Book awards are an excellent source for discovering new books to read because they highlight literary works that have been recognized for their exceptional quality, creativity, and impact. These awards are often judged by experts in the field, ensuring a certain level of merit and originality. By exploring award-winning books, readers can be assured of engaging with stories that have resonated with critics and peers alike.
Whether it's the Pulitzer Prize, Man Booker Prize, National Book Award, or other prestigious honors, these accolades serve as a guide, leading readers to thought-provoking narratives, diverse perspectives, and exceptional writing. Thus, delving into award-winning books not only guarantees a rewarding reading experience but also introduces readers to authors and themes they might not have encountered otherwise.
BookTalk.org has compiled an extensive list of prestigious book awards that are sure to provide excellent book suggestions. Covering the full range of literary genres, everything from science fiction and mystery to non-fiction and poetry, these awards expose quality books to a broader audience.
Please dig in, mine the below book awards, and let us know if you find any true gems. Perhaps your find will become one of the group discussions on our forums. And if you see any bad links, or errors or omissions on this page, please let us know, so we can keep this Book Awards page up to date, and an outstanding resource, for book lovers, and more specifically, BookTalk.org members, who are trying to find their next great read. (Last Update August 7, 2023)
- National Book Award
Established in 1950, the National Book Award is an American literary prize administered by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization.
- Edgar Allan Poe Award
Each spring, Mystery Writers of America present the Edgar® Awards, also known as "The Edgars," widely acknowledged to be the most prestigious awards in the mystery genre.
- Lambda Literary Award
The Lambda Literary Awards or "Lammys" identify and celebrate the best lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender books of the year and affirm that LGBTQ stories are part of the literature of the world.
- HOLT Medallion by Virginia Romance Writers Winners
The HOLT Medallion Award was named for VRW's first elected president, Cynthia Holt, and serves as the acronym for Honoring Outstanding Literary Talent. In the early 1990s, there were several contests available to unpublished romance writers, but only a few recognizing the achievements of published writers in romantic fiction. The HOLT has been awarded annually since 1995. Medallions are awarded to the authors whose books are selected by a panel of romance readers as the best in each of twelve categories.
- Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY)
Conducted annually, the Independent Publisher Book Awards honor the year's best independently published titles from around the world. The awards are intended to bring increased recognition to the thousands of exemplary independent, university, and self-published titles published each year.
- Locus Award
The Locus Awards are presented to winners of Locus Magazine's annual readers' poll, which was established in the early '70s specifically to provide recommendations and suggestions to Hugo Awards voters. Over the decades the Locus Awards have often drawn more voters than the Hugos and Nebulas combined. In recent years Locus Awards are presented at an annual banquet, and unlike any other award, explicitly honor publishers of winning works with certificates.
- Will Eisner Comic Industry Award
The Eisner Awards are part of, and underwritten by, Comic-Con International, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to creating awareness of and appreciation for comics and related popular artforms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contributions of comics to art and culture.
- Reader's Choice Awards
TCK Publishing Reader's Choice Book Awards Contest lets readers vote for their favorite books in sixteen different categories
- National Book Critics Circle Award
Every year since 1974, the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) presents awards for the finest books published in English. Awards are presented annually, in March. Awards are in six categories: Autobiography; Biography; Criticism; Fiction; Nonfiction; Poetry.
- Hugo Award
The Hugo Awards, presented annually since 1955, are science fiction's most prestigious award. The Hugo Awards are voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Convention ("Worldcon"), which is also responsible for administering them.
- Audie Award
The Audies, sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association (APA), is the premier awards program in the United States recognizing distinction in audiobooks and spoken-word entertainment. Publishers and rights holders enter titles in various categories for recognition of achievement. Finalists are selected, and from that group of finalists one winner is awarded.
- Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition.
- Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award (RT Award)
Reviewers' Choice Awards honor the best books of the year. The winners and nominees are selected by the RT staff of over 50 reviewers representing the readers' voice in the women's fiction industry.
- World Fantasy Award
The World Fantasy Awards are a set of awards given each year for the best fantasy fiction published in English during the previous calendar year. Organized and overseen by the World Fantasy Convention, the awards are given each year at the eponymous annual convention as the central focus of the event.
