Diverse Book Awards

For a comprehensive list of diverse children’s and young adult book awards, you can go HERE.

Diverse book awards for adults


Awards by Ethnicity


Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature: The goal of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature is to honor and recognize individual work about Asian/Pacific Americans and their heritage, based on literary and artistic merit.


Fiction Winner: The Leavers by Lisa Ko

Nonfiction Winner: Asianfail: Narratives of Disenchantment and the Model Minority by Eleanor Ty

Young Adult Winner: It’s Not Like It’s A Secret by Misa Sugiura


Fiction Winner: Deceit and Other Possibilities by Vanessa Hua

Nonfiction Winner: Picture Bride: Stories by Barbara Kawakami

Young Adult Winner: Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee


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Arab American Book Award: The Arab American Book Awards is a literary program created to honor books written by and about Arab Americans. The program generates greater awareness of Arab American scholarship and writing through an annual award competition and educational outreach.


Fiction Winner: The Angel of History by Rabih Alameddine

Nonfiction Winner: Inter/Nationalism: Decolonizing Native America and Palestine by Steven Salaita

Poetry Winner: Something Sinister by Hayan Charara

Children/Young Adult Winner: The Treasure of Maria Mamoun by Michelle Chalfoun


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Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award: The Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award is an annual grant of $1,500 for an emerging writer of color. An unpublished writer is preferred, although publication of one work of short fiction or academic work will not disqualify an applicant.

2017 Winner: Jessica Ellis Lane



NAACP Image Awards: Awarded to people from across the entertainment industry as well as to authors.


Outstanding Literary Work (Fiction): Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Outstanding Literary Work (Nonfiction): Chokehold: Policing Black Men by Paul Butler

Outstanding Literary Work (Debut Author): Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat by Patricia Williams


Outstanding Literary Work (Fiction): The Book of Harlan by Bernice McFadden

Outstanding Literary Work (Nonfiction): Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly


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The National Jewish Book Award: The National Jewish Book Awards program began in 1950 when the Jewish Book Council presented awards to authors of Jewish books at its annual meeting. Awards are presented in over 18 categories. In addition, since 2003, one non-fiction book has been selected as the winner of the Everett Family Foundation Jewish Book of the Year Award.


Jewish Book of the Year (Nonfiction): Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel by Francine Klagsbrun

Fiction Winner: A Horse Walks Into A Bar by David Grossman, translated by Jessica Cohen


Jewish Book of the Year (Nonfiction): Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn by Daniel Gordis

Fiction Winner: The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain



The Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers – These awards are dedicated solely to the work and words of Native and Indigenous writers and storytellers. The winners were selected from an open nomination process and awarded by a panel of Wordcraft Circle members, scholars, writers, and storytellers.


Fiction Winner: The Road Back to Sweetgrass by Linda Legarde Grover

Nonfiction Winner: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer


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International Latino Book Awards: A prize given by Latino Literacy Now, a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization which was founded to promote literacy in the community in all forms: educational, financial, reading, health, and community awareness.


Fiction Winner: Lucía Zárate by Cecilia Velástegui

Latino Focused Nonfiction Winner: Mestizos Come Home!: Making and Claiming Mexican American Identity by Robert Con Davis-Undiano

Best Fiction Book Translation (Spanish to English): The Visits & Other Poems by Mirta Yáñez, translated by Elizabeth Gamble Miller


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The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards: The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards recognize books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures. For over 80 years, the distinguished books earning Anisfield-Wolf prizes have opened and challenged our minds.


Fiction Winner: The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan

Fiction Winner: The Fortunes by Peter Ho Davies

Nonfiction Winner: Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly



Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit & Métis Literature: In collaboration with the Literary Prizes Foundation, CODE’s Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Young Adult Literature is given annually to English-language literary works by First Nations, Inuit or Métis authors in Canada. At the heart of the Burt Award is a desire to give Indigenous youth compelling, meaningful stories, which reflect their culture and identities. They also have awards for African and Caribbean literature.



The Break by Katherena Vermette

2016 Winner:  The Outside Circle by Patti LaBoucane-Benson, illustrated by Kelly Mellings


Awards by Gender or Sexual Orientation


Stonewall Book Award: The first and most enduring award for GLBT books is the Stonewall Book Awards, sponsored by the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table. Since 1971, many books have been honored for exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience.


