Literary Awards

The following is a list of awards and prizes which recognize excellence in literary publishing. All awards listed are open to literary press books or literary publishers and have an application/nomination process. To receive guidelines for a particular award, contact the sponsoring organization listed after the award description. Unless otherwise noted, awards are for books published during the previous calendar year.

This non-comprehensive list includes a few regional awards, but does not include state-specific awards, of which there are many. There are also award opportunities for specific types of publishing projects (for example, published works that have been translated from Italian). For more information on literary publishing awards, contact your state arts agency, consult the annual Literary Market Place guide at your local library, and read Poets and Writers Magazine.

Books | Presses | Magazines | Anthologies

Book Awards

Academy of American Poets
• Harold Morton Landon Translation Award
A $1,000 award that recognizes a published translation of poetry from any language into English.
Submission deadline: January

• James Laughlin Award This $5,000 award recognizes and support a poet's second book of poetry. Over 3,000 copies of the book are purchased by the Academy for distribution to its members.
Submission deadline: January

• Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize The $10,000 prize is awarded to the most outstanding book of poems published in the U.S. in the previous year. Publishers may enter as many books as they wish by submitting four copies of each entry.
Submissions deadline: June
The Academy of American Poets
75 Maiden Lane, Suite 901
New York, New York 10038
ph. 212-274-0343/fax 212-274-9427
Alex Dimitrov, Awards Coordinator

ALTA Translation Award

Publishers are invited to nominate one book in each category of contemporary fiction, contemporary poetry, contemporary nonfiction and literature of the past by sending two copies of each book.
Nomination deadline: May
PO Box 8308688
Richardson, TX 150-0688
ph. 214-883-2093

American Book Awards
A non-monetary award that recognizes excellence in American literature. Anyone may make recommendations to the awards panel by submitting two copies of the recommended book.
Submission deadline: December
Before Columbus Foundation
The Raymond House
660-13th Street, Suite 302
Oakland, CA 94612
ph. 510-268-9775

American Translators Association
• Lewis Galantiere Award
This $1,000 award is is bestowed biennially in even-numbered years for a distinguished literary translation from any language except German into English published in the United States.

• Ungar German Translation Award
The award is bestowed biennially in odd-numbered years for a distinguished literary translation from German into English that has been published in the United States. Nomination deadline: June
Lois Feuerle, Chair
ATA Honors & Awards Committee
American Translators Association
225 Reinekers Lane, Suite 590
Alexandria, VA 22314
ph. 703-683-6100/fax 703-683-6122

Association of Asian American Studies Book Awards
Recognizes outstanding book in the field of Asian American studies in the categories of cultural studies, prose, poetry, and history/social science. Nominate books by sending seven copies.
Submission deadline: unknown
Cornell University
420 Rockefeller Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
Ph. 607-255-3320

Discover Great New Writers Award
The Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award recognizes the finest work by a first-time American novelist featured in Barnes & Noble's Discover Great New Writers Program during the past year. The first Discover Award was given in 1993. Cash prize of $10,000. Call or fax for detailed instructions on how to submit books for the program.
Deadline for submission to program: March, May, August, November
Discover Great New Writers
Barnes & Noble
122 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
ph. 212-633-3511
fax 212-352-3602

The Ernest Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for First Fiction
The $7,500 award recognizes distinguished first books of fiction, either a novel or short story collection. Publishers, agents and authors may submit books (three copies) for consideration.
Submission deadline: December 15
Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award
PEN New England
1770 Massachusetts Avenue #318
Cambridge, MA 02140

Benjamin Franklin Book Awards
Awards recognize excellence in marketing, editing and design.
Submission deadline: September and December
Publishers Marketing Association
627 Aviation Way
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
ph. 310-372-2732/fax 310-374-3342

Robert F. Kennedy Book Awards
The $2,500 prize is awarded to a fiction or nonfiction book which reflects the values of Robert Kennedy. Either the publisher or author may submit a book by sending in four copies and an application.
Deadline for applications: January
Robert F. Kennedy Book Award
Robert F. Kennedy Center
1367 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20036

Gregory Kolovakos Award
The $2,000 prize is awarded biennially to an American literary translator, editor or critic whose work has expanded the English-language audience for Hispanic literature. Letters of nomination can be submitted by a candidate’s colleague and should be accompanied by a candidate’s vita; candidates may not nominate themselves.
Deadline for nominations: November
PEN American Center
568 Broadway
New York, NY 10012
ph. 212-334-1660/fax 212-334-2181

