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.

2020 Writers’ League of Texas Book Awards

The 2020 Book Awards contest is now closed for submissions.
Details for the 2021 Book Awards contest will be added here in October 2021.

Rules & guidelines

What you need to know

The 2020 WLT Book Awards Contest is open to Texas authors of books published in 2020. Authors are NOT required to be members of the WLT.

Open to submissions from January 4, 2021 through March 31, 2021. The 2020 Book Awards contest is now closed to submissions. 

Winners in each of the five categories will receive a $1000 cash prize and a commemorative award.

In addition, five Discovery Prize Winners will receive a $250 cash prize.

To enter this year’s contest, you’ll need to fill out the entry form and upload a PDF file of the galley or final manuscript of the book being submitted. Details can be found under “Submission Instructions” below. 

Note on changes to submissions format for 2020 due to Covid-19: Like most major award competitions, the WLT has made changes to our submissions format due to the unique challenges posed by the pandemic. With our staff and contest judges and many publishers working remotely, we have gone digital. Please know we are committed to confidentiality with submission files. The files will be kept under digital “lock and key” and will be share with the designated judges and no one else. 

To be eligible, 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.

  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Poetry
  • Picture books
  • Middle grade/Young adult books
  1. Fill out the online entry form. 
  2. Upload a PDF file of the galley or final manuscript as well as a PDF or JPEG image of the book cover. Each file must be under 10MB. If your file is larger than 10MB, please submit your entry form without any uploads and email the file(s) separately to our Contest Coordinator, Sara Kocek, at with the subject line “2020 Book Award Oversize File.” In the body of the email, please include the category, book title, and author name. If the files are too big to email, please email Sara Kocek to inquire about an alternate transfer method.
  3. Follow the steps to submit your payment online via credit card. Once payment is complete, you will receive an automated email confirmation letting you know that your entry form has been received.
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 current WLT 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, P.O. Box 14355, Austin, TX 78704. Checks must be post-marked on or before March 31, 2021. 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 no fewer than two preliminary judges and no fewer than 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.
  • In 2014, the WLT introduced the Discovery Prize to recognize one outstanding book in each category published by independent presses, university presses, and/or self-published authors  Eligible books will be considered for the Discovery Prize in addition to, not instead of, the primary award. 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 still welcome to enter the contest, but you must provide a PDF of the published manuscript, we cannot accept e-book files. 

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 the WLT website on or before August 1, 2021.