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 project of The Washington Center for the Book (an affiliate of The Library of Congress Center for the Book administered by Washington State 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 2024 book awards (for books published in 2023):

Categories for Adult Books (four categories):

  • Creative Nonfiction/Memoir (includes narrative works, essays)
  • Fiction
  • General Nonfiction/Biography (includes cookbooks, gardening, guidebooks, and other nonfiction books)
  • Poetry

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:
Submissions for 2024 awards (for 2023 titles are closed.)
We are not yet accepting 2024 titles for the 2025 awards.
This site will be updated when submissions are open again.

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.