North Street Book Prize
10th year. Your self-published or hybrid-published book can win up to $10,000 plus expert marketing services.
It looks like you're viewing this page with a mobile device. If you need help entering our contest, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please submit during
February 15-July 1, 2024.
Submit self-published or hybrid-published books in one of these categories:
- Mainstream/Literary Fiction
- Genre Fiction (e.g. romance, mystery, thriller, young adult, science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, etc.)
- Creative Nonfiction & Memoir (definition)
- Children's Picture Book
- Middle Grade
- Graphic Novel & Memoir
- Art Book (definition)
- Not currently accepted: books by deceased authors, anthologies with 3+ authors, history, biography, self-help, how-to, business instruction, reference, cookbooks, education, travel guides, political tracts, philosophy, religious instruction, translations of the work of other people
- ONE GRAND PRIZE WINNER WILL RECEIVE $10,000, a marketing analysis and one-hour phone consultation with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, a $500 credit at BookBaby, three months of Plus service (a $207 value) and a $250 account credit from Book Award Pro, a book cover consultation from Laura Duffy Design (a $1,100 value, can be assigned to a future book), and 3 free ads in the Winning Writers newsletter (a $525 value)
- THE TOP WINNER IN EACH CATEGORY WILL RECEIVE $1,000, a marketing analysis and one-hour phone consultation with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, a $500 credit at BookBaby, three months of Plus service from Book Award Pro (a $207 value), design for a custom merchandise item based on the winner's book cover from Laura Duffy Design, and one free ad in the Winning Writers newsletter (a $175 value); the winning children's picture book author will also receive a phone consultation from April Cox at Self-Publishing Made Simple (a $289 value) and access to Authorpreneur Summit sessions (an $89 value)
- ONE HONORABLE MENTION IN EACH CATEGORY WILL RECEIVE $300 and three months of Plus service from Book Award Pro (a $207 value); the honorable mention children's picture book author will also receive a phone consultation from April Cox at Self-Publishing Made Simple (a $289 value) and access to Authorpreneur Summit sessions (an $89 value)
- New! One finalist in each category will receive a free, full-length private critique from Winning Writers (value: $90-$180)
- We will publish online excerpts from all entries that win a prize, along with critiques from the judges
- $79 per book
- If you submit online through Submittable, you will have the option of requesting a full private critique of your book at a discounted rate. (If you order a critique and go on to reach finalist rank or higher in this contest, we'll refund what you paid for your critique.)
ALL CONTESTANTS RECEIVE
- New! All entrants who submit online via Submittable will receive a brief commentary from one of the judges (5-10 sentences)
- The Great First Impression Book Proposal: Everything You Need to Know About Selling Your Book to an Agent or Publisher in Thirty Minutes or Less by Carolyn Howard-Johnson (PDF)
- Free guides to successful publishing from BookBaby
- Three months' free subscription to Book Award Pro (Essentials tier), so you can find more great contests for your book
- A free mini-course, "An Introduction to Self-Publishing", at Self-Publishing Made Simple
- A free guide to the book cover design process by professional designer Laura Duffy, with examples of successful book covers (PDF)
When you submit to the North Street Book Prize, you are not committing to any ongoing subscription charges. We do not transmit your payment information to our co-sponsors. If you choose to take advantage of certain free trials after submitting your contest entry, you may give your payment information to one of our co-sponsors at that point, but it's your choice.
Length limit: 200,000 words maximum. Submit an ebook or a printed book. You may submit a collection of short stories or essays as a single entry. No restriction on age of author. No restriction on year of publication. All self-publishing and hybrid publishing platforms are eligible. All countries eligible except Syria, Iran, North Korea, Crimea, Russia, and Belarus (due to US government restrictions).
Read about the winners of our ninth contest. The results of our tenth contest will be announced on February 15, 2025.
The North Street Book Prize is recommended by the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), a designation for "contests which are organized for the benefit of the author rather than the profit of the organizer."
Please click the Submittable button below for full details.
PAST WINNERS SAY...
"Winning a North Street Book Prize was a thrill. A year earlier I had a fun launch for Aunty Jane Knits Up A Storm. I followed the launch with a promotional campaign but was beginning to loose steam. Winning a North Street Prize has given me a wonderful reason to promote the book I always knew was a winner. The North Street Book Prize cash is helpful but there are other parts to the prize that are also quite valuable. The critiques offered by the judges helped me think about my book in a new light and provided a number of nice quotes that will be very powerful for my new promotional campaign. Carolyn Howard-Johnson has a trove of experiences and knowledge to share. I got a great deal out of our meeting. The North Street Book Prize team made me feel valued as a self-published author."
— Steve Wolfson, 2023 North Street winner for Children's Picture Book
"The receipt of the North Street Book Prize for Literary Fiction has been an uplifting and mind-altering experience for me. The call from contest administrator Adam Cohen came at a low point, as it was one year after losing my husband of forty-eight years, a writer himself, my muse and chief cheerleader. Poor Adam had to talk me through the receipt of the award, reminding me of my submission, which was a blur coming so soon after my husband's passing. Then I received the award a couple of weeks later, and it was so beautifully presented. Then I had a conference with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, who was wonderful in the information she gave me on marketing, and refocusing me on my prior writing accomplishments. This past week, I took the time to read the credentials of the judges, and was so honored to be chosen as First Prize winner by such an illustrious panel, who took time from their own writing and academic pursuits to judge all of the submissions. I want to thank you all for the time and energy you put into this endeavor. The entire process reminded me of my husband's encouragement to finish Wildflowers and to continue writing—and gave me a much-needed shift in my thinking to my joy in writing."
