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Book Lists & Awards

Major Book Awards

General Literature & Fiction Awards

  • National Book Award – Recognizes books written by American citizens and published in the United States in four categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature.
  • National Book Critics Circle Award – annually recognizes books in five categories: fiction, general nonfiction, biography/autobiography, poetry and criticism.
  • Pulitzer Prize for Fiction – For distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life.
  • Nobel Prize for Literature – Named for the Swedish Alfred Nobel who declared in his will that his fortune was to be used to establish prizes to award those who had done their best to benefit mankind through various fields.
  • PEN/Faulkner Award – This award recognizes an outstanding fiction book selected by judges who are themselves fiction writers.
  • The Man Booker Prize – This prize rewards the best novel of the year written by a citizen of the Commonwealth of Nations or the Republic of Ireland.


  • RITA (Romance) Awards – Presented annually by the Romance Writers of America to the best published romance novels of the year.


  • Hammett Award – Awarded annually for literary excellence in the field of crime-writing to a book published in English in the US and/or Canada.
  • The Edgar Awards – Presented annually by the Mystery Writers of America for great works of mystery in several categories.
  • Agatha Awards – Presented by Malice domestic, a group who focuses on saluting the traditional mystery: books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie, mysteries which contain no explicit sex or excessive gore or violence.
  • The Shamus Award – Given by the Private Eye Writers of America to honor excellent work in the Private Eye genre.


  • Spur Awards – given annually for distinguished writing about the American West.


  • Bram Stoker Awards – presented by the Horror Writers Association for “for superior achievement” in the field of horror writing.

Science Fiction & Fantasy

  • The Hugo Award – Also known as The Science Fiction Achievement Award, this is science fiction’s most prestigious award.
  • Nebula Awards – presented by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
  • Mythopoeic Awards – for fantasy and myth.


  • Walt Whitman Award – presented to an American who has never before published a book of poetry.
  • Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize – recognizes the most outstanding book of poetry published in the United States in the previous year.

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