Skip to main content

Self-Published E-book Awards

LEARN MORE! Writer’s Digest’s Self-Published E-book Awards is not currently accepting entries. Check back in Spring 2023 for information on the 11th Annual competition. This is the only Writer’s Digest competition exclusively for self-published e-books.
WD-SelfPub-Ebook-2022-LaunchImages-1100x615

CLOSED. Winners will be notified by December 31, 2022.

Writer’s Digest’s 10th Annual Self-Published E-book Awards honors the best self-published e-book(s) in eight of the most popular categories with $5,000 in cash, a featured interview in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a paid trip to the ever-popular Writer’s Digest Annual Conference in New York City.

In addition to $13,000 in total cash prizes, all entrants will receive a brief review of their book from one of Writer’s Digest’s competition readers.

CATEGORIES

FICTION

CONTEMPORARY

ROMANCE

FANTASY

SCIENCE FICTION

MYSTERY/THRILLER

YOUNG ADULT

NON-FICTION

NARRATIVE NONFICTION

  • History
  • Philosophy and insight
  • Politics and Social Science
  • True crime books
  • Biographies
  • Autobiographies
  • Memoirs
  • Family Histories

PRESCRIPTIVE/INFORMATIVE NONFICTION 

  • Entertainment
  • Self-Help & Personal Development, Inspirational
  • Religion & Spirituality, Cultural, and Social Issues
  • Health, Fitness, & Dieting 
  • Lifestyle
  • Politics & Social Sciences 
  • Cookbooks, Food, & Wine
  • Business & Money 
  • Parenting & Relationships 
  • Education & Teaching 
  • Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Garden & Farm

If you’re ready to take the next step in your self-publishing journey, submit your self-published e-book(s) today.

PRIZES

One Grand Prize winner will receive:

  • $5,000 in cash
  • Featured interview in the May/June 2023 issue of Writer’s Digest
  • Winning book excerpted on WritersDigest.com
  • A paid trip to the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference, including a coveted Pitch Slam slot
  • One year Subscription (new or renewal) to Writer’s Digest magazine

One First Prize winner in each category will receive:

  • $1,000 in cash
  • Announcement in Writer’s Digest’s May/June 2023 issue
  • Promotion on WritersDigest.com
  • One year Subscription (new or renewal) to Writer’s Digest magazine

Honorable Mention Winners will receive $50 gift certificate to Writer’s Digest Shop and an announcement on WritersDigest.com.

Finalists will be announced on WritersDigest.com.

CATEGORY DESCRIPTIONS

  • Contemporary Fiction: A work of fiction set in modern times with themes and/or subject matter that reflects this specific moment. Typical length: 40,000 to 100,000 words. There are no limits for submissions; novellas to epics are all welcomed.
  • Romance: Historical or contemporary, paranormal or suspenseful, chaste or sexy, LGBTQ+, no matter the path you take, don’t forget to deliver a satisfying happy ending. Typical length: 40,000 to 100,000 words. There are no limits for submissions; novellas to epics are all welcomed.
  • Fantasy: High or urban, historical or alternate histories, introduce us to new worlds and fantastic ideas that exceed the boundaries of our own reality. Typical length: 40,000 to 100,000 words. There are no limits for submissions; novellas to epics are all welcomed.
  • Science Fiction: Space opera or hard science, cyberpunk or steampunk, introduce us to new worlds, alternate histories, or fantastic ideas that push the boundaries of our own reality. Typical length: 40,000 to 100,000 words. There are no limits for submissions; novellas to epics are all welcomed.
  • Mystery/Thriller: From the classic whodunits and police procedurals to high stakes conflicts with ever-increasing tension, hook us from the start and keep us guessing until the end. Typical length: 40,000 to 100,000 words. There are no limits for submissions; novellas to epics are all welcomed.
  • Young Adult: Your preferred genre(s) but written specifically for readers age 12-18.Typical length: 30,000 to 100,000 words. There are no limits for submissions; novellas to epics are all welcomed.
  • Narrative Nonfiction: Journalists and storytellers whose nonfiction work reads like it could be fiction (but isn’t!) should apply to this category which includes memoirs, biographies, historical narratives, popular science, travel writing, essay collections, etc.   Typical length: 40,000 to 100,000 words. 
  • Prescriptive/Informative Nonfiction: Subject-matter experts who aim to instruct or inform readers will find a home for their work in this category, which consists primarily of research-based works such as travel guides, cookbooks, how-to guides/reference, self-help, business, etc.  Typical length: 40,000 to 100,000 words.

The typical length is a reference point only. There are no word requirements for submissions.

ELIGIBILITY

  • The competition is open to self-published authors of English-language e-books which were published (or revised and republished) electronically between 2017 and 2022. (Writer’s Digest may demand proof of eligibility of semifinalists.) Authors who subvent publication of their e-books via independent publishers who publish fewer than 12 e-books/year are also eligible.
  • Authors who have published in print via a traditional publisher but retained their e-book rights and self-published or subvented publication via independent publishers who publish fewer than 12 e-books/year are also eligible. Entries will be evaluated on craft, category relevance, formatting and overall quality of production, including cover image.

HOW TO ENTER

  • You must register and submit your e-book online.
  • You may enter more than one e-book and/or more than one category/e-book, however, you must submit each book separately and pay the additional fee for each entry.
  • We accept PayPal or credit card payment for the required judging fee. Entry fees are non-refundable. Due to U.S. Government restrictions we are unable to accept entries from Syria, Iran, North Korea, or Crimea..
  • For more information visit our Preparing Your Entry Page or our FAQ page.

Enter your email below and receive a free download, "Writer's Digest Complete Guide to Writing Contests," and be a step ahead of your competition!

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Last Chance to Nominate Your Favorite Writing Websites, Our Historical Fiction Virtual Conference, and More!

This week, we're excited to announce the deadline to nominate your favorite writing websites, our Historical Fiction Virtual Conference, and more!

4 Tips for Writing a Modern Retelling

4 Tips for Writing a Modern Retelling

From having reverence for the original to making it your own, author Nikki Payne shares four tips for writing a modern retelling.

Faint vs. Feint (Grammar Rules)

Faint vs. Feint (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use faint vs. feint in your writing with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples. Plus, we answer whether it's "faint of heart" or "feint of heart."

6 Books to Cozy Up With This Winter | Book Recommendations

6 Books to Cozy Up With This Winter

Here are 6 book recommendation perfect for winter reading.

12 Things to Consider When Writing Fight Scenes in Fiction (FightWrite™)

12 Things to Consider When Writing Fight Scenes in Fiction (FightWrite™)

Trained fighter and author Carla Hoch shares 12 things all writers should consider when attempting to write effective fight scenes in fiction.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unreal Character

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unreal Character

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character turn out to be less than they seem.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2022 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Next Steps

Here are the final steps for the 15th annual November PAD Chapbook Challenge! Use December and the beginning of January to revise and collect your poems into a chapbook manuscript. Here are some tips and guidelines.

Valeria Ruelas: On Teaching Tarot, Brujeria, and Witchcraft

Valeria Ruelas: On Teaching Tarot, Brujeria, and Witchcraft

Author Valeria Ruelas discusses the process of writing her new book, The Mexican Witch Lifestyle.

What Is the Hook, the Book, and Cook Query Pitching Technique for Writers?

What Is the Hook, the Book, and the Cook Query Pitching Technique for Writers?

Find out what "the hook, the book, and the cook" are in relation to writing query letters and pitching books to literary agents and book editors. This post answers the question of what each one is and how to successfully assemble the pieces.