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82 Top Book Awards for Authors in 2024

Top Book Awards for Authors Scott Lorenz Book Publicist


I followed Scott’s advice. It worked! To my complete surprise, Beautiful Evil Winter earned a bouquet of book awards, including a highly coveted Eric Hoffer Award and a Readers’ Favorite award. 

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

“Do book awards matter?”


As a book publicist, I can assure you they absolutely do matter! One client won several awards and was contacted by two movie producers about her Young Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy Fiction novel.  Another one of my clients won the prestigious Los Angeles Book Festival award. That then led to a flurry of media interest, which subsequently led to a major New York agent deciding to represent the book and pitch it to all the major publishing houses. This author, needless to say, was happy he decided to enter.

Recently a business book client won a major award which caused CNN to reach out to request the book. I could go on and on with examples of how pursuing and winning book awards will give you opportunities to reach out to the media, booksellers, and agents. As a book publicist, I see the media perk up when an author client has received an award. It’s the added credibility that gives them the assurance that the book is worthwhile. It takes the risk out of the equation for the producer or reporter if it’s an ‘award-winning’ book.

Awards also helped take my book Book Title Generator: A Proven System in Naming Your Book to the next level. It’s earned nine awards including the Independent Author Network, Pencraft Book Awards, Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards, and Literary Titan Book Award, just to name a few. My book also landed a spot in the Must-Read category for authors of all experiences and publishers of all sizes. I used a new service called Book Award Pro to take the drudgery out of keeping tabs of all the award entries. Check them out at: https://bit.ly/BookAwardPro

There’s no denying that awards create interest in your book, which can lead to more sales and other opportunities.  A book award may cause someone to stop in their tracks and consider picking up your book in a bookstore.  A book award can give you an edge and sometimes that’s all the difference you need to propel your book into bestseller territory. If you win you can say you are an “award-winning author.” Doesn’t that sound better? Of course, it does, and you get a little magic that comes from a third-party endorsement because an authority says your work is worthy, and that’s priceless.

Most awards charge a fee to enter. Not all awards have a category for your genre and not all of these will work for every book.

Here’s a list of my top book awards worthy of your consideration.

Keep in mind that links change all the time and contests come and go. Some links are for the previous year because that’s all that was available at the time of this writing.

1. Entering IndieFab Awards should definitely be on your literary to-do list. https://publishers.forewordreviews.com/awards/

2. Find out how your book can earn a Hugo Award and check out science fiction’s most prestigious award details. http://www.thehugoawards.org/about/

3. Enter Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Awards. Don’t miss this important e-book only award. https://globalebookawards.com/

4. The Deadline for the Autumn House Press award for poetry, fiction and non-fiction is late June. Check it out here https://www.autumnhouse.org/submissions/

5. Poets & Writers has a nice list of writing contests, grants and awards. Check it out at: https://www.pw.org/grants

6. Find out how to make it on the Indie Next List to win an Indies Choice Book Award – https://www.bookweb.org/indiebound/nextlist/view

7. The Nautilus Book Award seeks books that make a difference and inspire. https://nautilusbookawards.com/

8. The National Indie Excellence Book Awards competition selects award winners and finalists based on overall excellence of presentation in dozens of categories. Created especially for indie and self-published authors. https://www.indieexcellence.com/

9. Have you written a business book? The Axiom Business Book Awards celebrate excellence in business book writing and publishing by presenting gold, silver and bronze medals in 20 business categories. https://www.axiomawards.com/66/how-to-enter

10. USA Best Book Awards has a ten-year plus track record of honoring and promoting books to the national and international community. The contest is sponsored by American Book Fest, which focuses on mainstream, independent, and self-published books. https://www.americanbookfest.com/2024bestbookawards.html

11. Reader Views Annual Literary Awards were established to honor writers who self-publish or who were published by small presses or independent publishers. https://www.readerviews.com/literaryawards/

12. Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Whether you’re a professional writer, a part-time freelancer or a self-starting student, here’s your chance to enter the only self-published competition exclusively for self-published books. One winning entry will receive $8,000 with nine first-place winners who’ll receive $1,000 each. https://www.writersdigest.com/writers-digest-competitions/self-published-book-awards

13. Readers’ Favorite Awards receives submissions from independent authors, small publishers, and publishing giants like HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, with contestants that range from the first-time, self-published author to New York Times best-selling authors. https://readersfavorite.com/book-reviews.htm

14. Romance Writer of America promotes the interests of career-focused romance writers by sponsoring awards that acknowledge excellence in the romance genre. RWA sponsors: “The RITA” for published romance fiction novels and “The Golden Heart” for unpublished romance fiction manuscripts. https://www.rwa.org/Online/Awards/Online/Awards/Awards.aspx

15. Rubery Book Award is the longest established book award based in the UK for independent and self-published books. “The key to our success is having a keen eye for quality from distinguished and reputable judges.” First prize is $1,500 and the winning book will be read by a top literary agent. https://www.ruberybookaward.com/

16. The Eric Hoffer Award for independent books recognizes excellence in publishing with a $2,500 grand prize and various category honors and press type distinctions. To enter, a book must be from an academic press, small press or self-published author. https://www.hofferaward.com/

17. Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Thousands of dollars in prize money. Finalists and Winners receive a list in the Next Generation Indie Book Catalog distributed to thousands of book buyers, media and others. Plus, the top 70 books will be reviewed by a top New York Literary agent for possible representation. https://indiebookawards.com/enteryourbook.php

