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September 1, 2023
"Contest entry fees are typically just a tax on naivete, but [with BookLife Prize], every submission receives something of value: a written evaluation by a Publishers Weekly reviewer." – The Washington Post


The BookLife Prize is an annual writing contest sponsored by BookLife and Publishers Weekly that seeks to support independent authors and discover great books.  The BookLife Prize has two Contests:

Nonfiction Contest

  • Entry period October 1, 2023, through January 31, 2024 - now closed.
  • Four categories: Memoir/Autobiography; Self-Help; Inspirational/Spiritual; and Business/Personal Finance.

Fiction Contest

  • Entry period is April 1, 2024, through August 31, 2024 - now closed.
  • Five categories: Romance/Erotica; Mystery/Thriller; Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror; General Fiction; YA/Middle Grade.

Both Contests of the Prize are judged by PW reviewers, editors, acclaimed authors, and publishing veterans.


The grand prize winner for both the Fiction and Nonfiction Contest of the BookLife Prize will receive $5,000 as well as an author profile in Publishers Weekly.  

All finalists will receive a blurb from a bestselling/award-winning author or professional editor serving as a guest judge for the contest, as well as mention in Publishers Weekly. Plus they each receive $1,000 worth of BookBaby's Facebook + Instagram for Authors.

All entrants will receive a Critic’s Report, which includes a score as well as a brief written critical assessment of their book by a Publishers Weekly reviewer.  (Click here to see examples of Critic's Reports.)

See What Prize Winner T.J. Slee Says about the BookLife Prize

How To Enter

BookLife members enter the BookLife Prize by logging in and going to project page for the book or manuscript they'd like to enter.  Here are detailed instructions.

New users who have no BookLife account enter on this page.

See What Prize Winner Ian Andrew Says about the BookLife Prize

Complete Information

Click here for complete infomation about the BookLife Prize.