Once your book has been published, you may be eligible to enter your book in national book award competitions. Sending your books into these kinds of contests isn’t so much about winning as it is about giving your book and your press more exposure and recognition.

Generally, these kinds of awards are for book-length publications, rather than chapbooks. Some are specifically for first book publications, younger authors, gay or lesbian authors, etc. Naturally, you’ll want to check the guidelines carefully to make sure you and your book qualify before you enter the competition.

A couple of notes of advice: Book award competitions can be expensive. If you are on a tight budget, check out those awards that don’t require fees. Most book awards do require one or more copies of the book. It’s wise to set aside about 50-100 copies of your book for reviewers, awards, complimentary gifts, and other PR purposes.

National Book Awards

The National Book Foundation

95 Madison Avenue, Suite 709

New York, New York 10016

Phone: (212) 685-0261



Guidelines are posted on the website, but you must request an entry form by contacting the Foundation by phone or email (see above). In 2006 the deadline for entry forms was June 15, 2008, and the deadline for judges to receive books was August 15, 2008.

The names and addresses of the judges will be sent to you once you have submitted the entry form and fee, which for 2008 was $125.

National Book Critics Circle Award

The National Book Critics Circle,

360 Park Avenue South

New York, NY 10010


Authors should send a copy of each book to members of the NBCC board when review/complimentary books are mailed. The names and addresses for 2008 are included on the reviewers’ list. Authors should check this for possible changes.

The Pulitzer Prize

The Pulitzer Prize Office

709 Journalism

Columbia University

New York, NY 10027


(212) 854-3841 or 2

$50 fee per book; entry form (must be requested by letter, phone or email); photo and bio; 4 copies of each book. Deadline: Entries for books published between Jan 1 and June 14 need to be postmarked by June 15.

Kate Tufts/Kingsley Tufts Book Awards

A work may be submitted for either award only once, although the winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award may submit another work in a later year for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Work must be original poetry written originally in English by a poet who is a citizen or legal resident alien of the United States. The work may be submitted by its author or, with the poet’s consent, by a publisher, agent, or other representative. Previous winners of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award are not eligible.

Kate Tufts Discovery Award

Established in 1993, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award is presented annually for a first book by a poet of genuine promise. In 2008, the purse for this award will be $10,000.

Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award

The Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award is presented annually for a work by an emerging poet, one who is past the very beginning but has not yet reached the acknowledged pinnacle of his or her career. While some poetry prizes discover and honor new voices and others crown an indisputably major body of work, this award at Claremont Graduate University aims to sustain a poet who is laboring in the difficult middle between these extremes. In 2008, the purse for this award will be $100,000.

Mail entries to:
Poetic Gallery for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award
Claremont Graduate University
160 East Tenth St., Harper East B7
Claremont, CA 91711
No fee; entry form required. 5 copies of each book, cover sheet, list of previous titles. Deadline is September 15.

The Poetry Center Book Award    $500 Prize


Entrees will be accepted from July 1 to January 31.

Published original books by a single author (no collaborative works, anthologies, or translations) must be copyrighted 2008. Entrees can be submitted by publisher, author, or by a reader. An entry fee of $10 per book (all of which is paid directly to the award winner and award judge) must accompany each book. Please include a cover letter listing the author’s name, book title(s), name of person or publisher issuing check, and check number. Checks should be payable to “The Poetry Center,” and entrees mailed to:

The Poetry Center

2006 Book Award

1600 Holloway Avenue

San Francisco CA 94132

Poetry Society of America Annual Book Awards

The Norma Farber First Book Award          $500 Prize

15 Gramercy Park

New York, NY 10003



$20 fee per book, entry form required, two copies of each book

Deadline: Submissions must be sent 1st class and postmarked between Oct 1and December 15. Entry form must be signed by the publisher.

IPPY or Independent Publisher Book Award
Jenkins Group Inc.
1129 Woodmere Ave., Suite B
Traverse City, MI 49686
Ph: 231.933.0445
Contact: Jim Barnes, IPPY Awards Coordinator  jimb@bookpublishing.com
$75 fee  per book until Nov. 15; $80 thereafter
Final Deadline: All entries must be received in complete form by April 1
Northern California Book Awards
Northern California Book Reviewers (Formerly the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association)
c/o Poetry Flash
1450 Fourth St. #4
Berkeley, CA 94710.
(510) 525-5476
No fee, no form, 3 copies  of each book
Deadline: December 1
The California Book Awards
Commonwealth Club of California         Prize $2000 for Gold Medal Award
Book Awards Jury
The Commonwealth Club of California
595 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone:  (415) 597-4846
No fee, entry form required (can download from website), send 5 copies of each book
Deadline: Postmarked not later than midnight January 7. Earlier entries appreciated.
American Book Awards
Before Columbus Foundation
The Raymond House
655-13th St., Suite 302
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 268-9775
No fee or form. Send 2 copies of each book. Deadline: Dec. 31.
Note: In 2008, Joyce Jenkins reported that the Before Columbus Foundation does not have a formal submission procedure for this award. Rather, the award judges nominate books that have come to their attention. The Deadline of Dec. 31 is from an earlier version of the awards list. Authors should check this.
PEN USA 2007 Literary Awards
Literary Awards Coordinator
c/o Antioch University Los Angeles
400 Corporate Pointe
Culver City, CA 90230
(310)862-1555 ext. 361
Fee $35, entry forms required (can download from web), 4 copies of each book. Deadline Dec. 16,

Poetry Society of America Awards Books must be submitted directly by publishers. Entry forms are required. Please email, write, or call Thomas Hummel, Editorial and Awards Coordinator at the PSA, to request a form (tom@poetrysociety.org; 212-254-9628). The guidelines can also be downloaded in pdf format from the websitewww.poetrysociety.org. There is a $20 entry fee per book. No book may be submitted to both contests.

