Book Awards

Winning an award for your book is not just an affirmation of your talent as a writer. It can also be a huge marketing boost for your book’s sales. Most of the better awards receive a lot of media coverage and are followed by publishers. librarians, book reviewers, and, most importantly, book buyers. In addition to the free publicity that comes with winning an award, the author and publisher can then promote the award in marketing material, on the book’s cover, and in online listings.

 

We have grouped our listing of book awards into several classifications based on their prestige and eligibility requirements. We try to keep current on the award criteria and submission deadlines, but you should click on the award name to go to the award’s website for the latest information.

Major Awards – These are the most prestigious book awards, but they are generally limited to entries from established, traditional publishers. However, a well-positioned independent publisher should consider applying if they feel that their book is worthy of consideration.

Top Indie Awards – These programs allow or are limited to books published by independent publishers, including self-published authors. We have listed them from broadest genre eligibility to most restrictive. Some of these are “Pay to Win” awards, but they have reached a high enough level of credibility and recognition in the industry to justify their inclusion in this list.

Children’s Books – There are more awards available for Children’s and Young Adult Books than any other genre. We have put the awards in these genres which are open to independently published books in their own group.

Christian – If your book has a Christian theme, you should consider these awards. Many of them are sponsored by Christian retail associations which provides direct marketing potential for your book.

eBooks – There are a few awards that are open only to eBooks. This does not necessarily mean that the book is only available as an eBook, but the award is based on the eBook version and usually looks at design as strongly as content.

Pay-to-Win – These awards are primarily commercial operations where the primary winner is the sponsor. Although the author can legitimately promote that they have won the award and it may help direct sales to consumers, the awards hold little weight with librarians, publishers, and book retailers.

Looking for a specific award? Want to search by genre? Use our searchable table at the bottom of this page.

Can’t find it? If you have a question on an award not listed here, please ask us to check it out.

 
ALA Children’s Book Awards

Batchelder Award
Belpré Medal
Caldecott Medal
Geisel Award
Newbery Medal
Odyssey Award
Sibert Medal
Children’s Literature Legacy Award (f/k/a Wilder Medal)

Genre: Various types of Children’s Books
Other entry criteria: Must be nominated by an ALA librarian
Sponsor: American Library Association
Entry deadline: Various
Entry fee: $0


ALA Young Adult Book Awards

Alex Awards
Edwards Award
Morris Award
Odyssey Award
Excellence in Nonfiction Award
Printz Award

Genre: Various types of Young Adult Books
Other entry criteria: Must be nominated by an ALA librarian
Sponsor: Young Adult Library Services Association (ALA)
Entry deadline: Various
Entry fee: $0


Booker Prize Foundation

Man Booker Prizes

Genre: Fiction
Other entry criteria: Established publishers only
Sponsor: The Man Group
Entry deadline: March
Eligible time of publication: Oct.-Sept. of Award Year
Entry fee: $0


ECPA

Christian Book Award

Genre: 10 Christian categories
Other entry criteria: Established publishers only
Sponsor: Evangelical Christian Publishers Association
Entry deadline: September
Eligible time of publication: Prior October to September of Award Year
Entry fee: $175


National Book Critics Circle

National Book Critics Circle Award

Genre: Fiction, Nonfiction, Biography, Autobiography, Poetry, and Criticism
Other entry criteria: Selected for consideration by a member of the Book Critics Circle
Sponsor: National Book Critics Circle


PEN/Faulkner Foundation

PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

Genre: Fiction
Other entry criteria: Established publishers only
Sponsor: PEN/Faulkner Foundation
Entry deadline: Oct. 15
Eligible time of publication: Current Calendar Year
Entry fee: $0


Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators

Crystal Kite Awards

Genre: Children’s Books
Other entry criteria: Author must be SCBWI member and published by recognized publisher
Sponsor: Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
Entry deadline: March 21
Eligible time of publication: Prior Calendar Year
Entry fee: $0


