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.

2021 Writers’ League of Texas Book Awards

The 2021 Book Awards submissions period is now closed.

Rules & guidelines

What you need to know

The 2021 WLT Book Awards Contest is open to Texas authors of books published in 2021. Authors are NOT required to be members of the WLT.

Open to submissions from November 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022. 

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.

The 2021 Book Awards entry period is now closed. 

To enter this year’s contest, you’ll need to fill out the online entry form and send to the WLT offices (via USPS) three (3) copies of the book being submitted. 

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 and 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.

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 31, 2022. Materials that arrive after the deadline with a postmark date of later than March 31, 2022 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.

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. To submit a PDF of your published e-book, email the PDF file to with the subject line “E-book submission for the Writers’ League of Texas Book Awards Contest.” In the body of the email, please include the category, the title of your manuscript, the name of the author, the email address of the author. Please note: submitting a PDF is only an option for e-book authors whose books are not available in hard copy. If your book is available in hard copy, you are not eligible to submit a PDF.”

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 20, 2022.