Thursday, June 21, 2012

Deadline June 28 | The Fifteenth Annual Asian American Literary Awards

Post date: Thursday, June 21, 2012
Deadline: 28 June 2012

Since 1998, The Asian American Writers' Workshop has presented the highest literary honor for writers of Asian American descent. We believe we are the only national organization that actively solicits entries to ensure that a comprehensive list of the year's Asian American books are entered into competition. Past winners of the award include Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri, National Book Award winner Ha Jin, Pulitzer Prize Finalist Susan Choi, Booker Prize Finalist Amitav Ghosh, American Book Award winner Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, and Guggenheim Fellow Arthur Sze, among many others. As these writers show, Asian American literature is not just a niche genre, but a central chapter in our nation's literature.

The Annual Asian American Literary Awards honor Asian American writers for excellence in three categories: (1) fiction,(2) poetry, and (3) nonfiction. Literary awards recipients are determined by a national panel of judges who are selected on the basis of expertise in a literary genre and/or experience in academic environments relevant to Asian American literature; residence in the U.S. and ethnic background as to create a diverse committee.

To qualify for our next award, a work must have been written by an individual of Asian descent living in the United States and published originally in English during the calendar year preceding the award year (for example, works published in 2011 are eligible for the 2012 Literary Awards). No self-published works will be considered. Award submissions are accepted in spring, with award recipients announced in Fall, and publicly presented during our Winter awards ceremony and literary festival.

Lifetime Achievement Award. The Workshop has also recognized notable writers and cultural figures for their contribution to Asian American literature through a lifetime achievement award. Past winners of this award include Jessica Hagedorn, Maxine Hong Kingston, David Henry Hwang, and Sonny Mehta.

Members' Choice Award. The Asian American Literary Awards Ceremony also features the Members' Choice Award. Initiated in 2000, the Members' Choice Award allows Workshop members to choose their favorite title of the previous publishing year. In order to participate in voting for this award, you must be a current member of The Asian American Writers' Workshop. Titles may only be eligible for consideration of Members' Choice Award if they have been entered in the Annual Asian American Literary Awards in one of the three categories above. Applications for the upcoming Fifteenth Annual Asian American Literary Awards are due Thursday June 28, 2012. Please view the guidelines and fill out the application on the following pages to apply.


a.) The purpose of the Asian American Literary Award is to recognize an individual work written by an Asian American, on the basis of artistic and literary merit, during the calender year of 2011.

b.) The Award will be presented to a maximum of three works considered by the Judging Committee to be the best among all entries eligible for the Award.

c.) The Award consists of a crystal art piece etched with the name of the work, author and year; an opportunity to read at the Fifteenth Annual Literary Awards Ceremony in conjunction with PAGE TURNER: Asian American Literary Festival; additional media notification through press releases; and the possibility of going on a national award tour (up to five U.S. cities) sponsored in part by The Asian American Writers' Workshop.


a.) Works eligible must have had premier publication during the calendar year 2011 (January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011) and must have been published for general commercial release in the United States.

b.) Works shall be honored in three categories: 1) poetry; 2) fiction; and 3) nonfiction.

c.) Works must have been written by a person of Asian descent currently residing or who has resided in the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii. "Asia" is defined as the regions of East, South, Southeast, West Asia as well as the Pacific Islands. The Asian American Writers' Workshop and Judging Committee reserve the right to take the term "Asian descent" on a case-by-case basis if need be.

d.) Works must have been published by large, trade or small presses/publishers. Self-published works, 'zines or vanity publications are not eligible. Anthologies or books containing more than one author are not eligible.

e.) Works must be originally written in English.

f.) The Award may be awarded to works that have previously won other prizes or recognition.


a.) Entries may only be submitted by the author, agent, publicist or publisher of the work.

b.) A completed application form (next page) must be submitted with each entry (clear photocopies are acceptable); four copies of the work must also be submitted for review by the Judging Committee. No books will be returned. Additional copies may be requested for shortlisted works. All entries become the property of The Asian American Writers' Workshop or members of the Judging Committee.

c.) Authors, publicists, publishers or agents may submit more than one entry, but a separate application form must be completed for each entry.

d.) A $100.00 entry fee must accompany each separate entry. Checks should be made payable to "The Asian American Writers' Workshop." In the event that a participant cannot pay this fee, a waiver may be granted upon approval. Participants requesting a waiver must contact the Workshop prior to submitting an entry.

e.) Entries must be received by Thursday, June 28, 2012. No exceptions will be made. The Asian American Writers' Workshop will accept entries via First Class Mail, Fed Ex or UPS. The Workshop is not responsible for lost entries.

f.) Participants are urged to submit eligible works as soon as possible. Please include a self-addressed, stamped postcard if you would like an acknowledgment of receipt.

g.) Please do not contact The Asian American Writers' Workshop nor the Judging Committee to inquire about the status of your entry once you have received the acknowledgment card.


a.) The Judging Committee is selected by the Workshop. Judges are selected on the basis of expertise in a literary genre and/or experience in academic environments relevant to Asian American literature, residence in the U.S. and ethnic background so as to create a diverse committee.

b.) The Judges will be divided into three (3) committees. These committees are responsible for compiling a shortlist of entries submitted for the Award. The works with the highest overall scores for literary excellence will be awarded Annual Asian American Literary Awards.

c.) The decision of the Judging Committee is final.


For queries:

For submissions:
enter the awards here