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Book Contests with the Indie Author in Mind

These contests were compiled early November 2016. I will update each month. Many are targeted toward the indie author but not all. Within each listed contest are the divisions. Make sure you read the parameters of the contest carefully and read and read again. Make sure it’s a good fit for you and your work and it’s affordable. Many have children’s book divisions as well as cover design, ebooks, etc. There are also more contests out there to scour, especially if you have a special niche like a dog or cat story. Check out:  https://dogwriters.org/ or http://catwriters.com/wp_meow/. There are also awards that are compiled by nomination where a board member or an organization member must suggest or nominate your book for an award. Make sure you do your research prior to entering. Best of luck!

  1. The Illumination Awards: http://www.illuminationawards.com. Deadline on this event is November 19th! With the motto, “Shining a Light on Exemplary Christian Books,” The Illumination Book Awards are designed to honor the year’s best new titles written and published with a Christian worldview. Books released between January 1st 2015 and November 21st, 2016 are eligible for entry.
  2. Booklife Prize in Fiction: http://booklife.com. Submission date of September 30th. The mission of the BookLife Prize in Fiction is to discover, cultivate, support, and celebrate great works of unpublished or self-published fiction by independent authors. Open to un-published or independent published works.
  3. eLit Book Awards: http://www.elitawards.com/. Deadline for this contest is January 31st, 2017. eBook only entries. Titles published with a 2015 or 2016 copyright or that were released between January 1, 2015 and January 31, 2017.
  1. Epic org contest: http://epicorg.org/competitions. Entry period is June 1 – July 15. eBook only. Several different competitions with ebook, cover art and young writer’s division. See site for complete list and rules.
  2. Foreward’s INDIES Book Awards: https://publishers.forewordreviews.com. Deadline of January 15, 2017. Accepting books by independent authors/publishers written in 2016 currently.
  3. Global Ebook Awards: http://globalebookawards.com/. Registration currently open for ebooks from 2015 or newer. Not positive on closing date – but it may be August 1, 2017.
  4. International Association of Culinary Professionals: http://www.iacp.com. Yes, there are even contests out there for cookbooks! See site for next year’s submission info.
  5. Independent Press Award: http://www.independentpressaward.com. Deadline March 31st. Accepting books published between 2014 – 2017. Several categories. Independent presses and authors.
  6. National Indie Excellence Awards: http://www.indieexcellence.com/index.html. Submission deadline March 31st, 2017. Does not accept ebooks. Entries from 2014-2017 eligible depending on category/entry. Open to indie authors, small press and mid-size independent publishers. Check rules for more details,
  1. Best Indie Book Awards: http://bestindiebookaward.com. Early submission for 2017 awards now open. There are only nine categories in this award program. Books from 2010 or newer are valid for entry. For the indie or self-published, small or independent press.
  2. The Golden Kite Awards: http://www.scbwi.org/awards/golden-kite-award/. Deadline for entries is December 5th, 2016. Since 1973, the only children’s book awards that are judged by a group of peers. http://www.scbwi.org/Pages.aspx/Submission-Guidelines–Individuals
  3. Moonbeam Children’s Books Awards: http://www.moonbeamawards.com/. Submissions due in August. Looks like contest opens in March. Presented in November. For books that were intended for the North American market.
  4. Next Generation Indie Book Awards: http://www.indiebookawards.com/. Open for entries now with submissions due February, 17, 2017. Over 70 categories!
  5. National Book Critics Circle Awards: http://bookcritics.org/awards/awards. Recommendations accepted by board members by December 1st – this contest is for current year books. There are 6 categories. Submission selection is done by their own board recommendations.
  6. The Hugo Awards: http://www.thehugoawards.org/about/. Member recommendations need to be submitted between January and March. This is a sci-fi book contest that is voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Convention (worldcon).
  7. St. Martin’s Minotaur/ Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition: http://mysterywriters.org/about-mwa/st-martins/. Submission Date of December 12th.
  8. Romance Writers of America contests: https://www.rwa.org/. They offer several wards and contests. Please check their site for more information.
  9. Literary Classics International Book Awards: http://www.clcawards.org/. This organization boasts several children and youth contests. Please check site for details.
  10. Newfound: https://newfound.org/prose-prize/. The Newfound Prose Prize is for short stories. Contest is now open and submission date is March 15, 2017. Other contests available on site.
  11. Five Star Publications Royal Dragonfly Book Awards: http://www.fivestarpublications.com/bookcontest/rd_book_contest.html. Entries due October 1st, 2017. Several categories.
  12. Five Star Publications Purple Dragonfly Children’s Book Awards: http://www.fivestarpublications.com/bookcontest/pd_book_contest.html. These entries are due May 1st, 2017.
  13. Mom’s Choice Awards: https://www.momschoiceawards.com/about/. Not necessarily a contest, but more a seal of approval. Create an account to log-in and apply.
  14. Indie Reader Discovery Awards: http://indiereader.com/authorservices/indiereader-discovery-awards/. Entry is open for the 2017 awards. Strictly indie authors only and not restricted to when book was published. A review of each book submitted is included in cost of entry fee.
  15. Beverly Hills Book Awards: http://www.beverlyhillsbookawards.com/. Submissions open in December. Many, many categories available in this contest.
  16. International Excellence Body, Mind, Spirit Book Awards®: http://www.bmsbookawards.com/index.html. Deadline for this contest is February 17th, 2016. This contest is for spirituality books such as natural healing. See site for full details of categories.
  17. The Kindle Book Review Awards: http://www.thekindlebookreview.net/. 2017 contest not announced at this time. Will check back later.
  18. Nautilus Book Awards: http://www.nautilusbookawards.com/. Entries now open with a submission deadline of February 10th, 2017. 38 categories with at least 8 in children’s and young adult.
  19. Reader Views awards: http://readerviews.com/literaryawards/. Registration deadline is December 1st, 2016. Several categories including children’s and ebooks.
  20. Reader’s Favorite Book Reviews and Contests: https://readersfavorite.com/annual-book-award-contest.htm. Entry deadline of May 1st, 2017. Numerous categories and the possibility to be one of the lucky winners to have their story also checked out for film.
  21. Writer’s Digest Competitions/Awards: http://www.writersdigest.com/writers-digest-competitions/self-published-ebook-awards. WD offers several competitions with varying submission dates. The Self-Published Book Awards submission deadline is usually May 1st.
  22. Shelf Media Group Best Indie/Self-Published Book Competition: http://www.shelfmediagroup.com/pages/competition.html. Entries closed on October 1st, 2016. Check later for 2017 competition.
  23. Living Now Book Awards: http://www.livingnowawards.com/index.php. Call for entries! Deadline is July 1st, 2017. Contest for books for better living for ourselves and our planet. Books that are life changing.
  24. Colorado Independent Publishers Association Awards: http://cipabooks.com/cipa-evvy-awards/. Opens for submissions in February 2017. For indie/self-pub books. Several categories including audio and ebooks.
  25. IBPA Benjamin Franklin’s Book Awards: http://ibpabenjaminfranklinawards.com/. As part of the Independent Book Publishers Awards. Second call for this year for entries published September 1st 2016 through December 31st, 2016 with a deadline of December 15th, 2016.
  26. Axiom Business Book Awards: http://www.axiomawards.com/. Registration open now with a deadline of December 10th, 2016. Strictly for business type books.
  27. Bookstore Without Borders Contest: http://www.bookstorewithoutborders.com/for-authors/lyra-contest/. Entry deadline of December 31st, 2016. Ten categories for ebook fiction only.
  28. Green Book Festival Competition: http://www.greenbookfestival.com/. Deadline for submissions is April 25th, 2017. The annual competition honors books that contribute to greater understanding, respect for and positive action on the changing worldwide environment.
  29. Historical Novel Society Book Awards: https://historicalnovelsociety.org/hns-awards/hns-indie-award-competition-rules-2016/. This is not a competition. Books are submitted and reviewed and if warranted, given an award. Check the site for more details.
  30. Hollywood Book Festival Book Awards: http://www.hollywoodbookfestival.com/. Entries closed July for this year, so check back for next year’s submission dates. At least 15 categories including one for children’s books. Judged on the author’s story telling abilities and the potential to transform the book into other forms of media.
  31. New Apple Book Awards: http://www.newappleliterary.com/awards.html. Deadline of December 16th, 2016 for this year’s entries. Books must be self-published or small press published. Over 60 categories.
  32. New England Book Festival Competition: http://www.newenglandbookfestival.com/. Entry deadline of December 25th, 2016. Several categories including children’s book.
  33. New York Book Festival Competition: http://www.newyorkbookfestival.com/. Deadlines for entries is May 25th, 2017. Several categories including children’s books. Judges on the author’s storytelling ability and potential of the work to win greater recognition.
  34. USA Book News Best Book Awards sponsored by American Book Fest: http://www.usabooknews.com/2017bestbookawards.html. Final entry deadline is September 30th, 2017. Eligible titles from 2015-2017. Too many categories to count – there has to be something here for everyone.
  35. The Wishing Shelf Book Awards: http://www.thewsa.co.uk/index.php. Deadline is December 31st, 2016. This contest is for self-published and small press books. It only has 6 categories. It is judged by reader groups, children and teachers depending on the category. It is for books printed in the 2016 year. This one looks very interesting!
  36. Paris Book Festival Competition: http://www.parisbookfestival.com/. Deadline is April 25th, 2017. International competition. Several categories in this one including children’s. Might want to enter this one just for the trip if you win! 15 divisions.
  37. London Book Festival: http://www.londonbookfestival.com/. Deadline for entries is November 25th, 2016. Several categories. For works published from 2013 and more recent.
  38. International Rubery Book Award: http://www.ruberybookaward.com/enter.html. Deadline of March 31st, 2017. Based in the UK, this contest is for indie and self-published books.



If you would like to suggest a contest to add to the list or an update, or god forbid you find a typo, please shoot me an email:  [email protected]

Good luck creating!


M.C. Hillegas

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