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Top Book Awards Authors Should Pursue

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

Do book awards matter? Absolutely YES!

In fact, just recently one of my clients won the prestigious Los Angeles Book Festival award. That then led to a flurry of media interest, which then led to a major New York agent deciding to represent the book and pitch it to all the major publishing houses. Deals are in the offing. This author, needless to say, is happy he decided to enter.

Pursuing and winning book awards will give you another opportunity to reach out to the media, booksellers and agents. 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 104 book awards worthy of your consideration.

1. Adventure Writer’s Competition, Fountain Hills, AZ. The AWC accepts novels exhibiting (in whole) the general action-adventure-themed genre and style. The Adventure Writer’s Competition is sponsored by the Clive Cussler Collector’s Society, Braveship Books and AJM Books. It is a annual writing competition for published and non-published authors in the action-adventure genre who meet the entry requirements. https://adventurewriterscompetition.com/index.html

2. Agatha Awards, Gaithersburg, MD. The Agatha Awards honor the traditional, “cozy” mystery. That is to say, books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie. Agatha Awards are given for materials first published in the United States by a living author during the calendar year (January 1-December 31), either in hardcover, as a paperback original, or e-published by an e-publishing firm. https://www.malicedomestic.org/agatha-awards.html

3. Alex Awards, Chicago, IL. The Alex Awards were first given annually beginning in 1998. The titles were selected by the YALSA Adult Books for Young Adults Task Force from the previous year’s publishing and were part of the Adult Books for Young Adults Project, which explored the role of adult books in the reading lives of teenagers and was funded by the Margaret Alexander Edwards Trust. https://www.ala.org/yalsa/alex-awards

4. American Eagle Book Awards, Kendall, NY. Each year, American Eagle Book Awards recognizes notable works of fiction by self-published or independently published authors whose books were published in the previous year in the United States. https://americaneaglebookawards.com/

5. Andre Norton Nebula Award for Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction, Enfield, CT. The Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, named to honor prolific science fiction and fantasy author Andre Norton (1912-2005), is a yearly award presented by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) to the author of an outstanding young adult or middle grade science fiction or fantasy book published in the previous year. https://nebulas.sfwa.org/award/andre-norton-award/

6. Anthony Awards, Stevensville, MD. The Anthony Awards are literary awards for mystery writers presented at the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention since 1986. The awards are named for Anthony Boucher (1911-1968), one of the founders of the Mystery Writers of America. Among the most prestigious awards in the world of mystery writers, the Anthony Awards have helped boost the careers of many recipients. https://www.bouchercon.com/

7. Axiom Business Book Awards, Traverse City, MI. The Axiom Business Book Awards are intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary business books and their creators, with the understanding that businesspeople are a very well-read and informed segment of the population, eager to learn about great new books that will inspire and inform them and help them improve their careers and businesses. https://axiomawards.com/

8. Big Moose Prize, Pittsburgh, PA. Each year Black Lawrence Press will award The Big Moose Prize for an unpublished novel. The prize is open to new, emerging, and established writers. The winner of this contest will receive book publication, a $1,000 cash award, and ten copies of the book. Prizes will be awarded on publication. https://www.blacklawrence.com/submissions-and-contests/the-big-moose-prize/

9. Bisexual Book Awards, New York, NY. Books can be submitted by the author, publisher, or the Bi Writers Association (BWA). However, anyone may suggest a book for us to outreach. Any book with a bisexual or bi+ character, bisexual storyline, bisexual subject matter or bisexual themes can be submitted. The book award categories are open to all authors regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Qualifying books should be published in print in English. https://www.biwriters.org/book-award-submissions/

10. New Letters/New Americans Award, Kansas City, MO. New Letters is eager to support writers whose work speaks to the experience of immigrating to the United States. Each calendar year, the New Letters/New Americans prize will award $1000 to a story, poem, or essay about the process of becoming a new American. The winner will be chosen by the editor in chief, from the pool of regular submissions to the magazine. There is no fixed deadline, and submissions are accepted all year long. https://www.newletters.org/new-americans-award/

11. Black River Chapbook Competition, Pittsburgh, PA. Twice each year Black Lawrence Press will run the Black River Chapbook Competition for an unpublished chapbook of poems or short fiction between 16-36 pages in length. The contest is open to new, emerging, and established writers. The winner will receive book publication, a $500 cash award, and ten copies of the book. Prizes are awarded on publication. https://www.blacklawrence.com/submissions-and-contests/the-black-river-chapbook-competition/

12. Blue Ridge Mountains CWC Directors Choice Awards, Ridgecrest, NC. Past and present attendees of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference are eligible to submit their published work to this contest. https://www.blueridgeconference.com/contest-info/#dc

13. Byron Caldwell Smith Book Awards, Lawrence, KS. These awards are given biennially to one individual in each of three categories, residing or employed in Kansas, who has authored an outstanding book published within the two calendar years preceding the application deadline. One $750 award for fiction, one $750 award for non-fiction, and one $750 award for poetry is given each competition cycle. The recipients receive their awards at a public presentation and reception held at the Hall Center. https://hallcenter.ku.edu/byron-caldwell-smith-book-awards

