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Book Awards

Exploring U.S. Book Awards for 2024

By Vickie Harding-Wakeen

Introduction

Book festivals and awards are events that celebrate and recognize outstanding literary works in various genres and categories. They provide authors with opportunities to showcase their books, connect with readers, and receive recognition for their work. Winning a book award can give authors, illustrators, and publishers recognition and credibility.

Authors and publishers typically submit their books for consideration in various categories, such as fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s literature, and more, and a panel of judges reviews the submissions to determine the winners. These awards often come with recognition, certificates, and sometimes cash prizes or other incentives.

 

Awarding Organizations to Consider

The American BookFest “Best Book” Awards:

The American BookFest, based in Los Angeles and Phoenix, has existed since 2003. Over the last 20 years, ABF has featured over twenty thousand books from mainstream, indie, and self-publishers. They continue to promote books to the national and international book-buying public.  For the 2024 awards, they are accepting submissions for works published 2022 through 2024.

ABF is also offering a new program for 2024 – Legacy Title Awards, for books published from 2010 through 2021. The list of categories is available on their website, along with everything you need to know to apply.

The BookFest Awards:

The BookFest Awards, a production of Black Chateau, a marketing and public relations agency, honors authors who create outstanding works of fiction and nonfiction. Books are judged in categories based on genre, theme, and aesthetics.  An initial team vets the entries, and then the final places are determined by an elite team of experts in the literary and entertainment world.

According to their score, awards are assigned based on first, second, third, and honorable mention. This means that sometimes, not every category has a first-place, second-place, or third-place winner. If no books in that category are rated appropriately, then no award is granted in that place. Likewise, several books sometimes tie for first, second, and third place. Much like getting a letter grade in school, sometimes there are more “A”s in the class because outstanding students warrant that grade. Books are similar. Sometimes, several outstanding books deserve their place in The BookFest Awards.

BookFest judges believe giving niche or often unrecognized genres a chance to shine is crucial.

The Bram Stoker Awards:

The Bram Stoker Awards are among the most prestigious awards in the field of horror and dark fantasy literature, including novels, short stories, poetry, and various other forms of horror writing.

First presented in 1988, these awards are named in honor of Bram Stoker, the author of the classic horror novel “Dracula,” and awards have been presented every year since. The award itself is an eight-inch replica of a fanciful haunted house designed specifically for HWA by sculptor Steven Kirk. The door of the house opens to reveal a brass plaque engraved with the name of the winning work and its author.

The Bram Stoker Awards are given “for superior achievement,” not for “best of the year,” and the rules are deliberately designed to make ties possible. Any work of horror first published in the English language may be considered for an award during the year of its publication. The categories for which a Bram Stoker Award may be presented have varied over the years, reflecting the state of the publishing industry and the horror genre.


The Florida Book Awards:

The Florida Book Awards are a set of annual statewide literary awards that recognize Floridian authors and books about Florida published in the previous year. Established in 2006, the awards are administered by the Florida State University Libraries, with co-sponsors including the Florida Humanities Council, Florida Center for the Book, the State Library and Archives of Florida, and the Florida Historical Society.

Three-member juries select Finalists in eleven categories, with gold, silver, and bronze medals awarded. Cash prizes ranging from $500-$1,000 are awarded in three award categories, including the Phillip and Dana Zimmerman Gold Medal for Florida Nonfiction, the Gwen P. Reichert Gold Medal for Children’s Literature, and the Richard E. Rice Gold Medal Award for Visual Arts. In April, winners are recognized at the annual awards ceremony in Tallahassee, Florida.


The IndieReader Discovery Awards

The IndieReader Discovery Awards (IRDA) is an annual literary competition that recognizes and celebrates outstanding works from independent authors and publishers across various genres. Established to highlight the talent and creativity within the indie publishing community, the IndieReader Discovery Awards aim to provide a platform for exceptional books that might otherwise go unnoticed in the mainstream market.

Entries are judged by a panel of industry professionals, including experienced reviewers, editors, and literary experts. The awards cover a wide range of categories, fostering diversity and showcasing the diverse voices and stories found in independent publishing.

Winning an IndieReader Discovery Award is not only a mark of distinction for authors but also serves as a valuable endorsement for readers seeking high-quality, independently published literature.

The IRDA will accept entries for 2024 awards until February 15, 2024. There is a fee of $150 for standard entry.


The Mom’s Choice Awards:

The Mom’s Choice Awards is a well-known and respected book awards program that recognizes excellence in family-friendly media, including books, toys, games, and other products. The awards are designed to help parents and caregivers make informed decisions when choosing products for children and families.

Eligible products are evaluated based on their content, design, educational value, entertainment quality, originality, and overall appeal to families.

The Mom’s Choice Awards program employs a panel of judges, which includes educators, parents, and experts in various fields, to review and assess the submitted products.

Judges use a rigorous evaluation process to select winners in various categories, considering factors like age-appropriateness and content quality. The awards program offers several levels of recognition, including gold, silver, and bronze awards.

Please note that the specific details and criteria for the Mom’s Choice Book Awards may change over time, so it’s advisable to visit the official Mom’s Choice Awards website or contact the organization directly for the most up-to-date information on submission guidelines, categories, and deadlines if you are interested in submitting a book for consideration.


The Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards:

The Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards is an annual international awards program that recognizes and honors exceptional children’s books and young adult literature. These awards are dedicated to promoting and celebrating children’s books, whether written, illustrated, or published by authors and publishers worldwide.

The awards aim to inspire and celebrate creativity, diversity, and excellence in children’s literature across various genres and age groups. The awards are open to children’s books and young adult literature published in English, regardless of the author’s nationality or the book’s place of publication. Eligible books include those in various categories, such as picture books, chapter books, middle-grade fiction, young adult novels, and non-fiction.

A panel of judges, including educators, librarians, booksellers, and industry professionals, assesses and scores the submitted books based on factors like content, presentation, design, and overall quality.

The judging considers age-appropriateness and the book’s potential impact on young readers. The Awards typically offer three levels of recognition—gold, silver, and bronze medals. 


New England Book Awards

Titles submitted for the 2024 New England Book Awards must be either about New England, set in New England, or written by an author residing in New England. Submissions can be hardcovers, paperback originals, or reissues. Submissions for 2024 awards must be published between September 1, 2023, and August 31, 2024. The award categories are Children’s, Middle Grade, Young Adult, Adult Fiction, Adult Nonfiction, and Poetry.


New York Book Festival Awards:

The New York Book Festival considers traditionally published, self-published, and independent publisher non-fiction, fiction, children’s books, young adult, how-to, poetry, wild card (anything goes!), unpublished stories, science fiction/horror, photography/art, spiritual, business, romance, cookbooks, compilations/anthologies, and biography/autobiography work. The deadline for entries is usually in July.

A panel of industry experts will judge submitted works according to the criteria of general excellence, the author’s passion for telling a good story, as well as the potential of the work to reach a wider audience.

Entries may be in English, Spanish, French, or Italian and must be published on or after January 1, 2019.

In summary, remember to visit the official website of any book awards program you might like to enter. Look for details related to submission guidelines, categories, and deadlines, or search for recent news and updates related to the event. Remember that book festivals and awards can evolve over time, so it’s essential to refer to the latest information if you plan to participate or attend.

 

Vickie Harding-Wakeen
Vickie Harding-Wakeen

A lifelong Massachusetts resident, Vickie Harding-Wakeen relocated to sunny central Florida in January 2020, and founded MyVirtualGal™, a virtual assistant services company, a year later.

Specializing in supporting solopreneurs and small business owners with the backend, administrative areas of their business, Vickie now also serves as the Marketing & Advertising arm for Hallard Press!

You can learn more about her at www.myvirtualgal.com.

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