Mystery Writers of America

The Edgar Awards

Genre: Mystery
Other entry criteria: Must be published by approved publisher
Sponsor: Mystery Writers of America
Entry deadline: Month of Publication
Eligible time of publication: Current Calendar Year
Entry fee: $0

]National Book Awards

Genre: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature
Other entry criteria: Established publishers and independent publishers
Sponsor: National Book Foundation
Entry deadline: May 16
Eligible time of publication: Prior Dec. to Nov. of Award Year
Entry fee: $135


American Book Awards

Genre: All
Other entry criteria: None
Sponsor:  Before Columbus Foundation
Entry deadline: Dec. 31
Eligible time of publication: Any
Entry fee: $0


Governor General’s Literary Awards

Genre: All – See website for details
Other entry criteria: Books by Canadians in various genres
Sponsor: Canada Council for the Arts
Entry deadline: Various
Eligible time of publication: Various
Entry fee: $0


Benjamin Franklin Awards

Genre: 41 Genre categories; 7 Design categories; 6 New Author/Publisher Awards
Other entry criteria: Independently published books only
Sponsor: IBPA
Entry deadline: Dec. 15
Eligible time of publication: Current Calendar Year
Entry fee: $95 (IBPA membership required – $129/year)


Next Generation Indie Book Awards

Genre: 70 General Subject Matter categories; 6 Top Fiction/Non-Fiction Awards
Other entry criteria: none
Sponsor: IBPPG.com
Entry deadline: February
Eligible time of publication: Prior 2 calendar years
Entry fee: $75


Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards

Genre: 56 Genre categories
Other entry criteria: Independently published books only
Sponsor: Foreword Magazine
Entry deadline: Jan. 15
Eligible time of publication: Prior Calendar Year
Entry fee: $99 (early bird discounts available)


IPPY Awards

Genre: 85 Genre categories; 3 Design categories; 10 eBook; 12 Regional categories
Other entry criteria: Independently published books only
Sponsor: Jenkins Group
Entry deadline: End of February
Eligible time of publication: Prior 2 Calendar Years
Entry fee: $95 (early bird discounts available)


Nautilus Awards

Genre: 35 Categories of spiritual growth, conscious living and positive social change
Other entry criteria: None
Sponsor: Nautilus Awards
Entry deadline: February
Eligible time of publication: Prior 2 Calendar Years
Entry fee: $185


Robert F. Kennedy Book Award

Genre: Works of moral insight and imagination which uphold a vision of political inclusion, compassion, and justice
Other entry criteria: None
Sponsor: Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
Entry deadline: Early February
Eligible time of publication: Prior Calendar Year
Entry fee: $75


BCALA Literary Award

Genre: Books by African American authors about the African American experience
Other entry criteria: None
Sponsor: Black Caucus of the ALA
Entry deadline: Dec. 16
Eligible time of publication: Current Calendar Year
Entry fee: $0


Lambda Literary Awards

Genre: 24 LGBTQ categories
Other entry criteria: None
Sponsor: Lambda Literary
Entry deadline: Dec. 1
Eligible time of publication: Current Calendar Year
Entry fee: $45


Maine Literary Awards

Genre: 18 General categories
Other entry criteria: Author must be Maine resident (includes seasonal residents)
Sponsor: Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance
Entry deadline: February
Eligible time of publication: Prior Calendar Year
Entry fee: $0


Minnesota Book Awards

Genre: 8 General categories
Other entry criteria: Author must be Minnesota resident
Sponsor: The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library
Entry deadline: First Friday in Dec.
Eligible time of publication: Current Calendar Year
Entry fee: $45


RITA Award

Genre: 12 Romance categories
Other entry criteria: Anyone can enter, but RWA members receive preference
Sponsor: Romance Writers of America
Entry deadline: Nov. 20
Eligible time of publication: Current Calendar Year
Entry fee: $50 ($170 for non-members)


