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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Awards ceremony for 2019 winners: Monday, June 8, 2020.  Winners will be announced in May 2020.

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