California Book Awards Submission Guidelines

Submissions for The Commonwealth Club of California's 86th Annual California Book Awards will be accepted starting in July 2016. Authors and publishers are invited to submit entries online for books published in 2016 to the 86th California Book Awards. Deadline is December 23, 2016.


Entries are restricted to books bearing a 2016 original publication date. The author must have been a legal resident of California at the time the manuscript was accepted for publication. To be eligible for an award for Notable Contribution to Publishing, the publisher must be headquartered in California.

Currently, The Commonwealth Club of California regrets that we cannot consider books that are either self-published or from vanity presses, nor do we accept "print-on-demand press" books or e-books for the California Book Awards. Any book we review for the awards should be available at a local bookstore and not exclusively accessible through the Internet. Each year a volunteer jury considers more than 500 titles that have been published by a commercial or non-profit publisher. The number of books self-published each year are too many for the jury to add to this consideration. Additionally, we would have no third party to confirm eligibility of a title. As the world of publishing continues to change, we will continue to reconsider how we might include self-published works in the future.

Submitting an Entry

Each entry must be submitted through our online entry form and no later than midnight December 23, 2016. The submitted form will generate an email confirming that your submission has been received. Please include this email confirmation with at least six (6) copies of each book entered. Books must be delivered to:

The California Book Awards
The Commonwealth Club of California
555 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Copies of entries cannot be returned. There is no entry fee to enter the California Book Awards.

Important Dates

Submission Deadline: Midnight, December 23, 2016
Finalists Announced: March 2017
Winners Announced: May 2017
Awards Ceremony: June 2017

We strongly encourage our winners to attend the ceremony. We consider this an excellent opportunity for writer and audience to connect, as attendees get the opportunity to hear the author read from the winning work. One can count on the ceremony to be a lively assembly of Bay Area literati, past medal winners and Commonwealth Club members. If a winner has a scheduling conflict and cannot attend, we ask that s/he send a qualified representative to the ceremony to accept the award and read on the winner’s behalf.

If you have other questions, please email