. The award may be given to a living person or it may be given posthumously. One does not have to be a member of PubWest, or involved with the organization, to be nominated. Any individual may make a nomination, and it is up to them whether they want to inform their nominee in advance.

Previous winners can be seen on our website; last year the Byrds from Cinco Puntos Press were honored. According to Jessica Powers, a PubWest board member, “It was a deeply meaningful tribute to them at the end of their career, as they had just sold Cinco Puntos Press to Lee and Low a few months earlier and had retired. It was a fitting honor to say goodbye to the end of their publishing career; they felt validated and fulfilled by the honor and the PubWest community.”

The primary question to be answered in a nomination should be, “What is this person’s contribution to the Book Community in the West?” Please include information about their efforts – successes and failures; listing their participation in relevant activities such as book fairs, associations, libraries, board of directors, etc., will be useful as we consider a nominee. Also include the age of the nominee (or an estimate) along with a chronology of key dates related to their lifetime. Please indicate if this nomination is specific to this year (commemorating a significant anniversary, for example).

It is useful to have others who know the nominee submit supporting endorsements for your candidate. Such endorsements can contain additional and anecdotal information. Companies, businesses, organizations and associations are not eligible for the Rittenhouse Award.

The Awards subcommittee will preview all nominations, and the committee may request additional supporting documentation from the nominator. The Awards subcommittee will make its recommendations for the Rittenhouse recipient to the PubWest Board of Directors.

Upon approval by the committee, a nomination remains in effect for two more years (after its initial consideration). If after three years the person(s) has not been chosen for the award, their nomination will be set aside; however, they can be re-nominated in any future year.


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