14. Caldecott Medal, Chicago, IL. 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

15. CALIBA Golden Poppy Awards, Campbell, CA. The members of CALIBA present The Golden Poppy Book Awards to recognize the most distinguished books written by writers and artist who make California their home. The Golden Poppies are given for books published in the following categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Cooking & Food, Mystery, Romance, Poetry, Science Fiction, Non-Narrative, Nature Writing, Young Adult, Middle Grade, Children’s Picture Book. Mirrors & Windows and the Martin Cruz Smith/Diversity celebrate diversity and inclusion. https://caliballiance.org/page/GP2023

16. Carol Awards, Palm Bay, FL. The Carol Awards are ACFW’s recognition for the best Christian fiction published by traditional publishing houses in the previous calendar year. Beginning with the 2015 Carol Awards program, certain independently published Christian fiction will be eligible. https://acfw.com/acfw-contests/carol-awards/

17. Chatelaine Awards, Bellingham, WA. Chanticleer Book Reviews is looking for the best books featuring romantic themes and adventures of the heart, historical love affairs, perhaps a little steamy romance, we will put them to the test and choose the best among them. (Hint: check other genres for romance categories as well, such as paranormal, young adult, mystery, etc., multiple submissions are welcome) Awards to be given. https://www.chantireviews.com/services/Romance-&-Womens-Fiction-Writing-Contests-p21521080/

18. Christian Author Awards, Maitland, FL. Sponsored by Xulon Press, the Christian Author Awards recognizes preeminent new Christian authors who are independently published. Full-length books of fiction and non-fiction are eligible. Eligible books must be in English and published in the United States as a self-published work or as a work published by a non-traditional or print-on-demand publisher. The content of eligible books must be consistent with a Christian worldview and the historic Christian faith. https://www.xulonpress.com/christian-writers-award/index.php

19. Christian Book Awards, Phoenix, AZ. The Christian Book Awards are among the most prestigious awards in the religious publishing industry, as well as the oldest. Formerly the Gold Medallion Book Awards, the Christian Book Awards have been awarded to Christian authors since 1978. Given out by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA), the awards honor excellence in content, literary quality, design, and significance of contribution in six categories, including Bibles, Fiction, Children, Inspiration, Bible Reference, and Non-Fiction. https://christianbookawards.com/

20. Christian Indie Awards, Pace, FL. Christian Indie Awards (formerly Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Awards) honors books produced by small publishers and independent authors each year for outstanding contribution to Christian life. Books are nominated by the publishers or authors and voting is open to Christian readers, retailers, and publishing professionals. Voting typically runs in February and March and runs for eight weeks.  https://christianaward.com/

21. Christy Awards, Lawrence, KS. Every year publishers are invited to submit novels written from a Christian worldview and copyrighted in the year preceding the awards. To be eligible, you must submit a full-length work of fiction, including a novella published as a freestanding entity. All eligible submissions must be written by contemporary novelists, not classic writers of the past. Eligible books must be in English and distributed in the United States. https://www.christyawards.com/

22. Cider Press Review Book Award, San Diego, CA. Submit 48-80 pages of original poetry in English not previously published in book form (individual poems may have been previously published in journals, anthologies, and chapbooks). https://ciderpressreview.com/bookaward/#.Y5B64ctByUk

23. CIPA EVVY Book Awards, Lakewood, CO. The EVVY awards are open to any independently or self-published print book, e-book or audio book and may be submitted by the author, publisher or credited service provider (Illustrator, designer, editor, printer, consultant, etc.). CIPA membership is NOT REQUIRED. https://cipabooks.com/cipa-evvy-awards/

24. CMA Book Awards, Chicago, IL. This program recognizes the outstanding work of publishers, authors, and book editors who serve Catholic readers. The Catholic Media Association announces winning entry names at its Catholic Media Conference, publishes them in the Awards issue of The Catholic Journalist, and showcases them on the CMA website. The Book Awards had over 350 entries, 55 categories and 76 applicants including 47 publications and 29 self-publishing authors. Books submitted to the CMA Book Awards must have a copyright date from the preceding year. Publishers may submit any works published by their company, authors may submit works of which they are the primary author or co-author, and editors may submit their compilations or reference books. https://www.catholicmediaassociation.org/book-awards/

25. Coretta Scott King Book Award, Chicago, IL. 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

26. Cybils Awards, Chicago, IL. The Cybils (Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers Literary) Awards were started by a small group of bloggers in 2006 as a grassroots project. Our mission has always been to help discover children’s and YA books which combine the highest literary merit and popular appeal and to bring those books to the attention of librarians, teachers, parents, and others who help to encourage reading in children and teens. No entry fee, but publishers are expected to provide review copies of any books they submit. https://www.cybils.com/

27. Cygnus Awards for Science Fiction, Bellingham, WA. Chanticleer Book Reviews is looking for the best books in the genre. Winners receive editorial book reviews, $200 cash for grand prize and a chance to win $1000 cash. Novels may be Manuscripts, Self-published, Indie Published or Traditionally Published. https://www.chantireviews.com/services/Fantasy-and-SciFi-Blue-Ribbon-Awards-Writing-Contest-p21521218

28. Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Dayton, OH. The Dayton Literary Peace Prize, inaugurated in 2006, is the first and only annual U.S. literary award recognizing the power of the written word to promote peace. The Dayton Literary Peace Prize invites nominations in adult fiction and nonfiction books published within the past year that have led readers to a better understanding of other cultures, peoples, religions, and political points of view. Both awards carry a $10,000 cash prize. https://www.daytonliterarypeaceprize.org/

29. Don D. and Catherine S. Fowler Prize, Salt Lake City, UT. The Don D. and Catherine S. Fowler Prize will be awarded to the best book-length, single-author manuscript in anthropology submitted to the Press. All submitted manuscripts must demonstrate the best substantive research and quality writing. Successful entries will focus on the human experience in the American West. Submissions in archaeology, ethnography, ethnobiology, ethnohistory, ethnolinguistics, biological anthropology, and paleoecology as it pertains to human behavior are especially welcome. The winning author will receive a publication contract with The University of Utah Press that includes a cash prize of $3,000. https://www.uofupress.com/fowler-prize.php

30. Drue Heinz Literature Prize, Pittsburgh, PA. Drue Heinz Literature Prize for a collection of short fiction. The prize carries a cash award of $15,000 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press under its standard contract. Eligible submissions include an unpublished manuscript of short stories; two or more novellas (a novella may comprise a maximum of 130 double-spaced typed pages); or a combination of one or more novellas and short stories. Novellas are only accepted as part of a larger collection. Manuscripts may be no fewer than 150 and no more than 300 typed pages. https://upittpress.org/prize/drue-heinz-literature-prize/

31. DWAA Annual Writing Competition, Westlake Village, CA. The Maxwell Medallion writing contest is open to all writers, editors, publishers, photographers, artists and others whose work falls into the designated competition categories, which include newspaper, blog postings and magazine columns or articles on canine health, training, rescue or other topics, as well as short stories and poetry. https://dogwriters.org/

32. Eric Hoffer Award for Independent Books, Titusville, NJ. The Eric Hoffer Award for independent books recognizes excellence in publishing with a $2,000 grand prize and various category honors and press type distinctions, as well as the winners of the Montaigne Medal, da Vinci Eye, and First Horizon Award. The book awards are covered in the US Review of Books. After the contest, books are donated to libraries, schools, and hospitals where appropriate. http://www.hofferaward.com/

33. Erma Bombeck Writing Competition, Dayton, OH. The Erma Bombeck Writing Competition is hosted every two years by the University of Dayton and the Washington-Centerville Public Library in Centerville, Ohio, where Erma wrote the books and columns that launched her national fame. Capture the essence of Erma’s writings, and you could win $500 and a free registration to the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop. https://www.wclibrary.info/erma/

34. Excellence in Publishing Awards, Ellicott City, MD. The goal of the “Excellence in Publishing Awards” is to recognize the best in Catholic publishing. Publishers may submit multiple books. Publishers who are Foundation Members at the time of submission will receive one free submission for every paid submission. https://www.catholicpublishers.org/Excellence-in-Publishing-Awards

35. Ezra Jack Keats Book Award, Brooklyn, NY. Known collectively as the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award, the New Writer Award was established in 1985 and the New Illustrator Award in 2001 to recognize and encourage emerging talent in the field of children’s books. The EJK Book Award is given annually to an outstanding new writer and new illustrator by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. https://www.ezra-jack-keats.org/ezra-jack-keats-award/

36. Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, Athens, GA. More than fifty short-story collections have appeared in the Flannery O’Connor Award series, which was established to encourage gifted emerging writers by bringing their work to a national readership. The first prize-winning book was published in 1983; the award has since become an important proving ground for writers and a showcase for the talent and promise that have brought about a resurgence in the short story as a genre. Winners are selected through an annual competition that attracts as many as three hundred manuscripts. https://ugapress.org/series/flannery-oconnor-award-for-short-fiction/

37. Florida Book Awards, Tallahassee, FL. The Florida Book Awards is an annual competition that exists for one purpose–to honor the best work written by Florida authors and about Florida culture in the previous year. Begun in 2006, the Florida Book Awards is the most comprehensive state book awards program in the United States, and the only one with a Spanish Language category. The successes and growth the Florida Book Awards have enjoyed in the last ten years are testimony to the quality of authorship and the rich culture of books that exists and continues to prosper in the Sunshine State. https://www.floridabookawards.org/

38. Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards, Traverse City, MI. You have a great book, you’re looking for some recognition, and you want a wider audience to fall in love with it. That’s where Foreword’s annual book awards program comes in. The IndieFab Awards recognize the best in indie book publishing and has been doing so for fifteen years. Our prestigious awards honor great indie books with over 248 winners in 62 categories annually. https://publishers.forewordreviews.com/awards/