The Hammett Prize

Genre: Crime Fiction (crime, suspense, thriller, mystery, or espionage
Other entry criteria: Usually nominated by a member, but other submissions are accepted
Sponsor: International Association of Crime Writers / North American Branch
Entry deadline: Dec. 15
Eligible time of publication: Current Calendar Year
Entry fee: $0


Macavity Award

Genre: Traditional Mystery
Other entry criteria: Must be nominated by a member, but membership is quite open
Sponsor: Mystery Readers International
Entry deadline: Dec.
Eligible time of publication: Current Calendar Year
Entry fee: $0


Shamus Award

Genre: Traditional Mystery
Other entry criteria: Main character must be a Private Investigator
Sponsor: Private Eye Writers of America
Entry deadline: March
Eligible time of publication: Prior Calendar Year
Entry fee: $0


James Beard Book Award

Genre: 12 Cookbook categories
Other entry criteria: None
Sponsor: James Beard Foundation
Entry deadline: Dec. 11
Eligible time of publication: Current Calendar Year
Entry fee: $150


Spur Awards

Genre: 17 Western categories
Other entry criteria:
Sponsor: Western Writers of America
Entry deadline: January
Eligible time of publication: Current Calendar Year
Entry fee: $0


Bram Stoker Awards

Genre: Horror Fiction
Other entry criteria: Nomination by member or selection from submissions
Sponsor: Horror Writers Association
Entry deadline: Nov. 30
Eligible time of publication: Current Calendar Year
Entry fee: $0


Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction

Genre: Historical Fiction set in the Americas
Other entry criteria:  None
Sponsor: Scott O’Dell
Entry deadline: Dec. 31
Eligible time of publication: Current Calendar Year
Entry fee: $0


Nebula Awards

Genre: Science fiction and fantasy
Other entry criteria: Must be nominated by a member
Sponsor: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
Entry deadline: Feb. 15
Eligible time of publication: Prior Calendar Year
Entry fee: $0


Hugo Awards

Genre: Science fiction and fantasy
Other entry criteria: Must be nominated by a member
Sponsor: MidAmeriCon II
Entry deadline: March
Eligible time of publication: Prior Calendar Year
Entry fee: $0


James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award

Genre: Science fiction and fantasy
Other entry criteria: Emphasis on female authors (see website)
Sponsor: James Tiptree Jr. Literary Council
Entry deadline: Dec.
Eligible time of publication: Current Calendar Year
Entry fee: $0

See the ALA awards  under Major Awards. Also, many of the Top Indie Awards have Children’s categories.

Golden Kite Awards

Genre: 5 categories of children’s and young adult books
Other entry criteria: Must be SCBWI member
Sponsor: Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
Entry deadline:
Eligible time of publication: Prior Calendar Year
Entry fee: $0


Spark Award

Genre: 5 categories of children’s and young adult books
Other entry criteria: Only self-published books. Must be SCBWI member
Sponsor: Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
Entry deadline:
Eligible time of publication: Prior Calendar Year
Entry fee: $0


Horn Book Award

Genre: 3 categories of children’s and young adult books
Other entry criteria: None
Sponsor: Horn Book
Entry deadline: May
Eligible time of publication: Prior 12 months
Entry fee: $0


Triple Crown Awards

Genre: 3 Grade level categories for Christian Children and YA books
Other entry criteria: Winners based on voting, not judging.
Sponsor: Triple Crown Awards (National Christian School Association)
Entry deadline: October
Eligible time of publication: Current and Prior Calendar Year
Entry fee: $0


ILA Children’s and Young Adults’ Book Awards

Genre: 6 categories of children’s and young adult books
Other entry criteria: Author’s 1st or 2nd book
Sponsor: International Literacy Association
Entry deadline: March 15
Eligible time of publication: Prior Calendar Year
Entry fee: $0


Sydney Taylor Book Award

Genre: Books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience
Other entry criteria: None
Sponsor: Association of Jewish Libraries
Entry deadline: Nov. 30
Eligible time of publication: Current Calendar Year
Entry fee: $0


