Here is a fairly substantial list of book contests and book fairs in which you can enter your fiction/nonfiction and self-published/traditionally published books. We will make every effort to update it periodically.
Beware the deadlines. Please be sure to read all the entry rules in detail. Some of the contests have somewhat hefty entry fees; others have nominal fees; a few are free to enter. One contest is exclusively for audiobooks, one is exclusively for eBooks, and another is for book design.
The final entry is a link to a site that allows you to enter up to 17 book fairs with one submission form, at $50 per book fair. It’s quite a setup. If you think your book’s got game, why not submit it? Add contests to your marketing budget, and if you win, you could see some great PR, and perhaps even interest from a publisher or two.
All links were functional as of publication of this page on 28 April 2014.
- Watch for information about the 2015 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. The Grand Prize winner will receive a publishing contract and a $50,000 advance. You must have a CreateSpace account to enter. Details here: https://www.createspace.com/abna?ref=478921&utm_id=5969
- Autumn House Press accepts new author submissions only through the Autumn House Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction Contests. The deadline is June 30, 2015. Learn more here: http://www.autumnhouse.org/contest-submissions/
- Have you written a business book? The deadline is January 17, 2015. More info: http://www.axiomawards.com/
- The nonprofit Independent BookPublishers Association awards the annual Benjamin Franklin Awards for excellence in book publishing in 55 categories. IBPA will begin accepting submissions for the 2016 awards in July 2015. Learn more: http://ibpabenjaminfranklinawards.com/
- ForeWord Reviews is sponsoring the 2015 Book of the Year Awards. With 60 categories, this contest is open to all independently and self-published books. A gold, silver, and bronze winner is awarded in each category. Entries must be postmarked no later than January 15, 2015. Learn more: https://www.forewordreviews.com/services/book-awards/botya/
- The annual Coretta Scott King Book Awards recognize outstanding books for young adults and children by African American authors and illustrators that reflect the African American experience. Deadline is December 1, 2014. Learn more here: http://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/awards/24/apply
- The Crooks’s Corner Book Prize is awarded annually for a debut novel published in the U.S. and set in the American South. The deadline is June 15, 2015. Learn more here: http://www.crookscornerbookprize.com
- Annually, Barnes & Noble recognizes two exceptional writers from its Discover Great New Writers™ program with the Discover Great New Writers Award (one each for Fiction and Nonfiction). In addition to a $10,000 prize, B&N promotes the winning titles extensively in its stores and online outlet. The bummer is that they do not accept self-published or print-on-demand books. Learn more here: http://www.barnesandnobleinc.com/for_publishers/discover_program/discover_program.html
- The Dylan Thomas Prize is awarded annually for a book of poetry or fiction that “displays creative, imaginative, and innovative use of the English language” by a writer 39 or younger. The deadline is May 30, 2014. Learn more here: http://www.swansea.ac.uk/dylan-thomas-prize
- The Edgar Allan Poe Award is presented by the Mystery Writers of America. It is recommended that you submit your entry by the last day of the month following your book’s publication/release date. No work will be accepted after November 30, 2014. http://mysterywriters.org/edgars/edgar-submission-information/
- Submit your short story collection or novel for the Elixir Press Fiction Award by May 31, 2015. Learn more here: http://elixirpress.com/fiction-guidelines
- The FIL Prize in Romance Languages is awarded annually to a poet, fiction writer, or creative nonfiction writer who writes in Catalan, French, Galician, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, or Spanish. Submit writer’s CV and letter of support by June 22, 2015. Learn mlre here: http://www.fil.com.mx/ingles/i_reco/i_premiofil_fil.asp
- Enter your business book to win the FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award. Entries must be submitted no later than June 30, 2014. https://www.eiseverywhere.com/ereg/index.php?eventid=88932&categoryid=780723
- Enter your novel to win the Gival Press Novel Award by May 30, 2015. Learn more here: http://www.givalpress.com
- Laura is proud to have won in 2011, the inaugural year, in the Women’s Studies category for her book, 1,001 Real-Life Questions for Women. The deadline is April 30, 2015. Find info about the award here: http://globalebookawards.com/
- The 2014 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for Debut Fiction was awarded April 6, 2014. Check the website for updates about the 2015 award: http://www.pen-ne.org/hemingway-foundationpen-award/
- Sci-fi author? Find someone to nominate you for a Hugo Award, science fiction’s most prestigious award. http://www.thehugoawards.org/about
- The Independent Publisher Book Awards honor the year’s best independently published titles from around the world. Entries are open until March 10, 2015. The contest is for independent, university, small press, self-publishers and independent authors throughout North America and overseas publishers who publish books intended for the American market. Learn more here: http://www.independentpublisher.com/ipland/IPAwards.php
- Publishers must complete the online entry form and submit payment for the National Book Award by May 15, 2014. Learn how to submit your book here: http://www.nationalbook.org/nbaentry.html.
- Check out the National Book Critics Circle Awards. The absolute deadline for the 2015 awards is December 1, 2015. But please send requested titles as soon as you have stock available. Finalists will be announced in January 2015. http://bookcritics.org/awards/award_submissions/
- The National Indie Excellence® Awards is open to all English language books, including those from small presses, mid-size independent publishers, university presses, and self-published authors. Submission deadline is March 31, 2015. Learn more here: http://www.indieexcellence.com
- The Nautilus Book Award honors the authors of books that make a difference and inspire. Entries for the 2015 award will open September 2015. More info here: http://www.nautilusbookawards.com/
- The Newbery Medal was the world’s first children’s book award. The deadline for submitting books is December 31 of the publication year. http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/newberymedal/newberyapp/newberyapplicatio
- The 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards is open to all indie book authors and publishers including independent publishers (small, medium or otherwise), university presses, self-published authors, e-book authors, seasoned authors and even first time authors in the U.S., Canada or internationally who have written a book in English and published in 2013-15 or with a 2013-15 copyright date. Deadline is February 13, 2015. Learn more here: http://www.indiebookawards.com/entryguidelines.php
- Every Nobel Prize-winning book began with an idea – just like the idea for your book. A select group of 600 to 700 individuals and institutions is invited to submit their nominations (e.g., professors of literature and of linguistics at universities and university colleges; previous Nobel Laureates in Literature; presidents of those societies of authors that represent literary production in their respective countries). Learn more: http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/nomination/
- The annual Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production is given to the producer of the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States. The deadline for the 2014 award is October 31, 2014. Learn more here: http://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/awards/26/apply
- Submit your novel or creative nonfiction book for the Pressgang Prize by May 31, 2104. Learn more here: http://pressgang.butler.edu/submissions/
- The PubWest Book Design Awards were developed to recognize superior design and outstanding production quality of books throughout North America. Book entries are judged on typography, jacket/cover design, interior design, format, selection of materials used, and printing and binding production quality. Entry deadline is April 9, 2015. Learn more here: http://pubwest.org/programs/design-awards/
- Entries for the Pulitzer Prize in Letters are accepted twice a year. Books published between January 1 and June 14, 2014 should be submitted by June 15, 2015. Books published the latter half of the year should be submitted by October 1, 2015. Books published after the October 1 deadline should be submitted in galley or page-proof form by October 1, 2014. See this page for info about how to enter: mhttp://www.pulitzer.org/how_to_enter.
- Enter your children’s picture book to win the Randolph Caldecott Medal. The deadline for submitting books is December 31 of the publication year. http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/caldecottmedal/caldecottapp/caldecottapplication.cfm
- The Reader Views Annual Literary Awards were established to honor self-published books or those published by small or independent presses. POD books are accepted. Open to all authors regardless of residency, as long as the books are published in English and targeted to a North American audience. Look for submission info in late March/early April 2015. More info here: http://www.readerviews.com/Awards.html
- The Readers’ Favorite Awards accepts manuscripts, published and unpublished books, ebooks, audio books, comic books, poetry books, and short stories in 100 genres. No publication date requirement and no word count restriction. Entries accepted worldwide. The deadline is April 1, 2015. Learn more here: http://readersfavorite.com/annual-book-award-contest.htm
- The Stonewall Book Award is sponsored by the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table. Learn more here: http://www.ala.org/glbtrt/award
- The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award is given annually to the most distinguished author(s) and illustrator(s) of beginning reader books published in the United States during the preceding year. The deadline for submitting books is December 31 of the publication year. More info here: http://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/awards/12/apply
- Sponsored by USA Book News, the USA Best Book Awards are specifically designed to garner media coverage and book sales for USA Best Book Awards the winners and finalists, as well as promote award-winning books to the publishing and entertainment industries. The contest is open to books from all sectors of the publishing industry — mainstream, independent, and self-published. Entry deadline is September 30, 2015. Learn more: http://www.usabooknews.com/2014usabestbookawards.html
- The Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards spotlights today’s self-published works and honors self-published authors. Submissions for the 2014 contest close May 1, 2015. Learn more here: http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/selfpublished
Check out Laura’s newest book, Practical Philanthropy: How ‘Giving Back’ Helps You, Your Business, and the World Around You. A percentage of all book sales is donated to Art4TheHomeless.org and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.