39. French Voices Award, New York, NY. The French Voices Award honors both translators and American publishers for their work. The program’s goal is to create a US-published series of books representing the very best of contemporary French writing in every field. This ambitious program is aimed to support translations from French into English. Applications are accepted twice per year and candidates are selected by a literary committee. Books of every genre (fiction, non-fiction, children’s literature, comics and eBooks) are eligible for the French Voices Award. https://face-foundation.org/artistic-funds/albertine-translation/french-voices-applications-2021-1/

40. Futurescapes Writing Contest, Sundance, UT. FutureScapes is an annual writing competition that asks writers to envision a particular future and tell us its story. We could run projections and publish reports, but there’s a reason why Oscar Wilde didn’t say, Life imitates empirical studies. We want to help writers of excellent potential find their voice while shaping tomorrow. https://futurescapes.ink/

41. Geisel Award, USA. The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award is given annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States during the preceding year. https://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/geisel

42. Genesis Contest, Palm Bay, FL. The ACFW Genesis Contest is for unpublished Christian fiction writers. With ten categories to enter, Genesis provides the opportunity for unbiased feedback on writers’ work by published authors and experienced judges, and the chance for finalists to have their work read by Christian publishing house editors and literary agents. https://acfw.com/acfw-contests/genesis-contest/

43. Gertrude Warner Awards for Middle-Grade Books, Bellingham, WA. Chanticleer Book Reviews is looking for the best books featuring stories of all shapes and sizes written to an audience between the ages of about eight to twelve. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, Paranormal, Historical, Adventure we will put them to the test and choose the best Middle Grade Books among them. https://www.chantireviews.com/services/Middle-Grade-Fiction-Writing-Contests-Chanticleer-Book-Reviews-p58078131

44. Global eBook Awards, Santa Barbara, CA. The Global eBook Awards are more than an honor for the best eBooks published, they offer high-profile publicity for eBook authors, publishers, and eBooks. https://globalebookawards.com/

45. HeartWood Broadside Series Contest, Buckhannon, WV. Submit one poem (of any form) or flash prose piece (fiction or nonfiction) per entry; regardless of genre, the entry must be 200 words or less. There is no limit on the number of entries per person. http://www.heartwoodlitmag.com/submit

46. Henry and Anne Paolucci Book Award, Wilmington, DE. The Paolucci Book Award is an annual honor recognizing the best book that advances conservative principles. The award is named in memory of Henry and Anne Paolucci, distinguished scholars, teachers, and writers who exemplified the ideal of the public intellectual. https://home.isi.org/professors/paolucci-book-award

47. High Plains Book Award, Billings, MT. The High Plains Books Awards recognize regional authors and/or literary works which examine and reflect life on the High Plains. The High Plains region includes Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. https://www.highplainsbookawards.org/

48. Hudson Prize, Pittsburgh, PA. Each year Black Lawrence Press will award The Hudson Prize for an unpublished collection of poems or short stories. The prize is open to new, emerging, and established writers. The winner of this contest will receive book publication, a $1,000 cash award, and ten copies of the book. Prizes awarded on publication. https://blacklawrencepress.com/submissions-and-contests/the-hudson-prize/

49. Hugo Awards, Cambridge, MA. The Hugo Awards, presented annually since 1955, are science fiction’s most prestigious award. They were first awarded in 1953 and have been awarded every year since 1955. The awards are run by and voted on by fans. https://www.thehugoawards.org/

50. IACP Cookbook Awards, New York, NY. The IACP Cookbook Awards honor the authors, publishers, and other contributors behind the best cookbooks published each year. Being acknowledged as a finalist or winner has become a coveted mark of distinction, in part because of the program’s growing list of illustrious honorees, who, over the years, have included Rick Bayless, Mark Bittman, Dorie Greenspan, Thomas Keller, and Julia Child, CCP, among others. The program is also widely lauded as the most selective in the industry due to its two-tier judging process that requires recipe testing in all relevant awards categories. https://www.iacp.com/awards/

51. IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award, Manhattan Beach, CA. The IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award for excellence in book publishing is regarded as one of the highest national honors for small and independent publishers. The awards are administered by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), with help from over 150 book publishing professionals including librarians, bookstore owners, reviewers, designers, publicity managers, and editors. They are unique in that the entrants receive direct feedback on their titles. The actual judging forms are returned to all participating publishers. https://www.ibpabenjaminfranklinaward.com/

52. IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize, Chicago, IL. Established in 2007 at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law by alumnus Roy C. Palmer and his wife, Susan M. Palmer, the prize honors a work of scholarship that explores the tension between civil liberties and national security in contemporary American society. The $10,000 prize is designed to encourage and reward public debate among scholars on current issues affecting the rights of individuals and the responsibilities of governments throughout the world. https://kentlaw.iit.edu/law/faculty-scholarship/conferences-lecture-series/palmer-prize-lecture

