The Washington State Book Awards honor works of outstanding literary merit by Washington authors. An award is given based on the strength of the publication’s literary merit, lasting importance and overall quality. We are particularly interested in prioritizing excellent works created by authors of communities that have been historically marginalized and excluded.
The Washington State Book Awards are a partnership of The Washington Center for the Book (an affiliate of The Library of Congress Center for the Book administered by Washington State Library) and The Seattle Public Library.
Eligibility: Any book by an author whose current residence is in Washington state is eligible and will be considered by our judges.
Awards will be given in seven categories for the 2023 book awards (for books published in 2022):
Categories for Adult Books (four categories):
- Creative Nonfiction/Memoir (includes narrative works, essays)
- General Nonfiction/Biography (includes cookbooks, gardening, guidebooks, and other nonfiction books)
For Books for Youth:
- Picture Books
- Books for Young Readers (ages 6 to 12; includes chapter books and middle grade)
- Books for Young Adults (ages 13 and up)
Definition of a Washington Author: A Washington author is a writer who is a current resident of Washington state.
Selection Criteria: Books will be judged based on three criteria:
- Quality of writing
- Lasting importance
- Quality of the publication (including design and production)
How to enter your book:
Complete an online submission form: 2023 Washington State Book Awards submission form.
After you’ve submitted the online form, send:
Six (6) copies of each final printed title in the ADULT categories, OR
Four (4) copies of each final printed title in the YOUTH categories, to:
Washington State Book Awards
c/o Seattle Public Library
1000 Fourth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104
Please help us get books to our judges in a timely manner by following these deadlines!
June 30, 2022: For books published January 1 to May 31, 2022
September 15, 2022: For books published June 1 to August 15, 2022
Nov. 15, 2022: For books published August 16 to October 15, 2022.
January 16, 2023: For books published October 16 to December 31, 2022.
FINAL DEADLINE: January 16, 2023
How will I know if my books arrived?
We compare our online entries to the physical books received, and will contact you if we do not have your books! We want to be sure to get your book to the judges, and we frequently cross check online submissions with books received. There is no need to contact us. (Thank you!)
Can a book from the previous year be entered?
We will accept books only for the current awards cycle; for the 2023 awards, we will accept books published in 2022. Since the deadline to receive books is in January, it should be possible for publishers and authors to get finished copies of books to us..
When will finalists and winners be announced?
Typically we announce finalists and winners for each category between August and October. Finalists will be contacted directly ahead of a public announcement. You will find the announcement on this website.
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.
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.