- Kindle Book Award
Any Independent and Small Press author of an eBook published on Amazon.com is eligle for The Kindle Book Award presented by The Kindle Book Review. Winners receive a $350 cash prize in addition to promotion opportunities.
- Spur Award
Western Writers of America annually honors writers for distinguished writing about the American West with the Spur Awards. Since 1953 the Spur Awards have been considered one of the most prestigious awards in American literature.
- Rebecca Caudill Young Reader's Book Award
The Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award is an annual award given to the author of the book voted most outstanding by students in grades four through eight in participating Illinois schools.
- National Indie Excellence Award
The National Indie Excellence Awards (NIEA) was created to help establish self-publishing as a proud, legitimate, and respectable part of the publishing industry.
- Caldecott Honor
The Caldecott Honor is a citation given by the Association for Library Service to Children of the American Library Association (ALA). The Caldecott Honor is given to worthy runners-up for the Caldecott Medal, a higher honor. Though the Caldecott Honor was initiated in 1971, specially cited runners-up for the Caldecott Medal from previous years were retroactively named Caldecott Honor books.
- RITA Award by Romance Writers of America
The purpose of the Romance Writers of America RITA award is to promote excellence in the romance genre by recognizing outstanding published romance novels and novellas.
- Agatha Award
The Agatha Awards, named for Agatha Christie, are literary awards for mystery and crime writers who write in the cozy mystery subgenre. The Awards are handed out in Washington, D.C., by Malice Domestic Ltd. There are six categories: Best Novel; Best First Mystery; Best Historical Novel; Best Short Story; Best Non-Fiction; Best Children's/Young Adult Mystery.
- Man Booker Prize
The Man Booker Prize for Fiction (formerly known as the Booker-McConnell Prize and commonly known simply as the Booker Prize) is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original novel, written in the English language, and published in the UK.
- Shamus Award
The Shamus Award is awarded by the Private Eye Writers of America (PWA) for the best detective fiction genre novels and short stories of the year.
- Nebula Award
The Nebula Awards® are voted on, and presented by, active members of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. Founded as the Science Fiction Writers of America in 1965 by Damon Knight, the organization began with a charter membership of 78 writers; it now has over 1,500 members, among them many of the leading writers of science fiction and fantasy.
- Barry Award
The Barry Award is conferred for excellence in crime fiction as selected by the editorial staff of Deadly Pleasures magazine. Awards are presented for Best Novel (since 1997), Best First Novel (since 1997), Best Paperback Original (since 1997), Best British Crime Novel (since 2000), Best Short Story (since 2004), and Best Thriller (since 2005). The award was named in honor of fan reviewer Barry Gardner.
- Oregon Book Award
The Oregon Book Awards and Fellowships honor the state's finest accomplishments by Oregon writers who work in genres of poetry, fiction, drama, literary nonfiction, and literature for young readers.
- California Book Award
Since 1931, the California Book Awards have honored the exceptional literary merit of California writers and publishers. Each year a select jury considers hundreds of books in search of the very best in literary achievement. Eligible books must be written while the author is a resident of California, and they must be published during the year under consideration. Awards are presented in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, First Work of Fiction, Poetry, Californiana, Notable Contribution to Publishing, Juvenile Literature and Young Adult Literature.
- Readers' Favorite International Book Award
Readers' Favorite is the fastest growing book review and award contest site on the Internet. We have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Penguin and Harper Collins, and have received the Best Websites for Authors and Honoring Excellence awards from the Association of Independent Authors.
- Mythopoeic Fantasy Award
The Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature is given to the fantasy novel, multi-volume novel, or single-author story collection for adults published during the previous year that best exemplifies "the spirit of the Inklings".
- Minnesota Book Award
Each April, authors, publishers and book-lovers celebrate the best of local literature at the Minnesota Book Awards Gala. The Gala returned this year to the capital city at Saint Paul's historic Union Depot.
- Governor General's Literary Awards / Prix littéraires du Gouverneur général
Each year, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Governor General of Canada collaborate to honor the finest in Canadian literature. The categories are: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, children's literature (text and illustration) and translation.
- British Fantasy Award
The British Fantasy Awards are administered annually by the British Fantasy Society and were first awarded in 1971. The membership of the BFS vote to determine recommendations, short-lists and winners of the awards. The current award categories are Best Novel, Best Novella, Best Short Story, Best Small Press, Best Artist, Best Anthology, Best Collection, and the Karl Edward Wagner Award is given at the discretion of the BFS committee.
- Colorado Book Award
The Colorado Book Award is award by Colorado Humanities to celebrate the accomplishments of Colorado's outstanding authors, editors, illustrators and photographers. Awards are presented in at least ten categories including anthology/collection, biography, children's, creative nonfiction, fiction, history, nonfiction, pictorial, poetry and young adult.
- USA Best Book Awards
The Annual USA Best Book Awards are specifically designed to not only garner MEDIA COVERAGE & BOOK SALES for the winners & finalists but to PROMOTE awarded books to the PUBLISHING & ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRIES!
- Christy Award
A Christian fiction award to recognize novelists and novels of excellence in several genres of Christian fiction.
- Newbery Medal
The Newbery Medal was first offered in 1921 by Fredric G. Melcher as an incentive for better quality in children's books. Named after John Newbery, the famous 18th-century publisher and seller of children's books, it is now donated annually by the Melcher family and awarded by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
- Bram Stoker Award
The Bram Stoker Award is a recognition presented by the Horror Writers Association (HWA) for "superior achievement" in horror writing. The awards have been presented annually since 1987, and the winners are selected by ballot of the Active members of the HWA.
- Macavity Award
The Macavity Awards are a literary award for mystery writers. Nominated and voted upon annually by the members of the Mystery Readers International, the award is named for the "mystery cat" of T. S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.
- Children's Book Council of Australia Award
Established in 1945, the Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) is a not for profit, volunteer run, organisation which aims to engage the community with literature for young Australians. The CBCA presents annual awards to books of literary merit, for outstanding contribution to Australian children's literature.
- WILLA Literary Award
The WILLA Literary Award is presented by Women Writing the West, an association of writers and other professionals who write and promote writing about the West with emphasis on experiences of western women and girls. The award is named in honor of Pulitzer Prize Winner Willa Cather, one of the country's foremost novelists.
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize
Established in 1919, The James Tait Black Prizes are Britain's oldest literary awards. A prize for drama was introduced in 2013.
- American Book Award
The American Book Awards Program respects and honors excellence in American literature without restriction or bias with regard to race, sex, creed, cultural origin, size of press or ad budget, or even genre. The only criteria would be outstanding contribution to American literature in the opinion of the judges.
- Coretta Scott King Award
The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. The award commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honors his wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood.
- San Francisco Book Festival Prize
The San Francisco Book Festival will consider non-fiction, fiction, biography/autobiography, children's books, compilations/anthologies, young adult, how-to, cookbooks, science fiction, business, history, wild card, gay, photography/art, poetry, unpublished, technology and spiritual/religious works. There is no date of publication restriction.
- Golden Crown Literary Award
These awards, also known as The Goldies, are presented each year at the Annual Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS) Conference to recognize excellence in Lesbian Literature.
- Hurston/Wright Legacy Award
The Hurston/Wright Legacy Award honors the best in Black literature in the United States and around the globe. Introduced in 2001, the Legacy Award was the first national award presented to Black writers by a national organization of Black writers.
- Best Translated Book Award
The Best Translated Book Award is an American literary award that recognizes the previous year's best original translation into English, one book of poetry and one of fiction. It was inaugurated in 2008 and is conferred by Three Percent, the online literary magazine of Open Letter Books, which is the book translation press of the University of Rochester.
- Jane Addams Children's Book Award
The Jane Addams Children's Book Award are given annually to the children's books published the preceding year that effectively promote the cause of peace, social justice, world community, and the equality of the sexes and all races as well as meeting conventional standards for excellence.
- Florida Book Award
The Florida Book Awards, established in 2006, is an annual awards program that recognizes, honors, and celebrates the literature by Florida authors and books about Florida published in the previous year. Authors must be Florida residents, except in the nonfiction and visual arts categories, where the subject matter must focus on Florida.
- Charlotte Zolotow Award
The Charlotte Zolotow Award is given annually to the author of the best picture book text published in the United States in the preceding year.
- Arthur C. Clarke Award
The Arthur C. Clarke Award is the most prestigious award for science fiction in Britain. The annual award is given for the best science fiction novel first published in the United Kingdom during the previous year. The award was established with a generous grant given by Sir Arthur C. Clarke and the first prize was awarded in 1987 to Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.