2019 Writers’ League of Texas Book Awards Contest

The full list of 2019 Winners, Finalists, and Discovery Prize Winners can be found here. Congratulations to our honorees! 

The state of Texas has a long tradition of serving as a setting for and inspiring great storytelling. Honoring that tradition, the Writers’ League of Texas Book Awards were established in 1991 (known first as the Violet Crown Awards before being renamed in 2008) to recognize the year’s best among those stories and to celebrate the exceptional writers behind them.

Please read all of the guidelines below before submitting your entry. Failure to comply with contest rules will result in disqualification.


OPEN TO: The 2019 Book Awards Contest is open to Texas authors of books published in 2019. Authors are NOT required to be members of the Writers’ League.

DEADLINE: Open to submissions from October 15, 2019 – March 10, 2020.


PRIZES: Winners in each of the five categories will receive a $1000 cash prize, a commemorative award, and public recognition at the 2020 Texas Book Festival in Austin, TX. In addition, five Discovery Prize Winners will receive a $250 cash prize.

MATERIALSEntry form (online) + 3 copies of book (printed)

ELIGIBILITY: To enter this contest, you must be a Texas author. "Texas author" is defined as anyone who (whether currently a resident or not) has lived in Texas for a period of 3 or more years. This contest is open to indie or self-published authors as well as traditionally-published authors.

CATEGORIES: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, picture books, middle grade/young adult books



1. Fill out the online entry form and follow the steps to submit your payment online via credit card or PayPal account. Once payment is complete, you will receive an automated email confirmation letting you know that your entry form has been received.

2. Within 7 days, please mail three (3) copies of the published book to: The Writers' League of Texas Book Awards Contest, 611 S. Congress Ave, Suite 200A-3, Austin, TX 78704.  


Please clearly mark the outside of the package with the words "BOOK AWARDS".

Please do NOT require a signature upon delivery. Requiring a signature upon delivery may cause your materials to be returned to you. We are not responsible for materials that never reach us.

All materials must be postmarked by March 10, 2020. Materials that arrive after the deadline with a postmark date of later than March 10, 2020 will be disqualified. 

3. Please do NOT call the WLT office to inquire about whether your books arrived safely. We will expect your books to arrive within approximately 10 days of your online entry form, and we will contact you if your package has still not arrived after 14 days. If you do not hear from us, rest assured that your entry is complete and that we have received everything we need.  

PLEASE NOTE: If you are an agent or publisher submitting on behalf of an author, please check with the author to make sure he/she did not already submit. Duplicate entries will not be refunded.


Authors submitting directly: $60 per title / $40 per title for Writers' League of Texas members

Publishers/agents submitting on behalf of authors: $70 per title

Authors submitting on their own behalf must pay the entry fee by credit card upon submitting the online entry form. Publishers and agents submitting on behalf of authors may elect instead to pay by company-issued check. Checks should be made payable to "Writers' League of Texas" and mailed to: Writers' League of Texas Book Awards Contest, 611 S. Congress Ave, Suite 200A-3, Austin, TX 78704. Checks must be post-marked on or before March 10, 2020. Please include the words "BOOK AWARDS" as well as the author's name on the check or in the notes field. 



• Each category will be reviewed by two preliminary judges and two final judges.
• Incomplete or ineligible entries will not be forwarded for judging; entry fees and books for those entries will not be returned.



• Works may be submitted by authors, publishers, or agents. Anyone submitting multiple titles should submit one entry form per title and separate payment for each submission. If a particular title is submitted more than once by multiple parties we will not be able to issue a refund for the additional entries so please make sure you communicate with all parties before submitting.
• All books become property of the Writers' League of Texas and will not be returned.



• In response to the high quality of work submitted by small/indie presses, university presses, and self-published authors, the Writers’ League introduced a new award in 2014—the “Discovery Prize”—to recognize one outstanding book in each category. Eligible books will be considered for the Discovery Prize in addition to, not instead of, the primary award. To be eligible for the Discovery Prize, your entry must be either self-published, published by a small/independent press, or published by a university press. You don't have to be a debut author to qualify for the Discovery Prize.

• Each Discovery Prize Winner will receive a cash prize of $250.


• If your book is available ONLY as an e-book, you are welcome to enter the contest provided that you print the book and submit 3 spiral bound copies. (We will not accept papers bound with staples, binder clips, etc.) If your book is available as an e-book AND in print, you must submit the physical book.



• Finalists, Winners, and Discovery Prize Winners in each category will be announced simultaneously and will be notified individually by email, announced in our e-newsletter, and posted on this webpage around July 2020. 
UPDATE: The Books Awards contest has experienced a delay to the judging process due to Covid-19. We expect to announce the results in August, and we thank you for patience

Questions about the contest? Email


Click here for a full list of winners and finalists with books published in 2019.

Click here for a full list of winners and finalists with books published in 2018. 

Click here for a full list of winners and finalists with books published in 2017.
Click here for a full list of winners and finalists with books published in 2016.