Guidelines 2018 (2017 pub date)

The Massachusetts Book Awards recognize compelling works of Massachusetts (1) fiction, (2) nonfiction, (3) poetry (4) children’s picture books and (5) middle-grade/young adult literature. No entry fee is required.

NEW THIS YEAR:  Authors must be current residents of Massachusetts (full or part-time residency).  Books on Massachusetts themes written by nonresident authors are no longer eligible. 

Submitting a Book:  Complete the online entry form.   Then send TWO copies of each book nominated — in its original publishing format — to the awards address below. If a book is long-listed (i.e., named a “Must-Read” title), Mass Center for the Book will call for additional reading copies.

NOTE:  The Awards address will be posted as soon as possible.  At that time, we will announce a new deadline.  We regret this delay.


Award Categories

Fiction:  Full-length novels & collections of short stories by a single author are eligible. Collaborations are eligible if both (all) authors are current residents of Massachusetts. Works must be original. Translations and/or retellings of fairy- or folk-tales are not eligible.

Nonfiction:  Full-length works of general nonfiction and collections of essays by a single author are eligible. Anthologies/collaborations are considered if ALL authors are Massachusetts-based. At present, the MassBook Awards program does not review advice, self-help, cookbooks, textbooks, or how-to books.

Poetry: Collections of poetry by a single author are eligible. A collection may consist entirely of new poems or of a new selection of work from throughout a writer’s career. Chapbooks are eligible. Anthologies/collaborations are eligible if ALL poets are current residents of Massachusetts.

Children’s / Young Adult Literature:  Picture, middle-grade, and young-adult books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry are eligible. Guidelines for topic, collaboration, and originality are the same as those for adult books in each category.

The MassBook Medal: From time to time, the Massachusetts Center for the Book will award the Massachusetts Book Medal to a person or organization in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the Massachusetts community of the book. The committee does not accept formal application for this award.

General Eligibility Guidelines

1. Books must have been written by authors currently residing in Massachusetts.  Writers must be living at the time their books are submitted for consideration. Part-time residents of Massachusetts are eligible; temporary residents are not eligible.

2. Any individual, organization, or company may enter a book in any appropriate category.

3. Anthologies or collaboration are eligible if ALL authors are Massachusetts-based.

4. Retellings of folktales, myths, or legends and updates of previous editions of books are not eligible.

5. Self-published and e-original books are eligible.  Please contact to discuss e-book submission format.

6. Books must have been copyrighted in their original format during the calendar year 2017.

7. An author may be recognized for more than one book per year. Books by authors who have previously won a MassBook award are eligible.

8.  All books become property of the MassBook Awards program. Please Note: Mass Center for the Book cannot be responsible for returning any submissions.

9.  Submission confirms the following: Massachusetts Center for the Book has permission to use the book cover, excerpts from the text, and publicity notices in any promotion of the Awards.

10. Each category has its own three-member judging panel that draws from a variety of reading communities. The Massachusetts Center for the Book and the MassBook judges resolve all questions about eligibility; the judges determine the award winners and honorees. The decisions of the panels are final.


© 2018 Massachusetts Center for the Book, Inc. All rights reserved.