“ Too often writers submit to agents and editors without having any credentials, but winning a writing competition—especially a well-known one—gives you immediate credibility and something to add to your writing resume.”
—Brian Klems, writer, speaker, freelance editor, husband, softball player, perennial fantasy sports underachiever, Huffington Post contributor, N64 Golden Eye Champion, Saved by the Bell enthusiast and father of three lovely little girls (who, thankfully, look like their mother).
He’s a proud graduate of the journalism school at Ohio University. He’s also the online editor of Writer’s Digest magazine.
One of the best ways to market your book is to show its worth by winning awards. If all of your awards come from one company, that’s good, but if they come from five different contests, as mine do, that shows that there’s something very right about the story!
Thanks to Koehler Books, http://www.koehlerbooks.com/author-center/kb-authors/getting-endorsements/, for sharing. Koehler is my publisher, and they’re supportive people. If you like what you see here, look for more at the link above.
Writer Advice would love to hear what you like (or don’t like) about any of these companies.
Awards to consider:
- Writer’s Digest Contests (in honor of the quote from Brian Klems at the top of the page)
- Because of the competition, these are highly respected awards. In fact they all are, but you’ll find some excellent opportunities here.
- Pricing and deadlines for numerous contests are listed at https://www.writersdigest.com/writing-competitions-pricing-and-deadlines
- Dragonfly Book Awards
- They accept traditionally published, partnership published and self-published books for any of their contests provided that the books are available for purchase and are printed in English. It does not matter what year or in which country a book is published to be eligible. The Purple Dragonfly Award is for children’s books, and the Royal Dragonfly Award is for all genres.
- Submissions: by October 1, 2020 (Royal Dragonfly); by May 1, 2020 (Purple Dragonfly)
- National Indie Excellence Awards
- NIEA is open to all English language printed books available for sale, including small presses, mid-size independent publishers, university presses, and self-published authors.
- NOTE: Editor B. Lynn Goodwin was a winner in 2018 for Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62.
- Submissions: by March 31, 2020
- Next Generation Indie Book Awards
- The Next Generation Indie Book Awards was established to recognize and honor the most exceptional independently published books in over seventy categories. It is presented by Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group in cooperation with Marilyn Allen of Allen O’Shea Literary Agency.
- NOTE: Editor B. Lynn Goodwin won an award from this company too for Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62.
- Submissions: by February 14, 2020
- Nautilus Book Awards
- The Nautilus Book Awards recognizes self-published works and books from small presses that support conscious living and sustainability, high-level wellness, spiritual growth, and positive social change. It offers awards in thirty-eight categories.
- Submissions: by February 7, 2020
- Eric Hoffer Book Award
- The Eric Hoffer Award honors the memory of the great American philosopher Eric Hoffer by highlighting salient writing, as well as the independent spirit of small publishers. Since its inception, the Hoffer has become one of the largest international book awards for small, academic, and independent presses.
- Submissions: The Eric Hoffer Award uses a two-year sliding window for regular category entry. HURRY! (or try next year) Since our registration desk remains open all year long, January 21 is the official registration cutoff date for all books either published or copyrighted in the prior two years. Books published before this two-year window may enter either the Legacy Fiction category or Legacy Nonfiction category.
- Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Awards sponsored by Foreword magazine
- The Foreword INDIES are awarded to independent publishers, university presses, and self-published authors. The contest is judged by nearly 150 booksellers and librarians who determine winners after a group of finalists is culled by Foreword’s editorial staff.
- Submissions: by January 31, 2020 HURRY!
- Chanticleer Writing Contest
- Chanticleer Book Reviews runs an annual contest that offers fourteen genre-specific book awards and a grand prize. Entries may be manuscripts or books that have been self-published, Indie published, or traditionally published.
- Submissions: vary by category
- Independent Publishers Book Awards (aka IPPY Awards)
- These awards are intended to bring increased recognition to the thousands of exemplary independent, university, and self-published titles published each year. They also offer a separate award for business books called theAxiom Awards (submissions: January 11, 2020).
- Submissions: by February 2020
Are there more contests out there? Absolutely. I think Never Too Late won five or six awards. Google Contests + Romance, or Sci Fi, or Dystopian or literary fiction… You get the idea. If you don’t, please use the contact button, tell me your genre, and I’ll send you some sites to try. I can tell you from personal experiences that awards are worth the investment. Winning any recognition is a great marketing tool–especially if you are an indie published, self published, or author published writer.
SEEKING AN AGENT RATHER THAN AN AWARD?
MAYBE THIS LIST WILL HELP:
The 25 book agents below are the top literary agents for new writers, first-time authors, and debut authors for many of the most popular fiction book genres and sub-genres. In most cases, the author representatives below are included based on the number of significant book deals they’ve reported for new writers, debut authors, and first-time authors. In that regard, you can consider the following fiction book agents the best literary agents for new writers.
Google the company. Then look for the agent. There should be either an e-mail address or a contact form. Write; don’t call.
Or Google the agent and see see what comes up.
1. Marly Rusoff (Marly Rusoff & Associates)
2. Jenny Bent (The Bent Agency)
3. Susan Golomb (Writers House)
4. Dorian Karchmar (William Morris Endeavor)
5. Daniel Lazar (Writers House)
6. Bill Clegg (The Clegg Agency)
7. Madeleine Milburn (Madeleine Milburn Agency)
8. Juliet Mushens (Caskie Mushens)
9. Alexandra Machinist (ICM)
10. Victoria Sanders (Victoria Sanders & Associates)
11. Lisa Grubka (Fletcher & Company)
12. Stephanie Delman (Sanford J. Greenburger Associates)
13. Michelle Brower (Aevitas Creative Management)
14. Sasha Raskin (A Beautiful Mess Entertainment)
15. Laney Katz Becker (Massie & McQuilkin)
16. Henry Dunow (Dunow, Carlson & Lerner)
17. Sally Wofford-Girand (Union Literary)
18. Kim Witherspoon (Inkwell Management)
19. Rob McQuilkin (Massie & McQuilkin)
20. Amy Williams (The Williams Company)
21. Claudia Ballard (William Morris Endeavor)
22. Jeff Kleinman (Folio Literary Management)
23. Ellen Levine (Trident Media Group)
24. Alexa Stark (Trident Media Group)
25. Suzanne Gluck (William Morris Endeavor)