National Book Awards Entry Rules & Guidelines

The entry form for the 2017 National Book Awards is now closed.


> Eligibility
> Submission Process
> Prizes
> Additional Conditions
> Frequently Asked Questions


All books must be published by U.S. publishers located in the United States between December 1, 2016 and November 30, 2017.

All authors must be U.S. citizens.

The following are eligible:

The following are NOT eligible:

In the event of a dispute as to eligibility, the Foundation will decide whether a book is eligible, and its decision will be binding.




All publishers submitting books for the National Book Awards must agree to:

Additional Note: The Miami Book Fair International is an official partner of the National Book Foundation. The Fair will invite all Longlisted authors to participate in the Fair from Friday, November 17 to Sunday, November 19, 2017, with all travel and accommodations underwritten by Miami Book Fair International.
Email questions about your submissions to Awards Coordinator Courtney Gillette at, or call the Foundation offices at 212-685-0261. Technical questions should be emailed to Meredith Andrews at

Frequently Asked Questions

Is my self-published book eligible?
Self-published books are eligible if—and only if—the author has also published titles by other individuals (Note: the Foundation may request the publisher's catalog to verify this.)

Can books be sent to judges via UPS or FedEx?
With the exception of international shipments,  judges cannot be made available to sign for packages. Books must be sent via US Postal Service First Class Mail, Priority Mail or Media Mail. If you would like tracking information, please send USPS Priority Mail, which can be very helpful.

I missed the entry form deadline but would like to enter a book. Is this possible?
Unfortunately, no entries can be submitted once the entry form deadline has passed. Additionally, books submitted via the entry form by Wednesday, May 17, 2017 (midnight, PST) must be mailed to and received by judges and the National Book Foundation by Friday, June 30, 2017. Books received after the deadline will only be considered only at the judges’ discretion.

What should I do if galley copies of an entered title won’t be available before June 30, 2017?
In the case where a galley copy or a title won’t be available until after June 30, 2017, please send a bound manuscript to judges and the National Book Foundation before the June 30, 2017 deadline. Finished copies may be sent to judges and the National Book Foundation when they become available.

What if my book could be considered in more than one category?
Books may only be submitted in one category. Please choose the category most appropriate when entering the book for submission.

How do I find the judges’ addresses to mail the books to?
Once the entry form and payment for a title have been submitted, a confirmation e-mail, including shipping addresses for judges, will be sent to you. If you do not receive this confirmation e-mail, please check your spam filter. Questions may be directed to

Is it possible to send judges e-books in lieu of printed copies of an entered title?
Unfortunately, no. Books must be sent as a finished copy, galley copy or bound manuscript to the judges and the National Book Foundation.

Do I need to include a cover letter with books that are mailed to judges?
Please include a list of submitted books in each shipment. Additionally, boxes must be clearly marked “National Book Awards.” Judges also receive a comprehensive list of entered books that are being sent to them.

Are graphic novels, graphic memoirs, and/or comics eligible for the National Book Award?
Yes, provided they meet the other eligibility requirements.

How many titles are submitted for the National Book Award?
In 2016, 1,459 titles were submitted for consideration for the National Book Award. Of these titles, 383 were for Fiction, 526 were for Nonfiction, 231 were for Poetry and 319 were for Young People’s Literature.

Can an author submit their own book for consideration?
No. The entry form must be completed by the author’s publisher in order for a book to be considered.

How will I know if judges have received the books I mailed?
We will contact any publisher who has entered titles but not yet sent them to the National Book Foundation before the June 30th mailing deadline. To track a package to judges, please send books via USPS Priority Mail, which is very helpful.

When will I be notified if a book I entered for consideration is on the Longlist?
If a book is chosen for the Longlist, the contact person who submitted the book will be notified in mid-September. For details regarding Longlist, Finalist and other National Book Award related announcements, please sign up for our newsletter.