shiny recognition for your book

How do I make sure my book is considered for awards?

Your publisher should submit your book for awards. But you might want to do some research to find out which awards your book is eligible for and double-check that your publisher has submitted your book for consideration. Some awards are given based on genre, subject matter, or even by the state or region the author lives in. Your publisher probably will NOT submit your book for awards that require an entrance fee; you will need to do that yourself if you want to apply for those awards.

Which awards can MG/YA books win?

There are so many! Here are the most well-known awards (although it’s difficult for a debut novel to win most of these, except the Morris):

(William C.) Morris Award

Given by: YALSA

Criteria: Given to a debut author writing for teens, who has never published any kind of book before, and whose debut is compelling, high quality, and has teen appeal. Eligible formats include any genre including short stories, poetry, graphic novels but not anthologies. Only books published between November 1 of the previous year and October 31 of the current year are considered (so if your book comes out after Oct 31, you have to wait until next year’s Morris Awards to be considered).

Selection: 1 Winner and up to 4 Honors will be chosen by a committee of 9 YALSA members.

Suggestions: Anyone can suggest a title for the award here.

Timeline: A shortlist of up to five titles will be announced before the second Monday of December. The title receiving at least two thirds of the majority vote during committee meeting at Midwinter will be declared the winner. Awards are presented during ALA’s Midwinter Youth Media Awards.

Link: ALA’s page about the Morris Award.

(John) Newbery Award

Given by: American Library Association

Criteria: Given to a distinguished book for children based on literary quality, not popularity. Eligible formats include fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.

Selection: 1 Winner and up to 5 Honors are chosen by a committee of 15 members.

Suggestions: Members of ALSC can suggest titles for the award, but nominations must be seconded by the committee, and nominations remain confidential.

Timeline: Winner/Honors are chosen during a committee meeting at ALA Midwinter and  are called on Monday morning during ALA Midwinter. Awards are presented during a banquet at ALA Annual.

Link: ALA’s page for the Newbery Award.

(Andre) Norton Award

Given by: SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America)

Criteria: Given to a YA or MG book that falls somewhere within the realm of science fiction or fantasy.

Selection: 1 Winner is chosen. Members of SFWA nominate up to six candidates; a jury may then add one to three more candidates to the list. Active members of SFWA then choose one title to receive the award.

Suggestions: Only SFWA members can nominate titles. Neither you nor your publisher can nominate your book. However, your publisher can send review copies to the jury in the hopes that the jury will decide to add your book to the nomination list.

Timeline: Nominations for the award are announced online in the February after the publication year of the nominated books. The winner is announced at the Nebula Award ceremony in May.

Link: SFWA’s page about the Norton Award.

(Michael L.) Printz Award

Given by: YALSA, sponsored by Booklist

Criteria: Given to a YA novel that displays “literary excellence.” Eligible formats include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, anthology.

Selection: 1 Winner and 4 Honors are chosen by a committee of 9 members

Suggestions: Anyone use the ALA website to suggest titles to the award committee, but these will not necessary be nominated, and the Printz nominations are confidential. Publishers, authors, agents, or editors are not allowed to suggest their own titles.

Timeline: Winner/Honors are chosen during a committee meeting at ALA Midwinter and  are called on Monday morning during ALA Midwinter. Awards are presented during a banquet at ALA.

Link: YALSA’s page about the Printz Award.