Deadline December 16, 2016 (must be received by this date). Recommended free contest awards four prizes of $500 for books of fiction, nonfiction, first novel, and poetry written by an African-American and published in the US during the current year. The awards honor books that depict the “cultural, historical, or sociopolitical aspects of the African Diaspora”. Must be nominated by the publisher. Sets and multi-volume works are eligible but inspirational, self-help, and adult graphic novels are not. Send hard copy to each member of the judging committee, along with all available information regarding the submission (e.g., promotional material, author biography, available news articles, and reviews).
Black Caucus of the American Library Association
Black Caucus of the American Library Association
P.O. Box 5837
Chicago, Illinois 60680
Poetry Contest Type:
Published Poetry Book
Prose Contest Type:
Published Prose Book
Fiction, nonfiction, and first novel
Received By Deadline
“2017” contest has a 2016 deadline. Note the new deadline for 2016 (formerly December 18).
Top Award Comments:
$500 in each genre (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and first novel)
Honor Book citations may also be awarded in each category. In addition, an Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation is awarded. (These citations are awarded without any accompanying remuneration.)
Publication of Winners:
Entries “must portray some aspect of the African-American experience past, present, or future”. BCALA presents four monetary awards: one for adult fiction, one for nonfiction, one for a first novel, and one for poetry. These awards acknowledge outstanding achievement in the presentation of the cultural, historical, and sociopolitical aspects of the Black Diaspora.
– The Fiction Award recognizes depictions of sensitive and authentic personal experience either within the framework of contemporary literary standards and themes or which explore innovative literary formats.
– The Nonfiction Award honors cultural, historical, political, or social criticism or academic and/or professional research which significantly advances the body of knowledge currently associated with the people and the legacy of the Black Diaspora. (Categories could include the humanities, science and technology, social and behavioral sciences, and reference.)
– The First Novelist Award acknowledges outstanding achievement in writing and storytelling by a first-time African-American fiction writer.
– The Poetry Award strives to recognize and promote emerging and established poets that introduce and foster the joys of poetry writing.
Postal Mail Only
Must be submitted by publisher. Sets or multi-volume works are eligible. New editions of previously published works are eligible only if more than 30% of the total content is new or revised material. Inspirational, self-help, and adult graphic novels are ineligible. Only finished, published books should be submitted; galleys (bound or unbound) and chapbooks are unacceptable.
Authors with Published Books
Geographic Eligibility Comments:
All authors, editors, and contributors must be African-American(s) born in the United States, and books must have been published in the US during the current calendar year.
Black Authors Only
Age of Entrant:
Winning Writers Editor’s Comments:
Books must be sent to the individual judges’ addresses, NOT to the BCALA office.
BCALA’s purpose is to call to the attention of the American Library Association (ALA) the need to respond positively on behalf of the Black members of the profession and the information needs of the Black community by reviewing, analyzing, evaluating, and recommending to the ALA actions on the needs of Black librarians that will influence their status in the areas of recruitment, development, advancement, and general working conditions.
These awards acknowledge outstanding literary works for adult audiences by African-American authors. Recipients of this award offer compelling depictions of the cultural, historical, or sociopolitical aspects of the Black Diaspora and embody the highest quality of writing style and research methodology, if applicable.
See http://bcala.org/literary-award-committee/ for a list of the judges.
(Contest year is designated based on when prizes are awarded, which is the year after the deadline.)
Fiction: Toni Morrison, ‘God Help the Child’
Nonfiction: Pamela Newkirk, ‘Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga’
First Novel: Angela Flournoy, ‘The Turner House’
Poetry: Nate Marshall, ‘Wild Hundreds’
Fiction: Lalita Tademy, ‘Citizens Creek: A Novel’
Nonfiction: Jeffrey B. Leak, ‘Visible Man: The Life of Henry Dumas’
First Novel: Dwayne Alexander Smith, ‘Forty Acres: A Thriller’
Poetry: Kevin Young, ‘Books of Hours: Poems’
Fiction: James McBride, ‘The Good Lord Bird: A Novel’
Nonfiction: Craig Steven Wilder, ‘Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities’
First Novel: Edward Kelsey Moore, ‘The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat: A Novel’
Poetry: Nikki Giovanni, ‘Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid’