2020 Submission Guidelines

About the Connecticut Book Awards

The mission of the Connecticut Center for the Book is to promote the written and spoken word throughout the state and the Connecticut Book Awards recognize and honor those authors and illustrators who have created the best books in or about our state. The Center is Connecticut’s affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.



We will begin accepting submissions for the 2021 Connecticut Book Awards on February 1, 2021. The guidelines below will be updated within the next few weeks, but the general outlines will remain the same. Please review at your convenience.


Submission Guidelines for 2020

  • Deadline: Submissions must be made by 5:00 p.m. on April 17, 2020.
  • Finalists will be announced in September 2020.
  • Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in October 2020. Final date to be determined.

  • Authors and illustrators must currently reside in Connecticut and must have lived in the state at least three consecutive years or have been born in the state. Alternatively, the work may be substantially set in Connecticut.
  • Titles must have been published for the first time between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019 or have a copyright within 2019.
  • All submitted books must have a valid ISBN.
  • Anthologies are acceptable. Author(s) must currently reside in Connecticut and must have lived in the state at least three consecutive years or have been born in the state. Alternatively, the works must be substantially set in Connecticut.
  • Books by deceased authors will be accepted only if the author was still living at the beginning of the eligibility year (January 1, 2019).

The following are NOT eligible:

  • Reprints of books published in another year.
  • eBooks.
  • Books written by staff or families of Connecticut Center for the Book, Connecticut Humanities, or members or families of the CT Book Award review committee and/or its judges.


Additional Information

  • Each category will have a panel of five (5) judges, one of whom will serve as chairperson. All judges are selected by the Connecticut Center for the Book and have a connection to the literary world in some way. For example, they may be authors, librarians, literature professors, journalists, booksellers, or book reviewers. They are also selected from throughout the state so there is statewide representation.
  • A book title may be submitted in only one category and judges may reassign a title to a category deemed more appropriate than that for which it was originally submitted.
  • Judges will defer to the committee chair to determine the winner in the case of a tie vote in any category.
  • Awards may not be made if there are insufficient entries in a given category.
  • The Connecticut Center for the Book and its Connecticut Book Award judges resolve all questions about eligibility; their decisions are binding.
  • Notifications will be sent to finalists via email by the end of August. If a notification is not received, the book is not a finalist.


  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Poetry
  • Books for Young Readers broken into the following categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books

Submission Process

Submissions open Jan. 13, 2020

  • Deadline: Online form and payment must be received by April 17, 2020 no later than 5:00 p.m.
  • Finalists will be announced in September 2020. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in October 2020. (Final date to be determined.)
  • An online entry form and payment must be submitted for each title under consideration.
  • Payment must be received by the deadline to be eligible.
  • Six (6) copies of the books submitted must be arrive in our offices no later than May 15, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.
  • Distribution of copies: One (1) copy will be distributed to each of the five (5) judges in the category for review. One (1) copy of each finalist and winning entries will be held in the Connecticut Center for the Book’s archives. Books that were not finalists or did not win will be given to the Connecticut State Library for archiving.
  • Submissions made on behalf of an author must get their consent to the entry of his/her title for consideration.
  • Submissions will not be considered without author’s contact information.

Mail book copies to:

Connecticut Center for the Book
c/o Connecticut Humanities
100 Riverview Center, Suite 270
Middletown, CT  06457

Fees for Submission – Entry Fees Based on Initial Print Run

  • 2,000 copies or fewer: $40
  • 2,000 – 4,999 copies:  $50
  • 5,000 – 9,999 copies:  $60
  • 10,000 copies or more: $100


Bruce Fraser "Spirit of Connecticut" Award

“People develop a ‘sense of place’ through experience and knowledge of a particular area. A sense of place emerges through knowledge of the history, geography and geology of an area, its flora and fauna, the legends of a place, and a growing sense of the land and its history after living there for a time.” Dr. Thomas A Woods

Bruce Fraser, director of Connecticut Humanities for 28 years, was a proponent of Connecticut’s sense of place. He was interested in how places evoke memory and emotions from people, how people have such ferocious identification and loyalty to their surroundings and how the very landscape influences people.

Connecticut Center for the Book receives well over a hundred submissions for its annual book awards and many of these books are Connecticut place-based. In honor of Bruce Fraser, this award will highlight the value of sense of place in literature.

How it works

All categories are eligible for this award: Poetry, Fiction, Young Readers and Non-Fiction. Submissions will be made in the usual way and will follow the same guidelines. Category panelists will filter through submissions and tag those that fit the following criteria:

  • Does the text evoke a uniquely Connecticut sense of place?
  • What makes it so?
  • Does it feel authentic to Connecticut’s sense of place? Why?

Review guidelines are the same as any other book in the category with the addition of ‘sense of place.’

If a book selected as the winner for the Bruce Fraser ‘Spirit of Connecticut’ Award is also selected for the category it was submitted for, the Spirit of Connecticut Award will supersede the category award.

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