Deadlines & Guidelines

Submissions for the 2024 National Book Awards will open on March 13.


DEADLINES & KEY DATES | ELIGIBILITY | SUBMISSION PROCESSADDITIONAL CONDITIONSFAQ

ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for the National Book Awards, books must be published by US publishers located in the United States. The publication date must be within the eligibility period of December 1, 2023 and November 30, 2024.

Eligibility Criteria for the Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature Awards

For the Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature Awards, authors must either hold US citizenship or maintain their primary, long-term home in the United States, US territories, or Tribal lands, regardless of immigration status, at the commencement of the eligibility period for the current Awards cycle (December 1, 2023).

The following are eligible:

  • Books by authors who are alive at the commencement of the eligibility period (December 1, 2023)
  • Full-length books of fiction and nonfiction
  • Collections of short stories by a single author
  • Collections of essays by a single author
  • Collected and selected poems by a single author
  • Self-published books, only if the author/publisher also publishes titles by other authors. The Foundation may request the publisher’s catalog to verify.

The following are NOT eligible:

  • Anthologies containing work written by multiple authors
  • Books published through self-publishing platforms and services, including Kindle Direct Publishing
  • Reprints of books published in previous Award years. At the National Book Foundation’s discretion, exceptions may be made for otherwise eligible books published outside the United States in the previous Award year.

Eligibility Criteria for the Translated Literature Award

For the Translated Literature Award, there are no citizenship or residency requirements for either author or translator.

The following are eligible for the Translated Literature Award:

  • English translations of published works of fiction or nonfiction only
  • Books by authors and translators who are alive at the commencement of the eligibility period (December 1, 2023)
  • Translated works published between December 1, 2023 and November 30, 2024. The original text need not have been published in the eligibility period, only the translated work.
  • Full-length books of fiction and nonfiction
  • Collections of short stories by a single author
  • Collections of essays by a single author
  • Self-published books, only if the author/publisher also publishes titles by other authors. The Foundation may request the publisher’s catalog to verify.

The following are NOT eligible for the Translated Literature Award:

  • Works of poetry—only works of nonfiction or fiction are eligible in this category
  • Anthologies containing work written by multiple authors
  • Books published through self-publishing platforms and services, including Kindle Direct Publishing
  • Reprints of books published in previous Award years. At the National Book Foundation’s discretion, exceptions may be made for otherwise eligible books published outside the United States in the previous Award year.

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

SUBMISSION PROCESS

OVERVIEW

Submitting titles for consideration is a two-step process:

      1. 1. Complete the online entry form, which opens on March 13, 2024 and closes on May 15, 2024. Please review the eligibility criteria above closely before submitting.
    1. 2. Send digital & hard copies of titles submitted via the entry form to the Foundation and judges (see section below for details).

    Only publishers may submit titles. To maintain the ethical wall between the Foundation and authors whose work may be up for consideration, all communications about submissions must be conducted by the publisher.

    FEES

    There is a $135 entry fee for each title submitted. Accepted forms of payment include credit card and ACH. Please be prepared with payment information before you begin the online submission process.

    Publishers whose submitted books are deemed ineligible by the Foundation will still be subject to the stated entry fee of $135 per title. Please review the eligibility criteria above closely before submitting.

    The chair of each judging panel may “call in” titles through the Foundation office that have not been submitted by publishers. The Foundation then asks publishers to submit these titles for consideration, assuming they meet eligibility requirements. Publishers may submit at their own discretion. The $135 fee applies to all call-in titles.


    PROVIDING DIGITAL & HARD COPIES

    For each submitted title, publishers are required to send BOTH a digital copy and six hard copies to guarantee consideration. Publishers must send:

      1. 1.  A digital copy (in PDF format) via the process outlined in the confirmation email sent after completing the entry form.
    1. 2. Six hard copies of each book: one copy to the Foundation’s office, and one to each of the five judges in the appropriate category. All relevant mailing addresses are included in the confirmation email sent after completing the entry form.

    The deadline for sending digital and hard copies depends on the title’s publication date. Digital copies must be received by the Foundation by 5:00pm PT on the respective deadline, and hard copies must be postmarked by the same date.

    • Friday, May 31 — Deadline for providing copies of submitted titles published December 1, 2023–June 30, 2024
    • Monday, July 1 — Deadline for providing copies of submitted titles published July 1, 2024–November 30, 2024

    If copies are provided after the deadline, judges are not obligated to consider the title but may do so at their discretion. Digital copies and hard copies of submitted titles should be sent as soon as they are available. Bound manuscripts, galleys, and ARCs are all acceptable as hard copies, and the publisher is welcome to follow up with the final version when it is available if they wish.

    ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS

    By submitting titles for consideration via the online entry form, publishers agree to:

    • Ensure that each author is aware of and consents to the entry of their book for the National Book Awards.
    • Designate one person to coordinate all National Book Award-related matters with the Foundation throughout the Awards process. This person will be contacted in the case that a title becomes part of the Longlist. If this person is new to the process, please make sure they are familiar with all the guidelines and deadlines on this page.
    • Contribute toward a promotional campaign if a submitted book becomes a Finalist. For presses with income of $10 million or above, a contribution of $3,000; under $10 million, a contribution of $750; and for presses with income under $1 million, the fee is waived.
    • Inform authors that, if selected as Finalists, they must agree to attend the Foundation’s National Book Awards events, the details of which will be conveyed to them by the Foundation through their publisher.

    PRIZES

    There are five panels of five Judges each in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature, each including a panel chair, chosen by the National Book Foundation.

    • The Foundation will announce Longlists of ten books in each category in mid-September.
    • The Foundation will announce the twenty-five Finalist books, five in each category, on October 1, 2024.
    • One Winner in each category will be announced at the National Book Awards Ceremony on November 20, 2024.
    • Each Winner will receive a prize of $10,000. Each Finalist will receive a prize of $1,000. In the case of the Translated Literature Award, prizes are split equally between author and translator. In the case of co-authored works, prizes are split equally between authors.

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    Is my self-published book eligible?
    Self-published books are not eligible if published via a publishing service, such as Kindle Direct Publishing. However, if a self-publisher: 1)  publishes more than one author, and 2) does not publish through a publishing service, the title would be eligible. The National Book Foundation may request a catalog of titles from a self-publisher to verify eligibility.

    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.

    Is it possible to submit a book for consideration even though the entry form deadline has passed?
    Unfortunately, no titles can be submitted for consideration after the entry form closes at 5:00pm PT on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. Additionally, physical copies of submitted titles must be postmarked by the deadline corresponding to the publication date in order to be guaranteed consideration (see Submission Process section). If a book is postmarked after these dates, the book is considered only at the judges’ discretion.

    What if galleys of a submitted title won’t be available before July 1, 2024?
    In the case where a galley copy of a title won’t be available until after July 1, 2024, please send a bound manuscript postmarked by the July 1, 2024 deadline. Finished copies may be sent when they become available, but it is not required to send a finished copy for the title to be considered.

    What if a 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.

    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 2023, 1,931 titles were considered for the National Book Award. Of these titles, 496 were for Fiction, 638 were for Nonfiction, 295 were for Poetry, 154 were for Translated Literature, and 348 were for Young People’s Literature.

    How will the publisher know if judges have received copies of the books?
    In advance of the respective deadlines, the Foundation will contact any publisher who has submitted titles for which the National Book Foundation has not yet received digital copies. To ensure sufficient time for mailing hard copies, reminders will also be sent via email to all submitters two weeks before each deadline.

    When will the publisher be notified if a book 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.

    What if I have questions that aren’t answered here?
    Please email questions about your submissions to Awards & Honors Manager Madeleine Shelton at mshelton@nationalbook.org. Technical questions regarding the entry form should be emailed to Meredith Andrews at mandrews@nationalbook.org.