The annual California Book Awards, which began in 1931, recognize the state’s best writers and illuminate the wealth and diversity of literature written in California. Monetary prizes are given in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, juvenile literature, young adult literature, first work of fiction, Californiana and notable contribution to publishing.

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Finalists for the 89th Annual California Book Awards


The Dreamt Land, Mark Arax, Knopf

Shadowlands, Anthony McCann, Bloomsbury

Know My Name, Chanel Miller, Viking

The White Devil’s Daughter, Julia Flynn Siler, Knopf

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, David Treuer, Riverhead


Your House Will Pay, Steph Cha, Ecco

Cantoras, Carolina de Robertis, Knopf

The Other Americans, Laila Lalami, Pantheon Books

The Revisioners, Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, Counterpoint


A Place to Belong, Cynthia Kadohata, Atheneum

Extraordinary Birds, Sandy Stark-McGinnis, Bloomsbury

Guts, Raina Telgemeier, Scholastic

Stargazing, Jen Wang, First Second


Last of Her Name, Mimi Lok, Kaya Press

99 Nights In Logar, Jamil Kochai, Viking

On Swift Horses, Shannon Pufahl, Riverhead Books

A Prayer for Travelers, Ruchika Tomar, Riverhead Books

Home Remedies, Xuan Juliana Wang, Hogarth


The Voice in my Head, Dana L. Davis, Ink Yard Press

Who Put This Song On?, Morgan Parker, Delacorte 


Patron Saints of Nothing, Randy Ribay, Kokila

Frankly in Love, David Yoon, G.P Putnam’s Sons


Street Gloss, Brent Armendinger, the operating system

A Little More Red Sun on the Human, Gillian Conoley, Nightboat Books

A Jazz Funeral for Uncle Tom, Harmony Holiday, Birds, LLC

Monsters I Have Been, Kenji Liu, Alice James Books

Magical Negro, Morgan Parker, Tin House Books

The submission deadline for 2019 awards has passed. If you have any questions, please contact 


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

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

Works must have been published during the calendar year being considered (January 1 through December 31).

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 based in California.

To be eligible for Juvenile, the writer and illustrator must be a California resident.

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, that author can still submit for general fiction.

Short story collections and essays by the same author will be accepted for consideration.

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


Please direct any questions regarding the 2019 California Book Awards to