There’s no denying that book awards matter. After my one client won several awards, two movie producers reached out to her about her Young Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy Fiction novel. I have another client who won the Los Angeles Book Festival award. Her award sparked a great deal of media interest and convinced a well-known agent to pitch her book to major publishing houses.

I can’t forget my most recent client who won a major award and heard from CNN who was interested in the book. Even though I’ve only shared a few examples, I have countless more. Over my years of experience as a book publicist, I’ve witnessed the media attention that my author clients receive after they win an award. The award gives them instant credibility and gives the producer or reporter the confidence they need to take the next steps.

My book Book Title Generator: A Proven System in Naming Your Book has also reaped the benefits of awards. The Pencraft Book Awards, Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards, Independent Author Network, and Literary Titan Book Award are just several examples of the nine awards it won. To simplify the process of applying for awards, I used Book Award Pro, which I highly recommend. Don’t hesitate to check them out:

Awards offer an effective way to spark interest in your book and open the doors to increased sales and additional opportunities. A book award may be the reason a reader chooses your book over others. It can help you stand out from the crowd and steer your book toward becoming a bestseller. An award may also give you the right to refer to yourself as an “award-winning author.”

While most awards will cost you to enter, the fees are often worth it for the potential benefits they may bring you. If you’re ready to apply for some book awards, these options should definitely be on your radar. Note that some links may be for the previous year due to availability when I wrote this.

  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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 business people 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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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).
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.

Book awards can make a positive difference in your career as an author. Let me know if you know of or hear of a book award I should explore. Best of luck!

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