18. The International Book Awards (IBA) are specifically designed to be a promotional vehicle for authors and publishers to launch their careers, open global markets and compete with talented authors and publishers throughout the world. Winners get an extensive public relations campaign, social media promotion and more. https://www.internationalbookawards.com/

19. The Literary Classics Book Awards and Reviews were created to help authors gain recognition for their work and to help parents find the best in literature for children and young adults. http://www.clcawards.org

20. The Scotiabank Giller Prize. A $100,000 grand prize and $10K (CDN) to each of the finalists. To be eligible, a book must be a first-edition, full-length novel or short story collection, written by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada. The publisher must enter. Sorry, no self-published books. https://scotiabankgillerprize.ca/

21. The Feathered Quill Book Awards accept submissions from all size publishers and work very hard to honor and publicize the winners (there’s a link to a testimonial page on the awards page – read what past winners have to say). https://featheredquill.com/feathered-quill-book-awards/

22. Shelf Unbound Magazine’s Best Indie/Self-Published Book Competition honors more than 100 indie/self-published books. In addition to $1,500 in cash prizes, they’ll feature the winner, five finalists, and more than 100 “notable” books in the December/January issue of Shelf Unbound. Any independently published book in any genre in any publication year is eligible for entry. Entry fee is $100 per book. The competition also includes the Pete Delohery Award for Best Sports Book, open to fiction and non-fiction sports-related books. https://shelfmediagroup.com/competitions/

23. Chanticleer International Book Awards — Grand prize winner receives $1,000 cash plus other awards. More than $30,000 cash and prizes awarded each year. 15 genres including the CYGNUS for SciFiction, M&M for Mystery & Mayhem, Somerset for Literary, etc. https://www.chantireviews.com/  Several of their winners have received major publishing deals (6 figures) and two have had their works optioned for film.

24. The Royal Dragonfly (all genres) and Purple Dragonfly (children’s books) Book Awards are prestigious national book contests recognizing exceptional authors for excellence in writing and a Story Monsters Approved! (children’s books) must inspire, inform, teach or entertain, and adhere to rigorous standards of excellence. https://www.dragonflybookawards.com/

25. The Independent Author Network IAN Book of the Year Awards, an international contest opens to all authors with 35 fiction and non-fiction categories. Winners are eligible to receive a share of cash prizes exceeding $6,000 USD. An Outstanding Book (category winner) will be awarded in each category with recognition of Finalists. Six outstanding titles will be named the Books of the Year. Winning books will be shared at the IAN Facebook page with over 120,000 fans and 575,000 followers at twitter. https://www.independentauthornetwork.com/book-of-the-year.html

26. The Chautauqua Prize for authors is $7,500 plus travel and expense for a short summer residency. Full-length books of fiction and narrative/literary nonfiction are eligible. Self-published books are not eligible. In general, cookbooks, self-help books (including inspirational literature), reference books, picture books, graphic novels, or children’s books are not eligible. https://chq.org/schedule/resident-programs/literary-arts/chautauqua-prize/

27. Mom’s Choice Awards® is recognized in over 55 countries around the world for setting the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. If you have a children’s book or family friendly book, then this is a terrific award to pursue. https://www.momschoiceawards.com/

28. Book Excellence Awards – With over $30,000 in grand prizes in media and marketing services, the Book Excellence Awards has helped honorees increase their book sales, garner attention from film producers, receive distribution in bookstores and increase their visibility and media attention. https://bookexcellenceawards.com/

29. The Page Turner Awards – Their prizes promise the winning authors career-changing opportunities. Fiction authors could win a publishing deal or win an audiobook production, non-fiction authors could win a writing mentorship with a business mentoring expert or get their non-fiction manuscript seen by publishers who are actively looking for work to publish. https://pageturnerawards.com/

30. The Douglas Dillon Book Award is an award presented by the American Academy of Diplomacy designed to celebrate distinguished writing about US diplomatic efforts and achievements. The award comes with a $5,000 cash prize and an invitation to the awards ceremony in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the US Department of State. https://www.academyofdiplomacy.org/douglas-dillon-book-award

31. Next Generation Indie Book Awards – The largest international awards program for indie authors and independent publishers. https://indiebookawards.com/

32. The 2024 International Book Awards – Over their 14-year history, thousands of self-published and indie authors have leveraged the promotional power of their International Book Award to increase online recognition, enhance their title’s credibility, and garner more attention in the crowded book buying marketplace. https://www.internationalbookawards.com/2024callforentries.html

33. NAIWE’s 1st Annual Book Awards 2024 – If you have written a book that was published in the last five years, you are eligible to enter it in the NAIWE 1st Annual Book Awards 2024. https://naiwe.com/book-awards/

34. Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction – The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction were established in 2012 to recognize the best fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers published in the U.S. the previous year. The shortlisted authors and eventual winners reflect the expert judgment and insight of the seven-member selection committee of library professionals who work closely with adult readers. These are the ALA’s first single-book awards for adult trade fiction and nonfiction. https://rusaupdate.org/awards/carnegie/

35. BRASS Best of the Best Business Web Resources Award – The BRASS Best of the Best Business Web Resources Award was established in 2009. The Award recognizes 3-5 websites highly relevant to information professionals involved in providing business reference services. The websites are nominated and selected by the BRASS Education Committee members, typically in October-November. https://rocketexpansion.com/book-awards/

36. Sophie Brody Medal – The Sophie Brody Medal was first awarded in 2006 and includes a medal for the winner. It is funded by Sophie and Arthur Brody Foundation, and is given to encourage, recognize and commend outstanding achievement in Jewish literature. Works for adults published in the United States in the preceding year will be eligible for the award. https://rusaupdate.org/awards/sophie-brody-medal/

37. Dartmouth Medal – Established in 1974, this medal honors the creation of a reference work of outstanding quality and significance, including, but not limited to: writing, compiling, editing, or publishing books or electronic information. The award is given to works that have been published or made available for the first time during the calendar year preceding the presentation of the award. https://rusaupdate.org/awards/dartmouth-medal/

38. National Book Awards – Established in 1950, the National Book Awards are American literary prizes administered by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization. A pantheon of writers such as William Faulkner, Marianne Moore, Ralph Ellison, John Cheever, Bernard Malamud, Philip Roth, Robert Lowell, Walker Percy, John Updike, Katherine Anne Porter, Norman Mailer, Lillian Hellman, Elizabeth Bishop, Saul Bellow, Toni Morrison, Flannery O’Connor, Adrienne Rich, Thomas Pynchon, Alice Walker, E. Annie Proulx, Jesmyn Ward, and Ta-Nehisi Coates have all won National Book Awards. Although other categories have been recognized in the past, the Awards currently honor the best Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature, published each year. – https://www.nationalbook.org/national-book-awards/

39. The Booker Prize 2024 – Novelist Esi Edugyan, twice-shortlisted for the Booker Prize, will chair the panel and will be joined by Adjoa Andoh, actor, writer and director; Mary Jean Chan, poet, lecturer, editor and critic; James Shapiro, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and author specializing in Shakespeare; and Robert Webb, actor and writer. https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/prize-years/2024

40. PEN America Literary Awards – Since 1963, the PEN America Literary Awards have honored many of the most outstanding voices in literature across diverse genres, including fiction, poetry, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, and drama. With the help of our partners, PEN America confers over 20 distinct awards, fellowships, grants and prizes each year, awarding nearly $350,000 to writers and translators. https://pen.org/literary-awards/

41. The Neustadt Prize – The Neustadt International Prize for Literature is a biennial award sponsored by the University of Oklahoma and World Literature Today since 1970. It is the first international literary award of this scope to originate in the United States and one of few international prizes for which poets, novelists, and playwrights are equally eligible. https://www.neustadtprize.org/

42. The National Book Critics Circle Awards – Each year, the National Book Critics Circle presents awards for the finest books published in English in six categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Biography, Autobiography, Poetry, and Criticism. https://www.bookcritics.org/awards/

43. John Leonard Prize – Named for the longtime critic and NBCC co-founder John Leonard, the Leonard Prize is awarded for the best first book in any genre and was launched in 2013. Recent winners include Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So (2021) and Luster by Raven Leilani (2020). https://www.bookcritics.org/awards/leonard-prize/

44. The Ivan Sandrof Life Achievement Award – The Ivan Sandrof Life Achievement Award was established in 1981 to honor Ivan Sandrof (1911-1979), the first president of the National Book Critics Circle. The Sandrof Award is given to a person who has, over time, made significant contributions to book culture. https://www.bookcritics.org/awards/sandrof/

45. The Toni Morrison Achievement Award – The Toni Morrison Achievement Award was established in 2021 to honor novelist Toni Morrison (1911-1979), a former National Book Critics Circle Winner who championed literature throughout her celebrated career. The Morrison Award is given annually to an institution that has, over time, made significant contributions to book culture. The decision to name the award for Toni Morrison was the result of a year-long process in which the general membership of the NBCC was asked to nominate deserving candidates. https://www.bookcritics.org/the-toni-morrison-achievement-award/

46. Gregg Barrios Book in Translation Prize – The NBCC’s Gregg Barrios Book in Translation Prize seeks to highlight the artistic merit of literature in translation and recognize translators’ valuable work, which expands and enriches American literary culture by bringing world literature to English-language readers. https://www.bookcritics.org/gregg-barrios-book-in-translation-prize/

47. Mystery Writers of America Edgar® Awards – The 78th Annual Edgar® Awards will be celebrated on May 1, 2024, at the Marriott Marquis Times Square in New York City. The 2024 Edgar Award Symposium events will be online via Zoom. https://edgarawards.com/

48. The British Book Awards 2024 – The moment for the British book industry to celebrate its own has arrived with the 2024 British Book Awards Books of the Year shortlists. Now in its 34rd year, the ‘Nibbies’ showcases the very finest fiction, non-fiction and children’s literature, from compelling page-turners to insightful memoir and beyond. The winners will be announced on Monday 13 May. https://www.waterstones.com/category/cultural-highlights/book-awards/the-british-book-awards

49. The Writers’ Prize (formerly Rathbones Folio Prize) – The Writers’ Prize is awarded to the book which represents the truest example of literary excellence in any one year. It is open to all works of literature written in English of any genre or form (except for books written explicitly for children) and published in the UK. https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/thewritersprize

50. 2024 Goodreads Choice Awards – Books published in the United States in English, including works in translation and other significant rereleases, between November 16, 2023, and November 14, 2024, will be eligible for the 2024 awards. https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/195298.2024_Goodreads_Choice_Awards_Predictions

51. The Orwell Prizes 2024 – Every year we award prizes to the writing and reporting which best meets the spirit of George Orwell’s own ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’. https://www.orwellfoundation.com/the-orwell-prizes/

52. Nebula Awards – June 6th-9th, 2024 – Pasadena, California and Online – Registration is open! Join them to engage in professional development, foster community among aspiring and established industry professionals, and of course, celebrate our Nebula Award finalists and honorees throughout the weekend and at the Nebula Award ceremony. That includes recognizing the inspiring work of their newest Grand Master, Susan Cooper. https://events.sfwa.org/

53. The 2024 Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction – Bringing people together through a shared passion for books written by women. The Women’s Prize Trust enriches society by creating equitable opportunities for women in the world of books and beyond. https://womensprize.com/

54. The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction – The Baillie Gifford Prize rewards excellence in non-fiction writing, bringing the best in intelligent reflection on the world to new readers. It covers all non-fiction in the areas of current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts. We celebrate the best in contemporary non-fiction writing as we believe all the best stories are true. https://www.thebailliegiffordprize.co.uk/

55. The Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature – The Michael L. Printz Award annually honors the best book written for teens, based entirely on its literary merit, each year. In addition, the Printz Committee names up to four honor books, which also represent the best writing in young adult literature. The awards announcement is made at the ALA Midwinter Meeting as part of the Youth Media Awards and is celebrated with a program and reception each year at the ALA Annual Conference. https://www.ala.org/yalsa/printz/

56. John Newbery Medal – The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. https://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/newbery

57. Randolph Caldecott Medal – The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. https://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/caldecott

58. The Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards – First presented in 1967 and customarily announced in June, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards are among the most prestigious honors in the field of children’s and young adult literature. Winners are selected in three categories: Picture Book, Fiction and Poetry, and Nonfiction. Two Honor Books may be named in each category. https://www.hbook.com/page/boston-globe-horn-book-awards-landing-page

59. Coretta Scott King Book Awards Round Table – The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. The award commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honors his wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood. – https://www.ala.org/rt/cskbart

60. Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Awards – The Tufts poetry awards—based at Claremont Graduate University and given for poetry volumes published in the preceding year—are not only two of the most prestigious prizes a contemporary poet can receive, they also come with hefty purses: $100,000 for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and $10,000 for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. This makes the Kingsley Tufts award the world’s largest monetary prize for a single collection of poetry. And for most poets who have just published their first collection of verse, $10,000 should keep the pen scribbling. https://arts.cgu.edu/tufts-poetry-awards/

61. Griffin Poetry Prize – The Griffin Poetry Prize is one of the world’s most generous poetry awards. As of 2023, the prize is worth C$130,000, making it the world’s largest international prize for a single book of poetry written in, or translated into English. The other shortlisted poets each receive $10,000. https://griffinpoetryprize.com/

62. Page Turner Awards – Page Turner Awards gives unpublished writers the chance to enter unpublished fiction and non-fiction books, to be read by a carefully curated judging panel made up of influential players in the publishing industry. And published authors, whether mainstream published or independently published, the chance to get their fiction story or non-fiction book recognized by successful authors, high-calibre industry professionals and film producers. https://pageturnerawards.com/2024-book-award

63. Nero Book Awards – Celebrating outstanding writing by great authors living in the UK and Ireland, these awards list the best books of the year. Each year, their expert panel of judges will choose which books from the past 12 months they would most want to recommend to others for their quality writing and readability. From a shortlist of 16 unputdownable books, a winner will be named in each of the following four categories: Children’s Fiction, Debut Fiction, Fiction and Non-Fiction. An overall winner, given the Nero Gold Prize for the “Book of the Year”, will also be named. https://nerobookawards.com/

64. The IndieReader Discovery Awards – The IR Discovery Awards seek to find the best of the best. Every book is read by an IR Pro reviewer and judged on its own merit. Only if it receives a 4+ rating does it go on to be read by one of our judges. https://indiereader.com/the-discovery-awards/

65. The Independent Publisher Book Awards – Conducted annually, the Independent Publisher Book Awards honor the year’s best independently published titles from around the world. The awards are intended to bring increased recognition to the thousands of exemplary independent, university, and self-published books released each year. https://www.ippyawards.com/

66. Next Generation Indie Book Awards – The largest international awards program for indie authors and independent publishers. The most exciting and rewarding book awards program open to independent publishers and authors worldwide is now accepting entries written in English and released in 2023, 2024 or 2025 or with a 2023, 2024 or 2025 copyright date. https://www.indiebookawards.com/

67. The International Best Indie Book Award® – Celebrating 12 Years of Recognizing Indie Authors! The annual Best Indie Book Award® (or BIBA®) is an international literary awards contest recognizing self-published and independently published authors from all over the world. Entries are limited to independently (indie) published books, including those from small presses, e-book publishers, and self-published authors. https://bestindiebookaward.com/submit/

68. The National Indie Excellence® Awards (NIEA) – The National Indie Excellence® Awards (NIEA) are open to all English language printed books available for sale, including small presses, mid-size independent publishers, university presses, and self-published authors. NIEA is proud to be a champion of self-publishing and small independent presses going the extra mile to produce books of excellence in every aspect. https://www.indieexcellence.com/

69. Poetry Awards – Writer’s Digest’s only competition exclusively for poetry, the Annual Poetry Awards, is not currently accepting entries. Winners are awarded cash and prizes. https://www.writersdigest.com/writers-digest-competitions/poetry-awards

70. Personal Essay Awards – Writer’s Digest’s newest competition, the Personal Essay Awards, is not currently accepting entries. Winners of the competition are announced annually in our May/June issue of Writer’s Digest. https://www.writersdigest.com/writers-digest-competitions/personal-essay-awards

71. The Autumn House Press Fiction Prize – For the 2024 contest, the Autumn House staff as well as select outsider readers serve as the preliminary readers, and the final judge is Kristen Arnett. The winner receives publication of their full-length manuscript and $2,500. https://www.autumnhouse.org/submissions/fiction/

72. Nilsen Literary Prize for a First Novel – Open to English-writing, U.S. residents who have not yet published a novel. http://www.semopress.com/events/nilsen-prize/

73. The Cowles Poetry Book Prize – Open to any living poet writing in English, age 18 or older, regardless of publication history. http://www.semopress.com/events/cowles-prize/

74. The Encore Award – The Encore Award was first presented in 1990 to celebrate the achievement of outstanding second novels. The Award fills a niche in the catalogue of literary prizes. The RSL has administrated the award since 2016. https://rsliterature.org/the-encore-award/

75. The PEN Open Book Award – The PEN Open Book Award, formerly the Beyond Margins Awards, invites book submissions by authors of color, published in the United States during the applicable calendar year. The Open Book Award was created by PEN America’s Open Book Committee, a group committed to racial and ethnic diversity within the literary and publishing communities. Works of fiction, literary nonfiction, biography/memoir, poetry, and other works of literary character are strongly preferred. https://pen.org/pen-open-book-award/

76. The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction – The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction honors the best published works of fiction by American permanent residents in a calendar year. Three writers are chosen annually by the Board of Directors of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation to serve as judges, ensuring that our awards selection process is free of commercial influence. https://www.penfaulkner.org/our-awards/pen-faulkner-award/

77. The Pulitzer Prize – Each spring, Columbia University awards Pulitzer Prizes in eight Books, Drama and Music categories. The winners are chosen by the Pulitzer Prize Board, which seeks to recognize excellence by eligible American writers, playwrights and composers. https://bdmentrysite.pulitzer.org/

78. Shirley Jackson Awards – In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson’s writing, and with permission of the author’s estate, The Shirley Jackson Awards, Inc. has been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic. https://www.shirleyjacksonawards.org/

79. Nation­al Jew­ish Book Awards – Inau­gu­rat­ed in 1950, the Nation­al Jew­ish Book Awards is the longest-run­ning North Amer­i­can awards pro­gram of its kind and is rec­og­nized as the most pres­ti­gious. The Awards are intend­ed to rec­og­nize authors, and encour­age read­ing, of out­stand­ing Eng­lish-lan­guage books of Jew­ish interest. https://www.jewishbookcouncil.org/awards/national-jewish-book-awards

80. The Christy Award® – The Christy Award® was established in 1999 to acknowledge the value and impact of the novel of faith in contemporary culture. Since that time, the Christys have been a focal point for the writers and publishers in our community, symbolizing the best aspirations and accomplishments of writers who write from a perspective of faith and who create stories with matters of belief at their core. https://www.christyawards.com/

81. Carol Awards – The Carol Awards are ACFW’s recognition for the best Christian fiction published in the previous calendar year. The first round of the contest will be judged by three published authors or by experienced unpublished authors. The final round will be judged by agents, editors and multi-published authors, and other industry professionals. In the event of a tie, the previous round scores of the tied entries will be used to break the tie. https://acfw.com/acfw-contests/carol-awards/

82. The CWA Daggers – They award thirteen Daggers in total. Nine of these are for books and short stories and are judged independently by industry professionals. https://thecwa.co.uk/awards-and-competitions/the-daggers/

If You Don’t Have Time to Do All This... A great option for authors to maximize their success in the world of book awards is an automation service called Book Award Pro https://bit.ly/BookAwardPro Their smart matching technology pinpoints the best award opportunities for your book and delivers actionable results. This service automates it all for you: researching thousands of awards, continuously targeting your perfect matches, and professionally submitting your book for awards. Book Award Pro creates a windfall of fresh promotional opportunities for your book – every single month. Check them out at https://bit.ly/BookAwardPro

Author Kelly K. Lavender read this very article about the value of book awards and said this. “I followed Scott’s advice. It worked! To my complete surprise, Beautiful Evil Winter earned a bouquet of book awards, including a highly coveted Eric Hoffer Award and a Readers’ Favorite award. For those that don’t know, the high-profile Readers’ Favorite competition attracts celebrities and New York Times Best-Selling authors. Thanks, Scott for penning that piece! What a game-changer!”

The Bottom Line: Book awards do matter. Enter a few and become an “award-winning author.” As Hockey great Wayne Gretzky said, “You Can’t Score Unless You Shoot!” Get to it and let me know how it goes. If you know of another book award I should check out, please send me the details.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.WestwindBookMarketing.com or contact Lorenz at [email protected] or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net.

Would you like help promoting your book?

