You’ve worked day and night writing, editing, promoting, and selling your book—isn’t it about time you received a little recognition? We think so! That’s why we’ve gathered some of the best upcoming industry awards for independent authors here on the Big Bad Book Blog.
Awards are a great way to gain recognition and visibility, and they just might boost sales and confidence, too. Best of luck! And remember: It’s never too early to start reorganizing the mantel to make room for your many imminent awards.
Deadline: June 15
Genre: Fiction; Nonfiction; Poetry; Young People’s Literature
The National Book Awards are prestigious accolades administered each year by the National Book Foundation. A $10,000 award is given in each of four categories—fiction; nonfiction; poetry; and young people’s literature. Four finalists in each category are also awarded a $1,000 prize. Note that authors need to submit their pieces through their publishers, and publishers are required to submit $1,000 to a promotional campaign if their book is considered a finalist. Though the submission barriers are somewhat steep compared to other awards, winners include the likes of authors such as Alice Walker, Joan Didion, Gore Vidal, C.K. Williams, and many others.
Deadline: June 15
Genre: Short Stories, Novel Excerpts, Poem, One-Act Plays, Graphic Stories, and Literary Nonfiction
Narrative is a popular nonprofit organization “dedicated to storytelling in the digital age.” The organization awards an annual $4,000 prize to a new or emerging writer. Winners must first publish in Narrative magazine (an accomplishment in and of itself!), and are announced in September. The prize is officially awarded in October.
Deadline: June 28
Genre: Fiction & Nonfiction
The Discover Award is run by Barnes & Noble, and is given each year to debuting authors who have published fewer than three titles and whose sales have not reached 10,000 units. Winning authors receive $10,000 and in-store and online B&N promotion—an advantage whose payoff can’t be calculated. Similar to the National Book Awards, publishers must submit author titles.
Deadline: July 15
The Bard Fiction Prize is awarded yearly to an emerging American writer under the age of 39. Not only does the winning author receive a monetary prize, the writer is also appointed to the position of writer-in-residence at Bard College for one semester. In this position, the recipient is able to give one public lecture to the Bard community as well as meet informally with students. In addition to copies of the published book, the application also requires a cover letter with an explanation of the author’s projected intent at Bard.
Genre: History, Literature, Children, Nature, Natural History, Instructional, Adventure Guidebook, Nature Guidebook, Design, and Outdoor Classic
Another great award with a summer 2012 deadline is the National Outdoor Book Award. This award acknowledges the best in outdoor writing and publishing and is co-sponsored by the National Outdoor Book Awards Foundation, the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Recreation, and Idaho State University. Awards are announced in early November. This year’s application will be available in early June and deadlines have traditionally been in August.
There are a slew of awards out there, so if you know of any prestigious, independent book awards with summer deadlines that we’ve missed, let us know in the comments!