— Delores Lowe Friedman, 2021 North Street winner for Mainstream/Literary Fiction
"My consultation with Carolyn Howard-Johnson was filled with great conversation, valuable advice, and left me with two pages of notes, inspired and motivated! I'd read her book The Frugal Book Promoter prior to our meeting, and it was a good informative read. Definitely the 'self-publisher's handbook' that I wish I'd read prior to my book venture, as a lot of its content I'd encountered and learned from by going into this blind. Although nothing beats learning from your mistakes than experience, it would've saved me headache! Fortunately, the new tips I've learned from it will help me going forward! It was an absolute pleasure working with Carolyn and I'm happy we connected!"
—Ryan Poirier, 2021 North Street winner for Graphic Novel & Memoir
"As a recent winner, I am highly impressed about how supportive they have been: offering a detailed review of my work, a free ad, a marketing consult, and a credit for BookBaby—all of this in addition to a significant cash prize. All of this for an indie, self-published book of poetry: a category not served by many other venues. In my opinion, WW not only offers contest info, it also serves as a model of how a contest can serve the individual writer and the writing community."
—W.R. Rodriguez, 2018 North Street winner for Poetry
This contest accepts both print books and ebooks. If you submit an ebook, we may request a print copy if your book advances past our initial screening. If this is burdensome or expensive, we'll work with you to minimize your expense and effort. We won't let cost stand between you and an award.
Your Own Work
Books co-written with a ghostwriter are not eligible. This means we won't accept "as-told-to" memoirs, where the narrator tells their life story to a different person who puts it into writing. For the purpose of this contest, a ghostwriter is anyone hired to write, rewrite, or create the structure of a book (or significant portions thereof) for which another author takes credit.
Books written with the aid of a text-generating AI such as ChatGPT are not eligible. AI-generated illustrations for picture books are discouraged; if used, they must be credited as such, for Winning Writers to evaluate eligibility on a case-by-case basis.
It is acceptable—and a good idea—to engage a developmental editor to advise you on matters such as pacing, story structure, plot, and character development, as well as a copyeditor and/or proofreader to catch typos and grammatical errors. Jane Friedman provides a list of professionals who can help you. (These assistants should always be credited in your afterword.) However, we expect that the actual writing, and any revision in response to these editorial suggestions, is entirely done by the author whose name is on the cover. Please email email@example.com if you're not sure if your entry is eligible.
Select one category only for your book. The judges reserve the right to reassign an entry from one category to another as they deem appropriate.
Young Adult Books
In general, please submit YA books as Genre Fiction. If this doesn't seem appropriate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance.
Please only submit books that have been published and are currently available to the public for sale (or for free). Please do not submit unpublished manuscripts.
Self-Publishing and Hybrid Publishing Platforms
Books published on any self-publishing or hybrid publishing platform are eligible for this contest. You do not have to publish with BookBaby or engage with any other co-sponsor of this contest.
Feedback on Entries
We will publish public critiques of the books that win cash prizes. In their summary remarks, the judges will also note common issues that hold books back. New with our 2023 contest, you have the option to purchase a private critique of your entry when you submit online. New with our 2024 contest, all entrants who submit online via Submittable will receive a brief commentary from one of the judges (5-10 sentences).
Starting with our 2023 contest, we are accepting books from hybrid publishers (see definition). Hybrid-published books are eligible if the author paid half the costs of publication or more. If your eligibility is not clear, please email email@example.com for guidance.
Reissued as Self-Published or Hybrid-Published Book
If your book was originally published by a traditional publisher, then you took back your rights and reissued it as a self-published or hybrid-published book, your book is eligible for the North Street Book Prize.
No Scholarly Works
This contest is not appropriate for scholarly works (i.e. academic, peer-reviewed, or refereed work). These would impose a substantial fact-checking burden on our staff. We rely on authors to affirm the accuracy of their works.
Most Countries Eligible; English Language
Due to US government restrictions, we regret we are unable to accept entries from Syria, Iran, North Korea, Crimea, Russia, and Belarus. All other countries are eligible. The works you submit should be in English.
This contest is not judged anonymously. Friends, relatives, and close students of the judges and Winning Writers staff should not enter.
No Age Restriction
Writers of all ages may enter.
We may share your contact information with the contest co-sponsors. We will not rent your information to third parties.
If your entry wins any cash prize, you agree to give Winning Writers a nonexclusive license to publish an excerpt from your work online. We will work with you to select an appropriate excerpt (typically 1,000-6,000 words, or 4-10 pages from poetry and image-oriented books). You retain all other rights. You are free, for example, to publish your work in print or online elsewhere, and to enter it into other contests, whether or not you win a prize in this contest.
Generally, entry fees are not refundable. However, if you believe you have an exceptional circumstance, please contact us within one year of your entry.
If you have questions, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitting to the North Street Book Prize by mail
Please make your US$79 entry fee payable to Winning Writers and mail with your entry to:
Attn: North Street Book Prize
351 Pleasant Street Suite B PMB 222
Northampton, MA 01060-3998
Include your full name, mailing address, phone number, and email address with your entry. Please also indicate the category for your entry. Only one copy of your book is needed. We accept checks and money orders drawn on US financial institutions and the US Postal Service. US currency (cash) is acceptable. You may also send your fee via PayPal to email@example.com. Please postmark your entry by July 1.
Please note that feedback will only be provided for entries submitted via Submittable, and not those entries submitted by mail.
If you would like us to return your book at the conclusion of the contest, please request this at the time of your entry and enclose an extra $5 for postage and handling.