If so, tell us a little about your book. What is the title? Do you have a publisher? What is the publish date? How many pages is your book? What is the cost? Do you have web site? What is your specific goal I.E., to make money, raise awareness, get the attention of an agent or publisher, sell the story to a movie or TV studio or something else?

Submit the form below with this information and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you!

Top Poetry Competitions Researched by Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Top Poetry Competitions

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

Are you a poet and nobody knows it?  Get busy and enter poetry competitions and tell the world about your poetry!

One of the best ways to gain exposure for your poetry is to enter your work into various poetry competitions around the United States. The recognition gained for your prose could help launch your career or give you the encouragement to propel you forward to greater heights. Sometimes that third party endorsement of your work is well worth your time.

I’ve researched and compiled this list of poetry contests that offer recognition and in some cases cash prizes. Good luck!

1. Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry, Salt Lake City, UT. Honoring the memory of a celebrated poet and a beloved teacher, the Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry is awarded annually and is sponsored by The University of Utah Press and The University of Utah Department of English. $1,000 Cash Prize and Publication from the Press; $500 and reading in The University of Utah’s Guest Writers Series from The University of Utah Department of English. https://www.uofupress.com/ali-poetry-prize.php

2. Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, Pittsburgh, PA. Established in 1981, the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize is administered by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Named in honor of Agnes Lynch Starrett, the Press’s first director, the prize is awarded for a first full-length book of poems. The prize carries a cash award of $5,000 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press as part of the Pitt Poetry Series. The series is edited by Ed Ochester, who also serves as final judge in the Starrett competition. https://upittpress.org/prize/agnes-lynch-starrett-poetry-prize/

3. Aliki Perroti and Seth Frank Most Promising Young Poet Award, New York, NY. Established in 2013, the Aliki Perroti and Seth Frank Most Promising Young Poet Award recognizes a student poet twenty-three years old or younger, with an annual cash prize of $1,000. https://poets.org/academy-american-poets/prizes/aliki-perroti-and-seth-frank-most-promising-young-poet-award

4. Amy Lowell Traveling Poet Scholarship, Boston, MA. The American poet Amy Lowell died in 1925. Her will established an annual scholarship to support travel abroad for gifted American-born poets. The scholarship is administered by the Trustees under her will at the law firm of Choate, Hall & Stewart in Boston, Massachusetts. There is no age requirement, publication requirement, or education requirement. Poets must be of American birth. https://www.amylowell.org/

5. Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award, Pasadena, CA. Established in 1998, in honor of the poet Benjamin Saltman (1927-1999), this award is for a previously unpublished original collection of poetry. Awarded collection is selected through an annual competition which is open to all poets. https://redhen.org/awards/benjamin-saltman-poetry-award/

6. Berkshire Prize for a First or Second Book of Poetry, North Adams, MA. The Berkshire Prize for a First or Second Book of Poetry is open to anyone writing in the English language, whether living in the United States or abroad. Translations are not eligible for this prize, nor are previously self-published books. https://www.tupelopress.org/berkshire-prize/

7. Colorado Prize for Poetry, Fort Collins, CO. The Colorado Prize for Poetry is an international literary contest started in 1995. Since the contest began, over 5,000 book-length poetry manuscripts have been entered. Each year’s prizewinner receives a $2,000 honorarium and publication of his or her book by the Center for Literary Publishing. https://coloradoreview.colostate.edu/colorado-prize-for-poetry/

8. Cowles Poetry Book Prize, Cape Girardeau, MO. Individual poems in the manuscript may have been published previously in a chapbook, magazines, journals or anthologies, but the work as a whole must be unpublished. Translations and previously self-published books are not eligible. Open to any poet writing in English, age 18 or older, regardless of publication history. Send 48-100 pages of poetry–any style or theme–with a table of contents and an acknowledgements page for any previously published poems. The page count doesn’t include the table of contents or acknowledgements. No online submissions. http://www.semopress.com/events/cowles-prize/

9. Elixir Press Annual Poetry Awards, Denver, CO. Elixir Press is sponsoring a poetry contest open to all poets writing in English. There will be a Judge’s Prize of $2,000 and an Editors’ Prize of $1000. Both winning manuscripts will be published by Elixir Press. All entries will be considered for publication. An outside judge, to be announced later, will make the final decision for the first prize. The editors will make the final decision for the second prize. http://elixirpress.com/guidelines/annual-poetry-awards

10. Fugue Annual Writing Contest, Moscow, ID. Fugue’s Annual Writing Contest accepts submissions of both poetry and prose (fiction and nonfiction). Multiple submissions are accepted as long as separate fees are paid. For poetry submissions, please send between 1-3 poems. For prose submissions, please send no more than one short story or one essay. https://fuguejournal.com/general-submissions

11. Iowa Poetry Prize, Iowa City, IA. The Iowa Poetry Prize, open to new as well as established poets, is awarded for a book-length collection of poems written originally in English. Previous winners, current University of Iowa students, and current and former University of Iowa Press employees are not eligible. https://uipress.uiowa.edu/resources/prospective-authors/iowa-poetry-prize

12. Jake Adam York Prize, Denver, CO. The Jake Adam York Prize is a collaboration between Copper Nickel & Milkweed Editions. It is open to all poets in the US who have published no more than one full-length poetry collection. The entries are due October 15. The entry fee is $25 (which includes a year’s subscription to Copper Nickel). The prize is $2,000 plus publication by Milkweed Editions. http://copper-nickel.org/bookprize/

