NCPA Book Awards

See present and past winners here

Books published and available for sale starting Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2020 are eligible for 2021 awards.

2021 Rules

(click here for printable version of rules) 

2021 NCPA Book Awards Competition

(for books published in 2020)

 Submission Criteria

  • Books must have been published for sale in the 2020 calendar year, that is, between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
  • New, updated editions are acceptable as long as the update was published in 2020.
  • To be considered “published,” copies of the book in its published form (not merely as galley or advanced reader copies) must have been on hand and available for sale to retail consumers on or before December 31, 2020 and not have been for sale earlier than January 1, 2020.
  •  If the copyright year or Library of Congress year (if present) is not 2020, the entrant must supply supporting evidence that the book was “constructively” published in 2020.
  • Book must be in printed form, unless entered in the e-book category.
  • Submissions are due no later than February 28, 2021. Please submit as early as possible, so judges have time to read all entries.


Books will be accepted in the following categories:

  • General Fiction
  • General Non-Fiction
  • Non-Fiction Memoir
  • Children’s
  • Young Adult
  • Poetry
  • Trade Publications
e-Books: NOTE CHANGES TO EBOOK ENTRY;  This year Ebooks must be submitted in MOBI format OR the author must send four gift coupons to Sharon Darrow for distribution to the judges

Rules, Regulations, and Fee Schedule

  • The window period of acceptance of entries is August 1, 2020, to February 28, 2020.
  • Entries may be made by an author or by the publisher of the book.
  • Complete the online entry form, found here. Use the check boxes on the form to indicate categories in which you wish to have your book considered and complete all the necessary fields. Please note that if the judges feel that you've chosen the wrong category, they will move your book to the category they feel is proper.
  • You have the option of submitting forms and payments online or printing out the form and sending it with your books and entry fee to the address below.
  • Make payments on line using a credit card or a PayPal account. Alternatively, submit a check along with your books.
  • You may enter as many books as you choose, but each book must be entered in only one general category. A separate fee must be submitted with each title.
  • Four copies of each book must be submitted.
  • All books entered will be considered for Design awards, which will be awarded to the publisher. The artist or designer need not be a member of NCPA.
  • Please follow instructions on the entry form. Your entry may be disqualified and money forfeited if information is missing or incorrect.
  • A separate entry form is required for each title submitted.
  • Entries must be received by February 28, 2021 One copy of each book is non-returnable. Three copies will be available for sale at the Awards Banquet, with unsold copies returned to the author.

    The "Early Bird" entry time has the same prices as shown ($65 & $95), but entries must be received by November 30, 2020. The "Second Level" entry time prices are increased by $10, and must be received by December 31, 2020. The "Third Level" entry time prices are increased by another $10, and must be received by February 28, 2021. This means that the $65/ $95 early bird price goes to $75/$105 for Second Level entries, and then to $85/$115 for Third Level entries. The only exception is for people who publish and submit their books during the Second Level period. They pay the Early Bird price since there was no way for them to enter earlier.  

  • Entry fees for NCPA members are $65/ $75/ $85 per book, $30 of which covers one dinner at the Awards Banquet

  • Entry fees for non-members are $95/$105/$115 per book, $30 of which covers one dinner at the          Awards Banquet
  • NCPA membership fee $40/year.

Please send your books -- and, if applicable, fees and forms -- to the following address:

Sharon Darrow

NCPA Book Awards Coordinator

P.O. Box 214673

Sacramento, CA  95821

Other Rules & Information

1.     The "publisher" is defined as the person or company who owns the ISBN.

2.     An author may enter his or her own book.

3.     Judges are drawn from NCPA’s membership, the community, publishing professionals, and the media.

4.     No judge may submit works for consideration.

Judging Criteria

1.     Categories not having any entries will not be part of the year’s awards.

2.     Winners are determined at the sole discretion of the judges, based on NCPA policy, publishing merit, and literary merit.


1.     First, second, and third place awards may be awarded in each general book category.

2.     The judges may award “honorable mention” certificates at their discretion.


1.     Winners will be announced at the awards celebration and annual NCPA banquet,     

     TENTATIVELY scheduled for Sunday August 29, 2021. (PENDING COVID-19)

2.     Winners will be announced in general press releases sent to Northern California media.

3.     Winners will each receive a plaque/trophy.

4.     Winners will receive labels that they may use on their book covers. They will also receive, via email, a digital file of the award label artwork to incorporate into their book covers, should they wish to do so.

5.     Winners may use supplied label art in their marketing/promotional materials. Past winners have successfully used their NCPA awards to obtain media interest and increase sales.

6.     Winners will be featured on the NCPA website.

Entry Form

Click here to use entry form  

Print and mail completed form with your books, or email form to:

Each entry fee includes 1 dinner reservation at the Awards Banquet

To pay entry fee:

You may submit a check / cash with your entry form and books.

If you wish to pay by credit card, please use PayPal option below.

If you pay online, you must still turn in an entry form and submit your books.

For credit card payment (via PayPal; $2 fee added for online payments):
Entry type
Food preference:
Remember your award entry includes one ticket to the awards banquet. Additional tickets are $30 here.

1 year NCPA membership is only $40. If you wish to pay the discounted entry fee for members, you may purchase a membership here

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