Young Readers’ Choice Awards

Genre: 3 divisions of Young Adult
Other entry criteria: Must be nominated by parent, teacher, or librarian in Pacific Northwest
Sponsor: Pacific Northwest Library Association
Entry deadline: Oct. 30
Eligible time of publication: 3rd prior calendar year (e.g., 2015 publication date for 2018 award)
Entry fee: $0


Giverny Award

Genre: Children’s Science book
Other entry criteria: None
Sponsor: 15º Laboratory
Entry deadline: March
Eligible time of publication: Prior 5  Years
Entry fee: $0


Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards

See entry under Pay to Win

Christian Book Award

See entry under Major Awards


Christianity Today Book Awards

Genre: 13 Christian categories
Other entry criteria: None
Sponsor: Christianity Today
Entry deadline: August
Eligible time of publication: Prior Nov. to Oct. of Award Year
Entry fee: $30


Christy Awards

Genre: 9 Christian Fiction categories
Other entry criteria: Authors must meet certain prior publishing criteria
Sponsor: Christy Awards
Entry deadline: Early Dec.
Eligible time of publication: Current Calendar Year
Entry fee: $175


Carol Awards

Genre: 11 Christian Fiction categories
Other entry criteria: Independently published books are pre-screened for quality
Sponsor: American Christian Fiction Writers
Entry deadline: March 1
Eligible time of publication: Prior Calendar Year
Entry fee: $115 ($45 for ACFW members)


Genesis Contest 

Genre: 10 Christian Fiction categories
Other entry criteria: Unpublished manuscripts only!
Sponsor: American Christian Fiction Writers
Entry deadline: March 15
Entry fee: $95 ($35 for ACFW members)


CPA Book Awards

Genre: 33 Christian (Catholic) categories
Other entry criteria: Catholic
Sponsor: Catholic Press Association
Entry deadline: February 3
Eligible time of publication: Prior Calendar Year
Entry fee: $76 ($36 for CPA members)


Christian Indie Awards

Genre: 14 Christian Genres
Other entry criteria: Winners based on voting, not judging. Must be sold in retail stores.
Sponsor: Christian Indie Publishing Association
Entry deadline: Nov. 15
Eligible time of publication: Current and Prior Calendar Years
Entry fee: $45


Word Awards

Genre: 28 Christian Genres
Other entry criteria: Author must be Canadian 
Sponsor: The Word Guild (Canada)
Entry deadline: Jan. 15
Eligible time of publication: Prior Calendar Years
Entry fee: $70 CAD ($55 CAD for Word Guild members)


Triple Crown Awards

See entry under Children’s Books


Illumination Book Awards

See entry under Pay to Win


Benjamin Franklin Digital Awards

Genre: Currently in hiatus (Jan. 2019)
Other entry criteria:
Sponsor: IBPA
Entry deadline:
Eligible time of publication:
Entry fee:


Global eBook Awards

Genre: 100 General Subject Matter; 6 “Best of” Awards
Other entry criteria: None
Sponsor: Para Publishing
Entry deadline: April
Eligible time of publication: Current and prior 2 calendar years
Entry fee: $79

eLit Digital Publishing Awards

See entry under Pay to Win

Axiom Business Book Awards

Genre: 22 Business related categories
Other entry criteria: None
Sponsor: Jenkins Group
Entry deadline: Dec. 10
Eligible time of publication: Current calendar year plus part of prior year
Entry fee: $95 (early bird discounts available)


eLit Digital Publishing Awards

Genre: 60 General Subject Matter categories; 5 Design categories
Other entry criteria: eBooks only
Sponsor: Jenkins Group
Entry deadline: Jan. 31
Eligible time of publication: Prior 2 calendar years
Entry fee: $90 (early bird discounts available)