Norma Farber First Book Award
Established by the family and friends of Norma Farber, poet and author of children’s books, for a first book of original poetry written by an American and published in either a hard or soft cover in a standard edition during the calendar year. Winning books are distributed to PSA members at the Benefactor level or above.

William Carlos Williams Award
Purchase Prize Between $500 and $1,000
Endowed by the family and friends of Geraldine Clinton Little, a poet and author of short stories and former vice-president of the PSA, this prize is for a book of poetry published by a small press, non-profit, or university press. Original works by a single author who is a permanent resident of the United States will be considered. Translations are ineligible, as are chapbooks. Winning books are distributed to PSA members at the Benefactor level or above.

Submission period Oct.1 through Dec. 22. Fee $20 per title

Levis Reading Prize $1000 prize for 1st or 2nd Book
Virginia Commonwealth University
Levis Reading Prize
VCU Department of English
P.O. Box 842005
Richmond, VA  23284-2005
(804) 828-1329 or e-mail:  jalodge@vcu.edu
www.has.vcu.edu/eng/resources/levis prize_htm
No fee, 1 copy of each book, a cover letter, and brief bio including previous publications
Deadline: Entries must be received by Jan. 15
The Balcones Poetry Prize                $1000 Prize
John Herndon, Associate Director, Balcones Center for Creative Writing
Austin Community College
1212 Rio Grand St.
Austin Texas  78701
(512) 223-3376
$20 fee, payable to Austin Community College, 3 copies of each book
Deadline: January 31 for books published in previous year.
The Paterson Poetry Prize                 $1000 Prize
Maria Mazziotti Gillan, Executive Director
Poetry Center
Passaic County Community College
One College Boulevard
Paterson, NJ O7505-1179
No fee, required application form can be printed from website , 3 copies of each book.
Deadline: Feb. 1
Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award     $1000 Prize
Binghamton University, SUNY
Maria Mazziotti Gillan, Director
Creative Writing Program
Binghamton University
Department of English, General Literature, and Rhetoric
Library North Room 1149
Vestal Parkway East
P.O.Box 6000
Binghamton, NY13902-6000
No fee, write for application Maria Mazzioti at above address, include SASE, or download from website; 3 copies of each book.
Deadline: March 1. Authors must be over 40.
Maurice English Foundation for Poetry
(Authors must be in their 60’s)
c/o Helen W. Drutt English
2222 Rittenhouse Square
Philadelphia, PA 19103-5505
No fee, no guidelines.
Deadline: Books due by April 1.
No website found, have to assume still offered?
Great Lakes Colleges Association
(best first book)
Dr. Mark Clark, Faculty of Writing, Literature, and Education
Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award Director
The Philadelphia Center
North American Building
121 South Broad St.  7th floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 735-7300 or fax 215-735-7373
e-mail: clark@philactr.edu or shackelford@glca.org
No fee, statement of agreement required. 4 copies of each book
Deadline: Feb. 28 (rules not posted as yet on website: www.glca.org)
The Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize               $25,000
Academy of American Poets
588 Broadway, Suite 604
New York, NY 10012-3210
Ryan Murphy, Awards Coordinator
e-mail: murphy@poets.org
(212)-274-0343 or fax (212) 274-9427
$25 fee, entry form required, books must be submitted in the year after publication, 4 copies of each book
Deadline: Postmarked between April 1 and June 15
Nicholas Roerich Museum Poet’s Prize
319 West 107th St.
New York, NY 10025
(212) 864-7752
e-mail: director@roerich.org
This prize is awarded annually for a published book of verse by an American poet. This  is not a competition for which one must submit entries, but rather a choice made by a committee of poets  of a book that came to their notice through their own reading, through recommendation by others or by submission. Though it is not required, you may submit books for their consideration—e-mail for a complete list of each member of the committee.
Deadline: August 15
James Laughlin Award
Only for second-book manuscripts already under contract with a publisher; must be submitted in ms. form before publication.
Los Angeles Times Book Award
Internal nomination only
Western States Arts Federation Book Award
As of January 2003, this award is no longer being offered.




Addendum to Awards 2008

Library of Congress
Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry

Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry
Griffin Poetry Prize

Bollingen Foundation/Yale University
Bollingen Prize

Binghamton University
Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award  (Poets over 40)

Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers

Publishing Triangle
Audre Lorde Award, Thom Gunn Award

%d bloggers like this: