Hurston/Wright Foundation | Book Submissions
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Legacy Award

Submission Guidelines

Submission Period September  –  December, 2017

Deadline Sunday, December 31th


  • The Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards are open to Black Writers in America and across the globe.
  • Full-length books of debut fiction, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry as well as collections of short stories, and collections of essays by one author. All works must be newly published works. No retrospectives or collections of previously published work.
  • Books published in the United States including translations of books by Black writers published in the US and U.S. editions of foreign books published for the first time in the United States.
  • A work by a self-published author that has been published for the first time in any format, except e-books. E-books are not eligible.
  • An English translation of a book originally written in another language by a Black Writer. The translator need not be a Black author.
  • Literary criticism in non-fiction.
  • Books must have a publication date within the calendar year in which the application is being submitted.
  • The submission process opens on the first Monday of September. The postmark deadline for books to be sent to the Hurston/Wright foundation office is the first Monday of December. Submissions postmarked after the date will not be considered.
  • Submissions sent after the date will not be considered.
  • Previous Legacy Award winners and nominees and College Writer Awardees are eligible.
  • Bound galleys from publishing houses may be submitted as long as the release date is within the specified dates of submission.


  • Books written by more than one author.
  • Poetry books with fewer than 50 pages.
  • A reprint of a book published in a previous year or years.
  • Books by Board members and staff of the Hurston/Wright Foundation and their family members.
  • Books by a judge for that year’s competition or a family member of the judge.
  • Photography, Dance, Architecture and other forms of photographic books.
  • Cook Books
  • Travel Books
  • Genre fiction such as commercial, romance and mystery works, unless the work has been recognized by the literary industry as transcending genre.


A panel of previous Legacy Award honorees will judge submissions in each genre. ​

Debut Fiction: a first novel by a Black writer

Fiction: Novel, Novella, or Short Story Collection

Nonfiction: Autobiography, Memoir, Biography, History, Social Issues, Literary Criticism

Poetry: Books In Verse, Prose Poetry, Formal Verse, Experimental Verse
More than 100 books are submitted for the competition, but the number of entries vary from year to year. Hurston/Wright staff review incoming submissions to ensure they meet the qualifications as outlined. Books that do not meet the criteria are not sent to the judges. Staff reserves the right to adjust the category of a submission as necessary. Submitters will be notified of any change in submission category.


  • Include with each application a $40 nonrefundable submission fee. One application and fee per book. If payment cannot be made online a check and invoice should be included with submission.
  • Books must be submitted by the publishing companies. Self-published authors may submit their books. The dates of eligibility are the same for self-published books as they are for books published by publishing companies.
  • The author of a Legacy nominated book or a representative is expected to attend the awards ceremony.
  • The Hurston/Wright Foundation reserves the right to inquire about specific titles for submission of a particular book, but does so to ensure that Black authors who receive major reviews or appear on best-seller lists are included. No inquiries will be made after the submission deadline closes.
  • Nominations are announced in June in advance of the Legacy Awards. Winners & finalists are announced at the annual Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Ceremony.

How to Apply

  • Complete online application including $40 submission fee paid via PayPal or credit card
  • Mail four copies of each title submitted to:

​Hurston/Wright Legacy Award
840 First Street, NE, Third Floor
Washington, DC 20002