- Our Open Up to Indie Authors campaign urges prestigious prizes and awards that are not yet open to self-publishing to include indie authors in their programs (contact campaigns manager Melissa Addey to alert us to awards that discriminate against indie authors).
- We identify rogue awards which overcharge, over-promise, under-deliver, or exploit authors in our best and worst ratings below. We highlight the best awards in these ratings also.
- We have a regular monthly feature about awards on our blog.
- We have a Partner Membership for author awards and prizes that align with our Code of Standards, and go through the vetting process required to become an ALLi partner.
The award and contest ratings below are the opinion of the ALLi watchdog, based on pricing, reputation of the award, contract terms and conditions, transparency, judging process, and value to the author.
In addition, Hannah Jacobson is the founder of Book Award Pro, an ALLi Partner Member. She joins us as the ALLi Awards & Story Marketing Advisor. Book Award Pro is how authors find and submit to legitimate awards around the world.
Contact the watchdog desk if you would like to inform us about a contest or award, or discuss a rating.
For more information on applying for book awards that are open to indie authors, you can purchase our short guide Book Prizes & Awards for Indie Authors in our bookstore (e-book available free to ALLi author members on the member website)
The event exists to recognize talent, not to enrich the organizers.
Avoid events which are driven by excessive entry fees, marketing services to entrants, or selling merchandise like stickers and certificates.
The judging process is transparent and clear.
Watch out for contests whose judging criteria and personnel are vague or undisclosed.
Entrants are not required to forfeit key rights to their work.
Avoid contests with onerous terms, especially those which require the forfeiture of publishing rights without a termination clause. When in doubt, have an independent professional review the terms.
Receiving an award is an achievement.
An event that hands out awards like Halloween candy dilutes the value of those awards, rendering them meaningless. Beware events that offer awards in dozens of categories. These are often schemes to maximize the number of winners in order to upsell to them.
Prizes are appropriate and commensurate with the entry fees collected.
If a cash prize is offered, it should align with the size of the entry fee. “Exposure” is not an appropriate prize. Representation or publication are acceptable prizes, but only if offered by a reputable company without hidden fees.
There is no profiteering upsell
e.g. manuscript critiques, marketability analyses, tickets for prizegiving, trophies.
Ratings & Reviews
The assessments listed on this page are the opinion of the ALLi Watchdog. Authorized representatives of the organizations listed above are welcome to contact us to request information on ALLi's assessment process, or to present additional information for our consideration.
Is there an award or contest you're wondering about that's not on our list? Let us know so we can evaluate it.