California Book Awards

Finalists for the 90th Annual California Book Awards will be announced in June. The awards ceremony will be in August 2021.

Books authored by residents of California and published during the 2021 calendar year may be submitted starting September 15th, 2021.

Click to learn more about the awards

We accept

Books in the categories of Fiction, First Work of Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Juvenile (to age 12), Young Adult, Californiana and Contribution to Publishing.

Work must have been written by authors living in California at the time their work was published or submitted for publication.

To be eligible for Californiana, the work must deal with a California-based issue, topic or historical period.

To be eligible for Contribution to Publishing, the publisher must be a California resident.

To be eligible for Juvenile, the writer must be a California resident. The illustrator does not need to be.

To be eligible for First Work of Fiction, the work must be the author’s first fictional effort. Previously published short story collections will disqualify an author from the First Work of Fiction category; however, the author can still submit for the Fiction category.

Short story collections by the same author will be accepted for consideration under the Fiction category. Essay collections by the same author will be accepted for consideration under the Non-Fiction category.

If certain stories in the short story or essay collection have been published previously, the work may still be submitted for consideration. Eligibility is at the discretion of the jury.


Self-published works
Works from a publishing house that does not have some sort of vetting process
Guidebooks or manuals
“As told to” books
Anthologies from multiple authors
Works by dual authors, unless both authors are California residents
Translations of deceased authors or older works
Reprints of books published in previous years

Please direct any questions regarding the Book Awards to