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. Please note that beginning with the 2019 awards cycle (for books published in 2018), we have made slight adjustments to the guidelines, including the criteria for being a “Washington author.” We have also moved the deadline to December 1, 2018; this deadline is for both the online submission form and for books to be received in our office.
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 (four adult categories, four for youth):
Fiction for adults
Poetry for adults
Biography/memoir for adults
History/general nonfiction for adults
Children’s picture book
Book for early readers (ages 6-8)
Books for middle grade readers (ages 9-12)
Books for young adults (ages 13 to 18)
We invite all Washington authors publishing in all genres and for all ages to consider submitting their work for this award recognition. We are currently accepting submissions for the 2019 Washington State Book Awards (for books published in 2018); the deadline for entry is December 1, 2018. 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.
Books will be judged based on three criteria:
Overall quality of the publication
Submit your book
To submit a book for consideration for the 2019 Washington State Book Awards (for books published in 2018), 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 online submission form: Either the author or a representative from the author’s publishing house can submit the entry form: 2019 Washington State Book Award Entry Form.
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.
DEADLINE: December 1, 2018.
The online submission form and copies of the books must be received by December 1, 2018.
Guiding Policies for Judges
Literary merit: 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.
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.”