Literature Winner: Desert Boys by Chris McCormick

Nonfiction Winner: How to Survive a Plague: The inside story of how citizens and science tamed AIDS by David France



Lambda Literary Award: The Lambda Literary Awards (the “Lammys”) identify and celebrate the best lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender books of the year and affirm that LGBTQ stories are part of the literature of the world.


Lesbian Fiction: Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta,

Gay Fiction: God in Pink by Hasan Namir

Transgender Fiction: Tiny Pieces of Skull, or a Lesson in Manners by Roz Kaveney

Bisexual Fiction: The Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North

LGBT Nonfiction: No One Helped”: Kitty Genovese, New York City, and the Myth of Urban Apathy by Marcia M. Gallo

Transgender Nonfiction: Born on the Edge of Race and Gender: A Voice for Cultural Competency by Willy Wilkinson



Women’s Prize for Fiction: One of the most prestigious literary awards in the world, the Women’s Prize for Fiction celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world.



The Power by Naomi Alderman



Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize: Since 1976, the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies and the Department of English at the University of Rochester have awarded the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for fiction by an American woman.



As Close to Us As Breathing by Elizabeth Poliner



Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers: Presented for the 11th year in 2017, the Dayne Ogilvie Prize rewards emerging writers whose body of work demonstrates great potential and who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer.


Kai Cheng Thom, author of  Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars and A Place Called No Homeland (also featured on one of my favorite podcasts Sleepover)



Pat Lowther Award: The Pat Lowther Memorial Award is given for a book of poetry by a Canadian woman, and is in memory of the late Pat Lowther.



Heaven’s Thieves by Sue Sinclair


International Awards and Books in Translation


9mobile Prize For Literature:  The 9mobile Prize for Literature is the first ever pan-African prize celebrating first time writers of published fiction books. The prize aims to serve as a platform for the discovery of new creative talent out of the continent and invariably promote the burgeoning publishing industry in Africa.



And After Many Days by Jowhor Ile



OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature: The OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature is a major award for literary books by Caribbean writers. Books must also have been originally written in English.


Fiction Winner: Augustown by Kei Miller

Nonfiction Winner: Virtual Glimpses into the Past/A Walk Back in Time: Snapshots of the History of Trinidad and Tobago by Angelo Bissessarsingh


DSC South Asian Literature

DSC Prize for South Asian Literature: The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature celebrates the rich and varied world of literature of the South Asian region. Authors could belong to this region through birth or be of any ethnicity but the writing should pertain to the South Asian region in terms of content and theme.



The Story of a Brief Marriage by Anuk Arudpragasam



The Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation: The Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize aims to raise the profile of contemporary Arabic literature as well as honouring the important work of individual translators in bringing the work of established and emerging Arab writers to the attention of the wider world.



The Book of Safety by Yasser Abdel Hafez, translated by Robin Moger

2016 Winner: The Bamboo Stalk by Saud Alsanousi, translated by Jonathan Wright



Best Translated Book Award: The Best Translated Book Award was founded in 2007 (making this its eleventh iteration) to draw attention to the best works of translated literature that came out the following year. The award’s emphasis is on the quality of the book and translation, with the argument that you can’t have a great work of literature without both of these aspects working at a very high level.


Chronicle of the Murdered House by Lúcio Cardoso, translated from Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa and Robin Patterson

Extracting the Stone of Madness by Alejandra Pizarnik, translated from the Spanish by Yvette Siegert


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Soroptimist International Leeds Literary Prize: The SI Leeds Literary Prize is a biennial prize for unpublished fiction by Black and Asian women resident in the UK aged 18 years and over. Everything about the SI Leeds Literary Prize aims to act as a loudspeaker for Black and Asian women’s voices

2016 Winner: Marmite and Mango Chutney by Amita Murray


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Sunday Times Literary Awards (South America): The Sunday Times in South Africa awards two prizes to South African citizens every year, including the Alan Paton Award for non-fiction and the Barry Ronge Fiction Prize.


Fiction Winner: Little Suns by Zakes Mda

Nonfiction Winner: Murder at Small Koppie: The Real Story of The Marikana Massacre by Greg Marinovich


Special Mention

PEN America Literary Awards: Since 1963, the PEN America Literary Awards have honored many of the most outstanding voices in literature across diverse genres, including fiction, poetry, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, and drama. With the help of their partners, PEN America confers over 20 distinct awards, fellowships, grants and prizes each year. Because of the many books given awards, I have not listed them here, but you can find them on their website.