53. ILA Children’s and Young Adults’ Book Awards, Newark, DE. The ILA Children’s and Young Adults’; Book Awards are intended for newly published authors who show unusual promise in the children’s and young adults’ book field. Awards are given for fiction and nonfiction in each of three categories: primary, intermediate, and young adult. Books from all countries and published in English for the first time during the calendar year will be considered. https://www.literacyworldwide.org/get-involved/awards-recognition/awards-grants/ila-children’s-and-young-adults’-book-awards

54. Illumination Book Awards, Traverse City, MI. With the motto, “Shining a Light on Exemplary Christian Books,” the Illumination Book Awards are designed to honor the year’s best new titles written and published with a Christian worldview. Authors, illustrators, publishers and self-publishers of Christian books written in English and intended for the North American market may enter. Authors and illustrators are welcome to enter their books themselves. https://illuminationawards.com/

55. Independent Publisher Book Awards, Traverse City, MI. 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 titles published each year. https://ippyawards.com/

56. Instruction & Insight Book Awards, Bellingham, WA. CIBA is looking for the best Non-narrative/Non-Fiction books including guidebooks, instructional books, inspirational books and more. There is a $75.00 US Dollar fee and an amazing prize package. https://www.chantireviews.com/services/Non-Fiction-Guides-and-How-To-Book-Awards-Chanticleer-Book-Reviews-p77617464

57. Iowa Short Fiction Award & John Simmons Short Fiction Award, Iowa City, IA. Any writer who has not previously published a volume of prose fiction is eligible to enter the competition. The manuscript must be a collection of short stories in English of at least 150 word-processed, double-spaced pages. We do not accept e-mail submissions. https://uipress.uiowa.edu/resources/prospective-authors/iowa-short-fiction-award

58. John Dos Passos Prize for Literature, Farmville, VA. The John Dos Passos Prize for Literature is given annually by Longwood University to an underappreciated writer whose work offers incisive, original commentary on American themes. The winner of the prize receives an honorarium and will give a reading on Longwood’s campus in the spring. http://www.longwood.edu/english/dos-passos-prize/

59. Kindle Book Awards, Kokomo, IN. The Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Book Awards is co-sponsored by book sites like Kindle Boards, Digital Book Today, World Literary Cafe, and Author Marketing Club. Any independent or small press author can submit books in the categories of Mystery/Thriller, Romance, Y/A, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Literary Fiction, Horror/Suspense, and Non-Fiction. https://www.thekindlebookreview.net/11th-annual-kindle-book-awards/

60. Maine Literary Awards, Portland, ME. The 2018 Maine Literary Awards are open to all current Maine residents, including seasonal residents. All nominations to the Book Awards, regardless of category, must have been published during the 2017 calendar year. The editors (or lead editor) of books entered in the Anthology category must be Maine residents. Maine publishers of books by out-of- state authors may enter the Excellence in Publishing Award. Nominations to the Drama Awards and Short Works Awards may be unpublished or previously published works, as well as excerpts from larger works; previously published short works must have been published in 2017. Maine writers may self-nominate or be nominated by others. https://www.mainewriters.org/maine-literary-awards#mla-submit

61. Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award, Westminster, MD. The Black-Eyed Susan Book Award is a children’s choice award for the state of Maryland. Each year since 1992, the Black-Eyed Susan Book Award has been given to authors and/or illustrators of outstanding books chosen for the award by Maryland students. The award seeks to promote literacy and lifelong reading habits by encouraging students to read quality, contemporary literature. https://www.maslmd.org/black-eyed-susan-award

62. Michael L. Printz Award, Chicago, IL. 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

63. Nilsen Literary Prize for a First Novel, Cape Girardeau, MO. Award: $2,000 and publication by Southeast Missouri State University Press. Manuscripts submitted to the contest will be read and judged anonymously. http://www.semopress.com/events/nilsen-prize/

64. Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, Cape Girardeau, MO. Created by the Missouri Humanities Council, the Warrior Arts Alliance, and Southeast Missouri State University Press, this series of anthologies preserves and shares military service perspectives of our soldiers and veterans of all conflicts and of their families. It is not only an outlet for artistic expression but also a document of the unique aspects of wartime in our nation’s history. http://www.semopress.com/events/proud-to-be-writing-by-american-warriors/

65. Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards, Traverse City, MI. The Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards contest is designed to honor the year’s best children’s books, authors, and illustrators. The program is open to authors, illustrators, and publishers of children’s books written in English or Spanish and intended for the North American market. Awards are given in 42 print book and six e-book categories covering the full range of subjects, styles, and age groups that children’s books are written and published in today. https://moonbeamawards.com/

66. Mystery & Mayhem Awards, Bellingham, WA. The M&M Awards reward independently published books and unpublished manuscripts in the following categories: Amateur Sleuth, Romance, Animals, Hobbies, Blended Genres, Medical/Lab Lit, Travel/Vacation/Exotic Locales, Humorous, Senior Sleuths, Historical/Period, Y/A, and Classic/British-English Cozy to Not-so-Cozy. https://www.chantireviews.com/services/Cozy-Mystery-Novels-Writing-Contest-p21521076