Living Now Book Awards

Genre: 29 Lifestyle categories; 5 Evergreen Medals
Other entry criteria: none
Sponsor: Jenkins Group
Entry deadline: July 16
Eligible time of publication: Current and prior calendar year
Entry fee: $95 (early bird discounts available)


Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards

Genre: 42 Children’s and YA categories; 5 eBook categories
Other entry criteria: none
Sponsor: Jenkins Group
Entry deadline: August 20
Eligible time of publication: Current and prior calendar year
Entry fee: $85 (early bird discounts available)


Illumination Book Awards

Genre: 19 Christian and YA categories; 5 Enduring Light categories
Other entry criteria: none
Sponsor: Jenkins Group
Entry deadline: Mid Nov.
Eligible time of publication: Current and prior calendar year
Entry fee: $95 (early bird discounts available)


Nonfiction Book Awards

Genre: Over 150 Non-fiction categories
Other entry criteria: None
Sponsor: Nonfiction Authors Association (Stephanie Chandler)
Entry deadline: Rolling – not competition, more of a “pass/fail” system
Eligible time of publication: Any
Entry fee: $300


Beverly Hills Book Awards

Genre: 130+ General Subject Matter categories; 5 Design categories ;10 Regional Awards
Other entry criteria: None
Sponsor: Smarketing LLC (Ellen Reid)
Entry deadline: Oct. 31
Eligible time of publication: Current and prior 2 calendar years
Entry fee: $75


National Indie Excellence Awards

Genre: 130+ General Subject Matter categories; 5 Design categories ;10 Regional Awards
Other entry criteria: None
Sponsor: Smarketing LLC (Ellen Reid)
Entry deadline: April 10
Eligible time of publication: Current and prior 3 calendar years
Entry fee: $75


 

