2021 Oregon Book Awards Guidelines and Entry Form

Application Deadline: October 23, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. Pacific time.

The finalists for the 2021 Oregon Book Awards will be announced by March 2021, and the winners will be announced at the Oregon Book Awards Ceremony to be held in May 2021.

Work may be submitted by the author, publisher, producer, or any member of the public.

Literary Arts will be accepting applications online only. Nominated titles should be submitted in PDF format. Nominated titles need to be submitted as PDFs.

Please note: Literary Arts’ physical offices are closed and staff is working remotely. We are unable to accept nominated books in printed form, mailed through the US mail. We are only accepting PDF book submissions. Thank you for your patience in this challenging year.

There are three steps for submitting a book for the Oregon Book Awards:

  1. Fill out the form at the bottom of this page and submit. (Please note: after you submit the form, the page will re-load and take you to top of the page. You will need to scroll down to see the confirmation).
  2. Submit the Application fee at https://literary-arts.org/product/2021-oregon-book-award-application-fee/ PLEASE INCLUDE THE TITLE OF THE SUBMITTED WORK IN THE “ORDER NOTES” WHEN YOU PAY YOUR FEE SO THE FEE CAN EASILY BE CONNECTED TO THE TITLE YOU’VE SUBMITTED.
  3. After you submit the application fee, email susan@literary-arts.org. You will be sent a Drop box link invitation for submission of the PDF of the nominated title. Please note: it may take 2-3 business days for you to receive the Drop Box link invitation.

Your application is not complete until you have submitted all 3 items listed above – the application form, the fee, and the PDF of the title to be considered. Please note: The application form and fee must be paid by the October 23, 2020 deadline. PDFs should be submitted within 2-3 days of receiving the drop box link; since some authors may not receive the PDF link until after the deadline, PDFs can be submitted after the OBA deadline, but application form and fees are due October 23, 2020. Email susan@literary-arts.org with questions.


Oregon Book Awards are available for original work published or produced in the following categories:

  • Poetry, including chapbooks of more than twenty pages in length.
  • Fiction, including novels and short story collections. 
  • General Nonfiction, including biography, history, sciences, nature writing, landscape, and criticism. 
  • Creative Nonfiction, including autobiography, memoir, and personal essay. 
  • Children’s literature, including poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Middle grade readers and picture books are included in this category.
  • Young Adult literature, including poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.
  • The award for Drama is biennal and will be awarded in 2021. For the drama award, the script must have been published or had its first public performance or public reading between September 1, 2018 and August 31, 2020.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Work must be written by an Oregon resident whose legal residence is in Oregon at least six months of the year. A resident who moves away from Oregon permanently after the submission deadline will be disqualified. A qualified resident who dies after submitting their book may receive a posthumous award. 
  • Self-published titles are eligible.
  • An ISBN is required for all genres, with the exception of drama (see guidelines above for drama).
  • A title can be submitted in one genre only. The author or publisher that submits the book determines which genre to submit in.
  • Books must have an original publication date between September 1, 2019 and August 31, 2020. A reprint of a book published in a previous award year is not eligible. In the case of a collected work, this timeframe applies to the publication as a volume, not of individual pieces. 
  • Works of translation are ineligible.
  • Editors are ineligible.
  • Anthologies containing work written by multiple authors are ineligible.
  • All books for the genres listed here are judged for their writing, and the award is given to the writer. 
  • Work authored or published by Literary Arts staff, trustees or Oregon Book Awards & Fellowships Advisory Council members are precluded from consideration for Oregon Book Awards.  Literary Arts staff, trustees, and Oregon Book Awards & Fellowships Advisory Council members are also precluded from serving as Oregon Book Awards or Oregon Literary Fellowship jurors and from receiving Oregon Literary Fellowships.  Work authored by former Literary Arts staff, trustees or Oregon Book Awards & Fellowships Advisory Council members may be considered, provided that the staff member, trustee or Oregon Book Awards & Fellowships Advisory Council member resigned from their position at Literary Arts at least six months before the earliest submission date.  
  • In the event of a dispute regarding a title’s eligibility, Literary Arts will make the final decision on eligibility.
  • Literary Arts reserves the rights to refuse a submission for any reason.

Selection Process

Out-of-state judges, three in each genre, will be instructed to choose up to five finalists in each category, including a winner, using literary merit as the sole selection criterion. Literary Arts does not pre-screen entries except to determine eligibility.    

Entry Form

Please fill out the following form and hit “submit” when you are done. After the form is submitted there you will see a confirmation note on this same page. PLEASE NOTE: When you pay the submission fee, please indicate in the “order notes” which title the fee is for, so the fee can easily be connected to the title you have submitted it for. Please see above note about sending PDFs after the deadline.

The deadline has passed.