13. May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize, Peterborough, NH. The May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize is named for May Sarton, the renowned novelist, memoirist, poet, and feminist (1912-1995). The winner receives $1000, book publication, and 100 copies of the published book, as well as distribution with our other spring titles through our partner UPNE (University Press of New England). https://bauhanpublishing.com/contests/

14. The Cowles Poetry Book Prize, Cape Girardeau, MO. Prize: $2,000 and 30 copies for the author, publication and distribution of a full-length poetry manuscript with a full-color perfect-bound cover. Manuscripts submitted to the contest will be read and judged anonymously. http://www.semopress.com/events/cowles-prize/

15. Miller Williams Poetry Prize, Fayetteville, AR. A prize of $5,000 and publication by University of Arkansas Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Submit a manuscript of 60 to 90 pages with a $28 entry fee by September 30. Visit the website for complete guidelines. https://www.uapress.com/millerwilliamspoetryseries/

16. Raiziss/de Palchi Translation Awards, New York, NY. The Raiziss/de Palchi Translation Awards recognize outstanding translations into English of modern Italian poetry through a $10,000 book prize and a $25,000 fellowship, given in alternating years. To apply, a translator must submit four copies of a proposal describing the work-in-progress, the applicant’s credentials, and how the fellowship money will be used. https://poets.org/academy-american-poets/prizes/raizissde-palchi-translation-awards

17. Rhina Espaillat Poetry Award, Walden, NY. This award honors the achievements of the great Dominican-American poet, translator, and public school teacher Rhina Polonia Espaillat. The Rhina Espaillat Poetry Award will be awarded for an original poem of not more than fifty lines that reflects her lyricism, empathy, and ability to find grace in everyday events of life. https://www.plough.com/en/contact-us/rhina-espaillat-poetry-award

18. Spirit First Poetry Contest, Langley Park, MD. Poetry submissions may be of any length and any style but must have a theme of Meditation, Mindfulness, Silence, Stillness, or Solitude (we are referring to peaceful solitude – not loneliness). Poems may reflect any discipline, any faith, or none. Poems must be previously unpublished. https://www.spiritfirst.org/

19. The Center for Book Arts Poetry Chapbook Competition, New York, NY. The Center’s Poetry Chapbook Competition has been going strong since 1996; past winners have included Ailish Hopper, Jeffrey Skinner, L.B.Thompson, and Rachel Zucker. Poets! Submit your work for this year’s contest; the deadline every year is December 1; current guidelines are up on our site here. https://centerforbookarts.org/calendar/opportunity/2023-poetry-chapbook-contest

20. The Washington Prize, Washington, DC. The Washington Prize, awarded annually to a living American or Canadian poet, is $1,500 and book publication for a manuscript of original poetry in English. Poets at any stage in their career may submit a manuscript of 48 to 80 pages between January 15 and March 15. $25 entry fee. The winner is selected in summer and publication is planned for early the following year. https://wordworksbooks.org/submissions/the-washington-prize/

21. Pushcart Press, Wainscott, NY. Publication in The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses is awarded annually for works of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction published by literary magazines or small presses during the current year. https://www.pw.org/writing_contests/pushcart_prizes

22. Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest, Northampton, MA. Now in its 14th year, this contest seeks today’s best humor poems. No fee to enter. Submit published or unpublished work. $2,000 in prizes. https://winningwriters.com/our-contests/wergle-flomp-humor-poetry-contest-free

23. Joy Bale Boon Poetry Prize, Elizabethtown, KY. Poets and writers can submit 1-3 poems of any style to The Heartland Review Press poetry contest. All submissions must include a cover letter and author bio of 30-40 words. https://elizabethtown.kctcs.edu/community/theheartlandreviewpress/poetry-prize.aspx

24. Marystina Santiestevan First Book Prize. Awarded annually to a poet writing in English who has not yet published a full-length poetry book, the prize is named in honor of a great supporter of young poets, and the grandmother-in-law of the contest’s final judge, Bob Hicok. Prospective entrants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with Conduit, which champions originality, intelligence, irreverence, and humanity. https://www.conduit.org/book-prizes

25. TWFest Poetry Content, New Orleans, LA. Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Literary Festival hosts an annual competition for 2-4 unpublished, original poems of any style, with a combined length of 400 lines. This contest is only open to emerging writers who have not published a book of poetry. However, poets and writers who have published a book in another genre are still eligible. https://tennesseewilliams.net/contests/

26. Robert and Adele Schiff Awards, Cincinnati, OH. The Cincinnati Review invites submissions for the annual Robert and Adele Schiff Awards. One poem, one piece of fiction, and one piece of literary nonfiction will be chosen for publication in our prize issue, and winning authors will receive $1,000 each. All entries will be considered for publication in The Cincinnati Review. https://www.cincinnatireview.com/contests/robert-and-adele-schiff-awards/

27. Maine Artist Fellowship, Augusta, ME. The Maine Arts Fellowships recognize artistic excellence in the careers of Maine artists. Fellowships are not grants but are merit-based awards based on the level of artistic creativity and vision as shown in the artist’s support materials. https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Funding/Individual-Artist-Fellowships