Lambda Literary Awards (Lammys)
Noncash awards for gay, lesbian, and transgender books of literary excellence. Also offers awards to outstanding publisher. Nominating ballot is published in the Lambda Book Report and on their website in the fall. Winners are chosen by jury (except for editor's choice awards), NOT by number of ballots.
Submission deadline: December (but check the ballot for exact deadline)
Lambda Literary Foundation
5482 Wilshire Blvd, #1595
Los Angeles, CA 90036

The National Book Awards
The $10,000 awards are given in three categories: fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Books scheduled for publication between December 1 of the previous year and November 30 of the award year are eligible and must be submitted by their publishers.
Submission deadline: July
The National Book Foundation Inc.
260 Fifth Ave., Suite 904
New York, NY 10001
ph. 212-685-0261/fax 212-213-6570

The National Book Critics' Circle Awards
Each year the National Book Critics Circle selects awards in five categories: Fiction, General Nonfiction, Biography/Autobiography, Poetry, and Criticism. Although the board has no formal submission procedures, publishers are encouraged to bring books to the attention of the Board of Directors by sending a copy of each title to each board member. Contact the Vice President in charge of awards for a full list of board member addresses.
Submission deadline: December 31
National Book Critics' Circle
245 West 17th Street
New York, NY 10016
VP/Awards, Rebecca Miller

The National Poetry Series Biennial Harry Ford Editor’s Award for Poetry
A $1,000 award to an editor of a trade publisher, university or small press who has edited books of poetry for at least three years and who has demonstrated a commitment to the publication and promotion of contemporary poetry in the United States.
Deadline for nominations: September (even years)
The National Poetry Series
PO Box G
Hopewell, NJ 08525
ph. 609-466-9712

Literary Awards offered by PEN American Center

PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize ($25,000)
For a fiction writer whose debut work represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise. Books must be submitted by publishers, editors, and agents

PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, Founded by Barbara Kingsolver ($25,000)
To the author of an unpublished novel that addresses issues of social justice. The prize also includes a publishing contract with Algonquin Books.

PEN/Fusion Emerging Writers Prize ($10,000)
For a promising young writer under the age of 35 for an unpublished work of nonfiction that addresses a global and/or multicultural issue.

PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay ($10,000)
For a book of essays that exemplifies the dignity and esteem of the essay form. Books must be submitted by publishers, editors, and agents.

PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award ($10,000)
For a book of literary nonfiction on the subject of the physical or biological sciences. Books must be submitted by publishers, editors, and agents.

PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction ($10,000)
For a distinguished book of general nonfiction possessing notable literary merit and critical perspective. Books must be submitted by publishers, editors, and agents.

PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000)
For a nonfiction book on the subject of sports. Books must be submitted by publishers, editors, and agents.

PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000)
For a writer whose body of work represents an exceptional contribution to the field.

PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation Awards for Drama ($7,500 & $2,500)
Three awards which honor a Master American Dramatist, American Playwright in Mid-Career, and Emerging American Playwright.

PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award ($5,000)
For a distinguished biography published in the United States. Books must be submitted by publishers, editors, and agents

PEN Open Book Award ($5,000)
For an exceptional work of literature by an author of color. Books must be submitted by publishers, editors, and agents.

PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry ($5,000)
For an emerging American poet of any age showing promise of further literary achievement.

PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry ($5,000)
To a poet whose distinguished and growing body of work represents a notable presence in American literature.

PEN/Nora Magid Award for Editing ($2,500)
For a magazine editor whose high literary standards and taste have contributed significantly to the excellence of the publication he or she edits.

PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship ($5,000)
For an author of children’s or young-adult fiction, who has published at least two books, to complete a book-length work-in-progress.

PEN Translation Prize ($3,000)
For a book-length translation of prose into English. Books must be submitted by publishers, editors, and agents.

PEN Award for Poetry in Translation ($3,000)
For a book-length translation of poetry into English. Books must be submitted by publishers, editors, and agents.

PEN/Edward and Lily Tuck Award for Paraguayan Literature ($3,000)
To the author of a major work of Paraguayan Literature not yet translated into English.

PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants ($2,000–$4,000)
To support the translation of book-length works into English.

PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation
To a translator whose career has demonstrated a commitment to excellence through the body of his or her work.

Submission deadlines: See individual awards pages.
PEN American Center
588 Broadway, Suite 303
New York, NY 10012

PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
A $15,000 award for a distinguished work of fiction published by an American author. Publishers (trade, university, or small presses), agents, or authors may submit books.
Submission deadline: October
PEN/Faulkner Foundation
ATTN: Jessica Neely
201 E. Capitol St. SE
Washington, DC 20003
ph. 202-544-7077/ fax 202-544-7520

Poetry Center Book Award
A $500 prize awarded to a notable book of poetry.
Submission deadline: March
The Poetry Center/SFSU
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132
ph. 415-338-2227

Poetry Society of America Awards
Several awards, some available only to PSA members, some to all eligible poets and publishers, including both individual poems and manuscripts.

• Norma Farber First Book Award
A $500 award for a first book of original poetry written by an American author.

• William Carlos Williams Award
Prize Between $500 and $1,000 for a book of poetry written by a single author who is a permanent resident of the United States. The book must be published by a small press, non-profit, or university press in a standard edition.

Submission deadline: late December
Poetry Society of America
Annual Award Submission
15 Gramercy Park
New York, N.Y. 10003

Pulitzer Prizes
Awarded to American authors for a distinguished book of fiction, performed play, history of the U.S., biography or autobiography, verse or general nonfiction.
Submission deadlines: July for books published January - June, November for books published July - December.
Columbia University
702 Journalism Building
New York, NY 10027
ph. 212-854-3841

Small Press Book Awards

Recognizes publishers providing diverse, informative and essential books to North America. Application and copies must be submitted by publisher.
Submission deadline: March
Small Press Magazine
121 East Front Street, Suite 401
Traverse City, MI 49684
ph. 616-933-0445/fax 616-933-0448


Curtis Benjamin Award
Recognizes individuals for creativity and innovation in publishing.
Deadline for nominations: November or December
Association of American Publishers
71 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY 10003
ph. 212-255-0200 x 264/fax 212-255-7007


National Program Director's Prizes for Undergraduate Literary Magazines
Two $500 cash awards for the best undergraduate literary magazines published during an academic year. Instituted by the directors of Association of Writers & Writing Programs' member creative writing programs, the prizes are awarded annually in the categories of content & design. Submit magazines by sending two copies of one issue.
Submission deadline: March 15th
National Program Director's Prizes
The Association of Writers & Writing Programs
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030-4444

National Magazine Awards
Any magazine that's published in the U.S. on a regular schedule at least four times a year is eligible for the National Magazine Awards, excluding newspaper supplements and corporate publications. The editor of the magazine must submit entries and there is an entry fee. See the website for entry forms and guidelines.
Deadline for entry: January
American Society of Magazine Editors
919 Third Avenue, 22nd floor
New York, NY 10022
ph. (212) 872-3700


To have material considered for any of the "Best Of" anthologies you have to send the journal to the series editor. For literary journals, it's usually best to just send the series editor a complimentary subscription.

Best American Essays
Robert Atwan
P.O. Box 220
Readville, MA 02137

Best American Mystery Writing
Otto Penzler, Editor
c/o The Mysterious Bookshop
58 Warren Street.
New York, NY 10007

Best American Poetry
Send 2 copies of each issue to:
David Lehman, Editor
The New School
66 West 12th St., 5th floor
New York, NY 10011

Best American Short Stories
Heidi Pitlor c/o The Best American Short Stories
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
222 Berkeley St.
Boston, MA 02116-3764

Best American Travel Writing
Jason Wilson, Editor
PO Box 260
Haddonfield, NJ 08033

New Stories from the South
Shannon Ravenel, Editor
Algonquin Books
Box 2225
Chapel Hill, NC 27515

O. Henry Awards
Larry Dark, Editor
PO Box 739
Montclair, NJ 07042

Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses

Awarded for works previously published by a small press or literary journal.
Submission deadline: December
Bill Henderson, Editor
Pushcart Press
Box 380
Wainscott, NY 11975
ph. 516-324-7449

Thanks to Dedra Earl of the Missouri Review for help with this resource.

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