Search and Sort the Book Awards

This table contains an abbreviated listing of all of the awards contests listed in the sections above. You can search and sort the awards in this table to help you to find the appropriate contests for you to enter. The Genre is listed as “Many”, unless we feel there is a more limited Genre that might be helpful in your search.
Award NameSponsorCategoryGenre
Alex AwardsYoung Adult Library Services Association (ALA)Major AwardsYoung Adult
American Book AwardsBefore Columbus FoundationTop Indie AwardsMany
Axiom Business Book AwardsJenkins GroupPay to WinMany
Batchelder AwardAmerican Library AssociationMajor AwardsChildren
Belpre MedalAmerican Library AssociationMajor AwardsChildren
Benjamin Franklin AwardsIndependent Book Publishers AssociationTop Indie AwardsMany
Benjamin Franklin Digital AwardsIndependent Book Publishers AssociationeBookMany
Beverly Hills Book AwardsSmarketing LLC (Ellen Reid)Pay to WinMany
Bram Stoker AwardsHorror Writers AssociationTop Indie AwardsHorror
Caldecott MedalAmerican Library AssociationMajor AwardsChildren
Governor General's Literary AwardsCanada Council for the ArtsTop Indie AwardsMany
Carol AwardsAmerican Christian Fiction WritersTop Indie AwardsChristian, Fiction
Christian Book AwardEvangelical Christian Publishers AssociationMajor AwardsChristian
Christian Indie AwardsChristian Indie Publishing AssociationTop Indie AwardsChristian
Christianity Today Book AwardsChristianity TodayTop Indie AwardsChristian
Christy AwardsChristy AwardsTop Indie AwardsChristian
CPA Book AwardsCatholic Press AssociationTop Indie AwardsChristian
Crystal Kite AwardsSociety of Children's Book Writers and IllustratorsMajor AwardsChildren
Edgar AwardsMystery Writers of AmericaMajor AwardsMystery
Edwards AwardYoung Adult Library Services Association (ALA)Major AwardsYoung Adult
eLit Digital Publishing AwardsJenkins GroupPay to WinMany
Foreword INDIES Book of the Year AwardsForeword MagazineTop Indie AwardsMany
Geisel AwardAmerican Library AssociationMajor AwardsChildren
Genesis ContestAmerican Christian Fiction WritersTop Indie AwardsChristian, Fiction
Giverny Award15§ LaboratoryChildren'sChildren
Global eBook AwardsPara PublishingeBookMany
Golden Kite AwardsSociety of Children?s Book Writers and IllustratorsChildren'sChildren
Hammett PrizeInternational Association of Crime Writers / North American BranchTop Indie AwardsCrime
Horn Book AwardHorn BookChildren'sChildren
Hugo AwardsMidAmeriCon IITop Indie AwardsScience Fiction
ILA Children's and Young Adults' Book AwardsInternational Literacy AssociationChildren'sChildren
Illumination Book AwardsJenkins GroupPay to WinChristian
IPPY AwardsJenkins GroupTop Indie AwardsMany
James Beard Book AwardJames Beard FoundationTop Indie AwardsCookbook
James Tiptree, Jr. Literary AwardJames Tiptree Jr. Literary CouncilTop Indie AwardsScience Fiction
Lambda Literary AwardsLambda LiteraryTop Indie AwardsLGBT
BCALA Literary AwardBlack Caucus of the ALATop Indie AwardsAfrican American
Living Now Book AwardsJenkins GroupPay to WinMany
Macavity AwardMystery Readers InternationalTop Indie AwardsMystery
Maine Literary AwardsMaine Writers & Publishers AllianceTop Indie AwardsMany
Man Booker PrizesThe Man GroupMajor AwardsFiction
Minnesota Book AwardsThe Friends of the Saint Paul Public LibraryTop Indie AwardsMany
Moonbeam Children's Book AwardsJenkins GroupPay to WinMany
Morris AwardYoung Adult Library Services Association (ALA)Major AwardsYoung Adult
National Book AwardsNational Book FoundationTop Indie AwardsMany
National Book Critics Circle AwardNational Book Critics CircleMajor AwardsMany
National Indie Excellence AwardsSmarketing LLC (Ellen Reid)Pay to WinMany
Nautilus AwardsNautilus AwardsTop Indie AwardsMany
Nebula AwardsScience Fiction and Fantasy Writers of AmericaTop Indie AwardsScience Fiction
Newbery MedalAmerican Library AssociationMajor AwardsChildren
Next Generation Indie Book AwardsIBPPG.comTop Indie AwardsMany
YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction AwardYoung Adult Library Services Association (ALA)Major AwardsChildren, Young Adult
Nonfiction Book AwardsNonfiction Authors Association (Stephanie Chandler)Pay to WinMany
Odyssey AwardYoung Adult Library Services Association (ALA)Major AwardsYoung Adult
PEN/Faulkner Award for FictionPEN/Faulkner FoundationMajor AwardsFiction
Printz AwardYoung Adult Library Services Association (ALA)Major AwardsYoung Adult
RITA AwardRomance Writers of AmericaTop Indie AwardsRomance Fiction
Robert F. Kennedy Book AwardRobert F. Kennedy Human RightsTop Indie AwardsNonfiction
Scott O'Dell Award for Historical FictionScott O'DellTop Indie AwardsHistorical Fiction
Shamus AwardPrivate Eye Writers of AmericaTop Indie AwardsMystery
Sibert MedalAmerican Library AssociationMajor AwardsChildren
Spark AwardSociety of Children's Book Writers and IllustratorsChildren'sChildren
Spur AwardsWestern Writers of AmericaTop Indie AwardsWestern
Sydney Taylor Book AwardAssociation of Jewish LibrariesChildren'sChildren
Triple Crown AwardsTriple Crown Awards (National Christian School Association)Top Indie AwardsChristian, Children, Young Adult
Children's Literature Legacy Award (f/k/a Wilder Medal)American Library AssociationMajor AwardsChildren
Word AwardsThe Word Guild (Canada)Top Indie AwardsChristian
Young Readers' Choice AwardsPacific Northwest Library AssociationChildren'sChildren, Young Adult