67. Mystery & Mayhem Awards – Cozy Mystery Writing Contest, Bellingham, WA. Chanticleer Book Reviews is looking for the best books featuring “mystery and mayhem”, amateur sleuthing, light suspense, travel mystery, classic mystery, British cozy, hobby sleuths, senior sleuths, or historical mystery, perhaps with a touch of romance or humor, we will put them to the test and choose the best among them. (For suspense, thriller, detective, crime fiction sees our Clue Awards). https://www.chantireviews.com/services/Cozy-Mystery-Novels-Writing-Contest-p21521076

68. Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, Stillwater, OK. The Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature is given to the fantasy novel, multi-volume novel, or single-author story collection for adults published during the previous year that best exemplifies the spirit of the Inklings. Books not selected as finalists in the year after publication are eligible for a second year. Books from a series are eligible if they stand on their own; otherwise, the series becomes eligible the year its final volume appears. https://www.mythsoc.org/awards.htm

69. Narrative Fall Story Contest, San Francisco, CA. Entries can include short shorts, short stories, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, all forms of literary nonfiction, and excerpts from longer works of both fiction and nonfiction. Entries must be previously unpublished, no longer than 15,000 words, and must not have been previously chosen as a winner, finalist, or honorable mention in another contest. https://www.narrativemagazine.com/great-stories/narrative-prize

70. National Book Awards, New York, NY. The National Book Award is one of the nation’s most prestigious literary prizes and has a stellar record of identifying and rewarding quality writing. In 1950, William Carlos Williams was the first Winner in Poetry, the following year William Faulkner was honored in Fiction, and so on through the years. Many previous Winners of a National Book Award are now firmly established in the canon of American literature, such as Sherman Alexie, Louise Erdrich, Jonathan Franzen, Denis Johnson, Joyce Carol Oates, and Adrienne Rich. https://www.nationalbook.org/

71. National Indie Excellence Awards, Hermosa Beach, CA. The National Indie Excellence Awards is open to all English language books available for sale, including small presses, mid-size independent publishers, university presses, and self-published authors. The National Indie Excellence Awards exists to help establish independent publishing as a strong and proud facet of the publishing industry. https://www.indieexcellence.com/

72. National Outdoor Book Awards, Pocatello, ID. The National Outdoor Book Awards (NOBA) is a non-profit educational program sponsored by the NOBA Foundation, the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education, and Idaho State University. Its purpose is to recognize and encourage outstanding writing and publishing in the outdoor field. Books may be nominated for awards in one of ten categories. http://www.noba-web.org/

73. Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction, Fort Collins, CO. The Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction was established in 2004 in memory of Liza Nelligan, a writer, editor, and friend of many in Colorado State University’s English Department, where she received her master’s degree in literature in 1992. The Nelligan Prize is offered annually. The winner receives a $2,000 honorarium and the story is published in the fall/winter issue of Colorado Review. https://coloradoreview.colostate.edu/nelligan-prize/

74. The 20th Annual “Best Book” Awards, Sponsored by American Book Fest, Los Angeles & Phoenix. Over their 20-year history, thousands of self-published and indie authors have leveraged the promotional power of their Best Book Award to increase online recognition, enhance their title’s credibility, and garner more attention in the crowded book buying marketplace. http://www.americanbookfest.com/2023bestbookawards.html

75. New England Book Awards, Cambridge, MA. Titles must be either about New England, set in New England or by an author residing in New England. It can be a hardcover, a paperback original or reissue that was published between September 1, 2014, and August 31, 2015. https://newenglandbooks.org/page/book-awards

76. New Letters Editor’s Choice Award, Kansas City, MO. We’re looking for work those experiments, that crosses the traditional boundaries of genre and form. Enter your hybrid work – your lyric essays, prose poems, short-shorts, collages, micro-memoirs… whatever you’re doing that’s experimental, that defies easy categorization. https://www.newletters.org/editors-choice-award/

77. Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Lake Oswego, OR. The Next Generation Indie Book Awards (#NGIBA) is the largest non-profit book awards program for indie authors and publishers. The Next Generation Indie Book Awards was established to recognize and honor the most exceptional independently published books in over 70 different categories, for the year, and is presented by Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group (www.IBPPG.com) in cooperation with Marilyn Allen of Allen O’Shea Literary Agency. https://indiebookawards.com/

78. Pacific Northwest Book Awards, Eugene, OR. Since 1964 the PNBA has presented annual awards to recognize excellence in writing from the Pacific Northwest. Rather than soliciting nominations for specific categories, we simply require that the author and/or illustrator reside within the PNBA region (Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Montana, Idaho, and British Columbia) and that the book be published within the current calendar year. In addition, nominations may be submitted for special awards honoring efforts in publishing, illustration, or for a body of work. Special awards are determined at the discretion of PNBA’s Book Awards Committee. http://www.pnba.org/book-awards.html

79. Parents’ Choice Awards, Timonium, MD. Designed to help parents and caregivers of all achievements and backgrounds make informed decisions about which new products are right for their children, the Parents’ Choice Awards is the nation’s oldest nonprofit program created to recognize quality children’s media. The Parents’ Choice Awards program honors the best material for children: books, toys, music and storytelling, magazines, software, videogames, television, and websites. Parents’ Choice Foundation’s panels of educators, scientists, performing artists, librarians, parents and, yes, kids themselves, identify the very best products for children of different ages and backgrounds, and of varied skill and interest levels. http://parents-choice.org/

80. PEN Translation Prize, New York, NY. The $3,000 PEN Translation Prize invites submissions of book-length translations from any language into English published during the current calendar year. Eligible titles must be original book-length literary translations published by a U.S. trade publisher. Self-published books and reprints are not eligible. https://pen.org/pen-translation-prize/

81. Prime Number Magazine Awards, Winston-Salem, NC. Submit one unpublished poem or story. Poem should be no more than three pages in length (no word count needed) with numbered pages and spaced according to the poet’s intended style. Short story should be 53 to 5,300 words, double-spaced in 12-pt. type with numbered pages. https://www.press53.com/prime-number-magazine-awards

82. Pura Belpré Award, Chicago, IL. The award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. It is co-sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, an ALA affiliate. https://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/belpre

83. R.L. Shep Ethnic Textiles Book Award, Berkeley, CA. Given annually to a publication judged to be the best book in the field of ethnic textile studies, the award consists of a cash prize funded by an endowment established by R.L. Shep in 2000. The purpose of this award is to encourage the study and understanding of textile traditions by recognizing and rewarding exceptional scholarship. Books are reviewed by the R. L. Shep Award Committee. https://textilesocietyofamerica.org/programs/awards-scholarships/shep

84. Read Russia Prize, New York, NY. The READ RUSSIA PRIZE is a cash prize of up to $10,000 awarded in New York each May for works of Russian literature in English translation in the following categories: contemporary fiction written after 1990; 20th-century fiction written between 1900 and 1990; 19th-century fiction written between 1800 and 1900; and poetry (classic and contemporary). https://readrussia.org/journal/article/announcing-the-2020-read-russia-prize

85. Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, Brooklyn, NY. The ethos of America is defined by its immigrants. Their stories have always been an essential component of the nation’s cultural consciousness, from Isaac Bashevis Singer to Jhumpa Lahiri, from Jacob Riis to Maxine Hong Kingston. In novels, short stories, memoirs, and works of journalism, immigrants have shown us what resilience and family devotion we’re capable of and have expanded our sense of what it means to be American. In these times of intense xenophobia, it is more important than ever that these stories reach the broadest possible audience. https://restlessbooks.org/prize-for-new-immigrant-writing

86. PROSE Awards, Philadelphia, PA. Since 1976, the Association of American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE Awards) have recognized the very best in professional and scholarly publishing by celebrating the authors, editors, and publishers whose landmark works have made significant advancements in their respective fields of study each year. https://proseawards.com/

87. Schneider Family Book Awards, Chicago, IL. The Schneider Family Book Awards are designed to recognize authors or illustrators for portraying storylines featuring characters with special needs. The awards are given annually for books aimed at each of three audiences’ children up to age 8, kids ages 9 to 13 and teens ages 14 to 18. https://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/schneider-family-book-award

88. Shamus Awards, Laughlin, NV. Eligible works must feature as a main character a person PAID for investigative work but NOT employed for that work by a unit of government. These include traditionally licensed private investigators; lawyers and reporters who do their own investigations; and others who function as hired private agents. These do NOT include law enforcement officers, other government employees or amateur, uncompensated sleuths. There is no application fee and no submission form; as a simple cover letter will suffice. http://www.privateeyewriters.com/shamus_submissions.html

89. Shelf Unbound Competition For Best Indie/Self-Published Book, Richardson, TX. Any independently published book in any genre is eligible for entry. “Independently Published” books include self-published books and e-books (such as those published through CreateSpace, Lulu.com, iUniverse, etc.) and/or books and e-books published through small presses releasing less than five titles per year. 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/

90. Sophie Brody Award, Chicago, IL. The Sophie Brody Medal is funded by the Brodart 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 are eligible for the award. https://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/awards/258/apply

91. Stonewall Book Awards, Chicago, IL. The first and most enduring award for LGBTQIA+ books is the Stonewall Book Awards, sponsored by the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table. Since Isabel Miller’s Patience and Sarah received the first award in 1971, many other books have been honored for exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience. https://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/stonewall-book-awards

92. Tethered by Letters Fiction Literary Competition, Elizabeth, CO. TBL is pleased to announce our Spring Literary Competition. There are three submission categories: 1) short stories of any genre ranging from 1,000 to 7,500 words, 2) flash fiction with a word limit of either 55, 250, or 500 words, and 3) poetry no longer than three pages. For these contests we are looking for engaging stories, vivid characters, and fresh perspectives and styles. https://frictionlit.org/contests/

93. The Black Orchid Novella Award, New York, NY. The Black Orchid Novella Award offers a $1,000 prize to the best original, unpublished novella that conforms to the tradition of the Nero Wolfe series. Entries must be 15,000 to 20,000 words in length and submitted by the deadline. http://www.nerowolfe.org/htm/literary_awards/black_orchid_award/Black_Orchid_award_intro.htm

94. The Killer Nashville Claymore Award, Franklin, TN. Every year, the Killer Nashville Claymore Award assists new and rebranding English-language fiction authors get published, including possible agent representation, book advances, editor deals, and movie and television sales. https://www.killernashville.com/the-claymore-award

95. The Masters Review Flash Fiction Contest, Bend, OR. Send us your stories under 1000 words! We love a good piece of flash fiction. The winner will receive $3000, publication, and a spot in Kathy Fish’s Fast Flash online workshop. Our love of flash fiction runs deep. And throughout our years of reading work by emerging writers we’ve seen some incredible pieces of small and powerful fiction. We are proud to now offer a contest dedicated solely to flash. So here it is: a home for your very best small fiction. Send us big worlds in tiny packages, large ideas with a low word count. Dazzle us with your best fiction under 1000 words. https://mastersreview.com/flash-fiction-contest/

96. Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, Lawrence, KS. The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award is an annual award presented by the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas to the author of the best short science fiction story published in English in the preceding calendar year. Nominations are only accepted from editors and reviewers directly solicited. https://sfcenter.ku.edu/sturgeon-award

97. Three Percent Best Translated Book Awards, Rochester, NY. Launched by the weblog Three Percent in 2007, the Best Translated Book Awards aim to bring attention to the best original works of international fiction and poetry published in the US during the previous year. Starting in 2011, each winning translator and author will be awarded a $5000 cash prize and a plaque. http://www.rochester.edu/College/translation/threepercent/index.php?s=btb

98. Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award, San Marcos, TX. Texas State University College of Education developed The Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award to honor authors and illustrators who create literature that depicts the Mexican American experience. The award was established in 1995 and was named in honor of Dr. Tomás Rivera, a distinguished alumnus of Texas State University. https://www.education.txst.edu/ci/riverabookaward/

99. Twisted Mystery Podcast Contest, Valencia, CA. We are looking for audio books that walk the line between torment and contempt. Tantalizing and torturous. Desire and degradation. Literally, we could do this all day, but we’ll stop. If you feel like your mystery novel goes to the edge without plunging over into infamy, please let us have a look. https://62e593661829a.site123.me/

100. Vermont Book Award, Montpelier, VT. The Vermont Book Award is a new prize created to honor artists with deep connections to the state of Vermont, and to draw attention to a state so uniquely suited for creative enterprise. To be eligible for this year’s prize, a book must either be set in Vermont, published by a Vermont press, or written by a Vermont writer. https://vcfa.edu/vermont-book-awards/

101. Western Writers of America Spur Awards, NM. To be eligible, works submitted must be set in the American West, the early frontier, or relate to the Western or frontier experience. Submitted works must be first copyrighted and published in the calendar year covered by the award. Categories include Western Traditional novel, Historical novel, First novel, Non-fiction, Biography, Short Fiction, Short Nonfiction, Juvenile Fiction, Drama, Documentary Script, Children’s book, Poem and Song. https://westernwriters.org/spur-awards/

102. World Fantasy Awards, Mukilteo, WA. The World Fantasy Awards, established in 1975, are presented annually at the World Fantasy Convention. The World Fantasy Award has been described as one of the three most prestigious speculative fiction awards. The nine awards are presented at the banquet of the World Fantasy Convention held each year in late October – early November. Two of the nominees on the final ballot are determined by readers while the remainder come from the ballots put together by a panel of judges who change annually. The judges select the recipients in a second round of voting. The awards are based on work done during the previous calendar year. http://www.worldfantasy.org/

103. Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards, Blue Ash, OH. Writer’s Digest’s 9th Annual Self-Published E-book Awards honors the best self-published e-book(s) in eight of the most popular categories with $5,000 in cash, a featured interview in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a paid trip to the ever-popular Writer’s Digest Annual Conference in New York City. In addition to $13,000 in total cash prizes, all entrants will receive a brief review of their book from one of Writer’s Digest’s competition readers. https://www.writersdigest.com/writers-digest-competitions/self-published-ebook-awards

104. Young Readers Choice Awards, Bothell, WA. The Pacific Northwest Library Association’s Young Reader’s Choice Award is the oldest children’s choice award in the U.S. and Canada. Chosen by the children of Alberta, Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, from books published 3 years previously, and nominated by librarians, teachers, and students. https://pnla.org/young-readers-choice-award/

Need another reason to enter? Jim Cox of Midwest Book Review says, “The fact is award stickers help to convince buyers to purchase. I’ve seen this happen with librarians — when faced with two competing titles and a limited acquisition budget the librarians will take the one that won an award, any award, over the title that doesn’t have an award to its credit. I’m confident that this same phenomenon works for bookstore patrons browsing the shelves as well.”

The Bottom Line: Book awards do matter. Enter a few 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.

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