Literary Awards: Guidelines for Competition


Books eligible for the Library of Virginia Literary Awards must have been written by a Virginia author or, for nonfiction books, have a Virginia-related theme. Virginia authors are defined as writers meeting one or more of the following qualifications: native-born Virginians, authors whose permanent residence is in Virginia, and authors who spent their formative years in Virginia and are widely identified as Virginians.

The following types of books are not eligible for the awards: reference works, anthologies, documentary editions, children’s and juvenile literature, photographic books, self-help books, and "how to" books.

Any individual, organization, or company may nominate books to be considered for these awards. Each year’s awards honor books written in the previous calendar year. Thus, entries for the 2017 awards must have been published and distributed between January 1 and December 31, 2016.


Entries can be submitted for the following categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, or Poetry.


Entry forms can be submitted online or printed from PDF and mailed to:

The Library of Virginia Literary Awards
800 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219-8000

Publishers should submit five copies of each book nominated.


The deadline for entries is February 10, 2017. The completed entry form and books must be on hand prior to that date. Entries will be forwarded to judges on receipt, so please enter as soon as possible.

Judges and Judging

The Library of Virginia, as part of its management of the adjudication process, will request adjudication copies of eligible books nominated by interested readers.

Independent panels of judges will consider all entries. Awards will be granted at the discretion of the panel. Panel members will represent a broad spectrum of expertise in writing and publishing. Entries will be judged principally on the quality of the writing, with organization and interpretation also playing a role in the decision.

Finalists in each category will be notified by August 1, 2017.

Special Notes

Entries must be received by February 10, 2017.

No entry fee is required.

For more information, please call 804.692.3535.

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