28. Bellevue Literary Review Prizes, New York, NY. The Bellevue Literary Review Prize awards young poets who create work related to the themes of health, healing, illness, the mind, and the body. Winners are published in the Spring 2024 issue of the BLR and receive a $1000 cash prize. Honorable mention is awarded $300. Poetry entries are encouraged to be written vividly with a strong narrative. https://blreview.org/blr-prizes/

29. Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, Claremont, CA. The Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award is an annual poetry contest open to mid-career US poets & writers. The generous cash prize is given to encourage poets to have the freedom to dedicate a year to writing their next book and honing their craft without having to worry about paying bills. https://arts.cgu.edu/tufts-poetry-awards/

30. Los Angeles Review Literary Award, Los Angeles, CA. Los Angeles Review awards four first-place-winning writers a $1000 prize for the annual literary competition. Using their online submission, poets can submit up to three poems of no more than 50 lines each. First place will also be published in the new LAR Online and included in the annual best-of-print edition. Only previously unpublished poems are considered for this award. https://losangelesreview.org/awards/

31. Barrow Street Press Prose Book Award, Kingston, RI. Barrow Street’s 2023 Poetry Book Prize has an annual poetry collection prize of $1500 that will be awarded to the first-place winner. Writers and poets must submit a manuscript or book of poetry of 50 to 80 pages to be judged. The poetry must be in English and include a table of contents and an acknowledgment of any previously published poems. https://barrowstreet.org/press/submit/

32. New Writers Awards, Ann Arbor, MI. Now entering its 55th year, the New Writers Award confers recognition on promising writers who have published a first volume in one of the three genres: Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Non-fiction. Judges of the New Writers Award are faculty members of creative writing and literature at GLCA’s member colleges. https://www.glca.org/faculty/new-writers-award/

33. Akron Poetry Prize, Akron, OH. The University of Akron Presson awards a first-place prize of $1500 for an English poetry manuscript of at least 48 pages and no longer than 90. Manuscripts must be submitted using the online portal, and all entries need to adhere to the guidelines available on their website. Online unpublished works are eligible, but individual posts that may have appeared in literary magazines are acceptable. As well as winning the cash prize, the first-place winner’s book will be published as a part of the Akron Series in Poetry. https://uakron.edu/uapress/akron-poetry-prize/

34. 42 Miles Poetry Award, South Bend, IN. The 42 Miles Press Poetry Award was created in an effort to bring urgent and original voices to the poetry reading public. The prize is offered annually to any poet writing in English, including poets who have never published a full-length book as well as poets who have published several. New and Selected collections of poems are also welcome. https://42milespress.com/contest/

35. Omnidawn Poetry Contests, Richmond, CA. Omnidawn Publishing hosts an annual poetry competition awarding first-prize $1000 and publication with 20 author copies. Manuscripts must be in English, and editors encourage a wide range of styles, forms, diversities, and aesthetics (for example: prose, haiku, lyric, and experimental verse). https://www.omnidawn.com/contests/omnidawn-poetry-contests/

36. Townson University Prize for Literature, Towson, MD. Townson University hosts an annual literary prize for a poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction book. Books published within the past three years or scheduled for publication in 2023 are eligible. Publishers, institutions, or individuals can submit three copies of a book or manuscript. It’s important to note that only residents of Maryland who have lived in the state for at least three years can apply. https://www.towson.edu/cla/departments/english/documents/towson_prize_for_literature_rev.pdf

37. Poetry Nation Poetry Contests. Enter your poem for a chance to win up to $2,000 in cash and prizes! Our semi-annual poetry contests award a multitude of prizes to deserving poets. Your poem can be on any topic, using whatever style you prefer. There is no fee to enter our contests, so you have nothing to lose. https://www.poetrynation.com/contest/

38. Oklahoma Poem Contest, Locust Grove, OK. To celebrate National Poetry Month and Oklahoma, the Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry conducts an annual Oklahoma Poem Contest, with cash prizes for the winners. Poems must honor or celebrate Oklahoma in some way. Look at the previous winners below to get an idea of what this means. https://rompoetry.com/oklahoma-poem-contest/

39. The Donald Justice Poetry Prize, West Chester, PA. The Donald Justice Poetry Prize is part of the Spencer Poetry Awards, which Kean W. Spencer created in honor of his mother, Iris N. Spencer. The prize recognizes the distinguished American poet, teacher, and Pulitzer Prize winner, Donald Justice. The WCU Poetry Center welcomes submissions of unpublished, original book-length manuscripts that pay attention to form for consideration in this competition.
The winner of the competition will receive $1,500, and have their manuscript published by Autumn House Press. https://www.wcupa.edu/arts-humanities/poetry/contestAwards.aspx

40. Milton Kessler Memorial Prize for Poetry, Binghamton, NY. They accept submissions of 1-3 poems per reading period–no more than 5 pages total. Please send no more than one poetry submission per reading period. We prefer poems with a strong lyric voice and sense of urgency. https://harpurpalate.submittable.com/submit

The Bottom Line: If you are poet and nobody knows it then it’s time to get busy and enter poetry competitions. Do it TODAY!

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers.

His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.WestwindBookMarketing.com or contact Lorenz at [email protected] or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net.

Would you like help promoting your book?

If so, tell us a little about your book. What is the title? Do you have a publisher? What is the publish date? How many pages is your book? What is the cost? Do you have web site? What is your specific goal I.E., to make money, raise awareness, get the attention of an agent or publisher, sell the story to a movie or TV studio or something else? Submit the form below with this information and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you!