The following list has been created by Danielle Vann as part of her presentation to the 2018 Authors Marketing Event. This list has been updated as of November 1, 2019. Not all book contest or writing contest are listed below.
Information, requirements, and procedures can be found on the individual award’s websites. Research each contest and make sure your book(s) are the right fit. Most contest are open to international publishers and authors if the books are written/submitted in English:
Authors School of Business (formerly Texas Authors) established their Book Contest in 2012, open to multi genre’s. Entry is open to any author around the world. Fee applies.
Dear Indie, LLC (DEARIndie.org) established their short story contest in 2016. It is open to any author worldwide. Fee applies. Entries received March 1 to July 31 each year.
Benjamin Franklin Book Awards, put on by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), is a big one. This organization has over 3,000 members, and among the membership, this is the most coveted award. It’s also the only one that shows you the judges’ comments about your book.
Best American Series, The is offered through Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Best American accepts essays, sports writing, travel writing, nature writing, and more. These annually-published collections compile the best short works of literature published in North America, offering a powerful publication credit and public recognition to any accepted author. You can either be nominated by one of their editors or submit your publication to them directly.
Best of The Net To be considered, you must either be nominated by an online literary journal that features your work or nominate your own self-published work that was first published online. There is no entry fee, and all winners will be included in an e-anthology available on the Sundress Publications website.
Foreword Review’s IndieFab Awards (soon to be called the “Indies”) long process from enter to announcement. They announce a suspiciously long list of finalists early on and then offer expensive advertising opportunities in their magazine. Even so, it is a popular contest.
Eric Hoffer Award, The has been around since 2000 and is well respected as an independent entity with no corporate ties. It has fewer categories than some other contests. Cash prizes are offered.
Independent Publisher (“IPPY”) Book Awards is run by the Jenkins Group (a book marketing firm) and is clearly a for-profit venture. Good reputation over the last 20 years.
Literary Classics is a smaller contest for traditional and self-published authors. Offers media attention, quality reviews, a gala, and a book festival.
National Indie Excellence (NIEA) Book Awards is run by Smarketing, a book marketing firm. A few overall winners are given valuable book promotion packages through outside companies.
Nautilus Book Awards continues to recognize and honor transformative books from across the entire spectrum of the publishing world. We love to find beautifully written and produced books that engender greater connectedness and transcend the perceived barriers and social constructs that divide us. We welcome books that promote more conscious living, wellness, environmental awareness, spiritual growth, and social change.
Next Generation Indie Book Awards is the largest not-for-profit contest. It is put on by the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group in cooperation with Marilyn Allen of Allen O’Shea Literary Agency. After the ceremony they follow up with encouraging emails and general advice on how to leverage a win to improve sales. Cash prizes are awarded.
Nobel Prize is awarded to those whose lives have been spent writing literature that has inspired readers of all ages and influenced the world in a positive way. You can only be nominated by other prestigious writers, professors, etc., but the prize is well worth the work: over $1,000,000 in U.S. currency.
PenCraft Book Award competition endeavors to recognize and encourage outstanding writing and foster new insights into culture, society, and the human condition. The goal of our new Seasonal Book Awards Competition seeks to accomplish the same. The competitions are open to books in all formats: paperbacks, hardcovers, digital and audiobooks. Books may be nominated for awards in multiple categories. However, a fee of $39.00 must accompany each submission.
PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction requires no entry fee or application form for this award, but your work must already be published. The PEN/Faulkner Foundation accepts novels, novellas, and short story collections that have been published by commercial, academic, or small presses; no self-published work is accepted. Five submissions are awarded prizes, with first place receiving $15,000 and four runner-ups receiving $5,000.
Pulitzer Prize: Winning a prestigious Pulitzer Prize takes more than just submitting your favorite poem and crossing your fingers: Beyond the $50.00 entry fee, your work must survive the scrutiny of five to seven judges accepting only the most distinguished pieces of American literature. There are several categories specifically for writers, including fiction, nonfiction, drama (playwriting), history, poetry, biography, and poetry. Winners receive a certificate for their achievement and $10,000 cash.
Pushcart Prize: Since 1976, Pushcart Press has been honoring authors published in small presses and including them in their world-famous anthology, The Pushcart Prize – Best of the Small Presses. Literary journal and magazine editors choose nominees from work that has been featured in their publications, whether the submission is a poetry or short story collection, poem, essay, or short story. There is no entry fee.
Readers’ Favorite is one of the leading and largest international award contest. The contest is highly supported by the Top 5 Publishers in the U.S. and offers cash prizes, quality reviews, media attention, a gala, chances at entertainment contracts, and P.R.
Self-Published eBook Awards is ran by Writer’s Digest. The deadline is 8/1/18
StoryMonster Magazine offers multiple award contest each year. The Dragonfly Award and Royal Dragonfly Awards are considered in high esteem by the traditional publishing world. The magazine does a massive write up on the winners, PR and releases, and does extensive online marketing for the winners.
USA Best Book Awards is sponsored by USA Book News and i310 Media Group. They offer good support for winners on their site and through press releases, plus they make connections with the entertainment industry.
Whistler Independent Book Awards, new in 2016, is open to Canadian self-published authors. Each book receives a thoughtful critique that can be quoted for publicity. One interesting advantage to this contest is that the books can be up to 6 years old when entered. No eBooks.
Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards hosts the Popular Fiction Awards. This competition spotlights writing in many categories including Romance, Thriller, Crime, Horror, Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Young Adult. There are 6 categories to choose from. This is your chance to win $2,500 in cash, a spotlight about you in an upcoming issue, and a paid trip to our ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference.