The Washington Center for the Book presents the annual Washington State Book Awards recognizing books that exemplify the best writing in the state during a given year. The purpose of the awards is to honor outstanding books by Washington authors, to recognize a diversity of voices, and to bring attention to the quality of writing being produced in Washington.

Awards are given in eight categories: five adult categories, three for youth

Categories for Adult Books:

  • Biography and Memoir
  • Fiction
  • Creative Nonfiction (e.g., narrative works, essays…),
  • General Nonfiction (e.g., cookbooks, gardening, guidebooks and other nonfiction books are eligible for this category)
  • Poetry

Categories for Children’s Books:

  • Picture Books
  • Books for Young Readers (ages 6 to 12; includes chapter books and middle grade) Books for Young Adults (ages 13 and up)

We invite all Washington authors publishing in all genres and for all ages to consider submitting their work for this award recognition.

We will begin accepting submissions for the 2020 Book Award (for books published in 2019) by April 1, 2019. The deadline for entry will be December 2, 2019. There is no entry fee.

Definition of a Washington Author

 A Washington author is a writer (or the illustrator of a children’s picture book) who meets one of these criteria:

Lived in Washington state as a primary residence for at least five years, or
Is a current resident and has maintained residence here for at least three years.

Selection Criteria

Books will be judged based on three criteria:

  • Quality of writing
  • Lasting importance
  • Quality of the publication (including design and production)

Submit your book

To submit a book for consideration for the 2020 Washington State Book Awards (for books published in 2019), just follow these four steps:

Check Author Eligibility: Please make sure that the author meets our eligibility requirements of a “Washington author” listed above.

Review Our Judging Guidelines: Take a look at the complete guidelines (listed below) that our judges consider when reading submissions to get an idea if your work is a good fit for this particular award.

Complete the the appropriate online submission form: Books for Young Readers /  Books for Adults

Send books (nonreturnable) to the WSBA office:
Send SIX copies of the published book for adult categories or FOUR copies of the published book for youth categories to:

Washington State Book Awards
c/o Seattle Public Library
1000 Fourth Avenue
Seattle, WA   98104

Copies of the books will be distributed to judges.

Note: If a book’s publication date is between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31 and finished copies are not available by Dec. 2, please email us at wacenterforthebook@gmail.com.  

Guiding Policies for Judges

Quality of Writing: Books will be judged principally on the quality of the writing. Scholarly works are eligible if they are accessible and of interest to the non-specialist reader.
Overall quality of the publication: Production of the book, presentation, and documentation will also be considered.
Category assignment: Award administrators and judges may reassign a submitted book if they see it as a better fit in another category.
Books with multiple authors: A primary author of the work must meet the definition of Washington resident.
Authors who live in Washington part time: An author who lives in Washington part of the year and considers Washington to be home is eligible.
Previous winners: The fact that an author has received an award in a prior year does not disqualify a current book by that author.
Multiple books published in one year: An author may be recognized for more than one book published in a year.
Reprints: A title that is a new or updated edition, or reprinted material (e.g., from cloth to paper), will generally not be considered unless the original edition was not considered.
Books inadvertently omitted: A title that was inadvertently not considered one year is eligible for consideration the following year.
Art books, photography books, or books that are primarily illustration: With the exception of children’s picture books, those works that consist primarily of depictions of artwork and artists’ statements without original commentary will generally not be considered

Winners of the Washington State Book Award will receive a monetary award of $500. This award is per book, not per contributor, and will only go to those who meet the criteria of “Washington author.”