This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Awards

I was asked recently if there are any book awards for children’s illustrated books – ones that are self-published. After several days of research, here are the ones that matter.

Are there awards for self-published and independently (indie) published children’s books?

Yes, there are – for all kinds of books. Even kid’s books.

top indie book awards

Here’s your list of Book Awards that also include self-published children’s books – and more.

If you self-publish your stories, it’s important to pursue any and all ways you can prove your work has The Right Stuff – all the things we expect from a well crafted story. If your book has a seal of approval from a respected jury, well – it couldn’t possibly hurt!

Here’s where you might submit your already-published book to be judged and measured by the works of others. (In alphabetical order.)

Benjamin Franklin Book Awards

Categories: Almost everything, across all age groups. There are 54 categories in all. Go HERE for a complete list.

This award is from The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) and recognizes small and independent publishers.

Submissions Deadline: September 30, 2016 and also December 15, 2016

Note: The IBPA also awards a Benjamin Franklin Digital Award for the best ebooks, apps and software. For details, go HERE. Submission Deadline: None. This is a rolling award.

Cybil’s Award

Categories: From children’s books to YA novels and everything in between. Also includes book apps, poetry and graphic novels. Go HERE for a complete list of categories.

This award is from a group of book loving bloggers, and recognizes quality from any book published in the US or Canada within the year’s time (starting from the end of one Cybil competition, through to the new year’s deadline – always October).

Submissions Deadline: Someone must nominate your book within these dates: October 1-15, 2016.

Foreword Reviews IndieFab Book of the Year Award

Categories: There are several, across all ages – including picture books, YA novels, etc. For a complete list of categories, go HERE.

This award is given by Foreword Magazine, a quarterly magazine out of Michigan, USA. They also have a website, Foreword Reviews, dedicated to reviewing indie published books.

Submissions Deadline: Unknown. Could not find any information about this, but as of this posting, registration for 2016 was still open. Check that HERE.

The Golden Kite Award

Categories: Young Reader and Middle Grade Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Book Text, and Picture Book Illustration.

From The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), other children’s book authors and illustrators make up the panel of judges. You must be an SCBWI member to submit your book for consideration and the book must be published, bound and in the English language. For contest details, go HERE.

Submissions Deadline: Currently closed. Submissions will reopen Summer 2016.

Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY)

Categories: There are 80 subject categories for the IPPY, including children’s stories, poetry, YA – you’ll almost certainly find what you’ve written. You can download a PDF of the list and regulations HERE.

This award comes from The Jenkins Group, who also offers other book awards, such as The Moonbeam Awards. The IPPY honors the best books from self-published authors, indie presses and university presses.

Submissions Deadline: February 25, 2017

Moonbeam Awards

Categories: Illustrated storybooks written in English or Spanish and intended for a North American readership.

From The Jenkins Group and, this award is for self-published authors and/or illustrators of illustrated storybooks. The book must be published in print with a copyright, but it need not have an ISBN. For contest details, go HERE.

Submissions Deadline: August 20, 2016.

Next Generation Indie Book Awards

Categories: Includes 70 categories (yes, really!). For a complete list, go HERE.

This award comes from Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group (IBPPG) in cooperation with Marilyn Allen of Allen O’Shea Literary Agency. It awards indie published material. Includes print books and ebooks. For contest details, go HERE.

Submissions Deadline: February 17, 2017

Purple Dragonfly Book Award

Categories: Everything from baby books to YA novels. Includes comic books. There are 49 categories in all. Go here for the complete list.

From Five Star Publications, this award is for any traditionally published or self-published printed book that has ever been published and that still is available on the market right now.

Submissions Deadline: May 1, 2017

Note: Five Star Publications also awards a Royal Dragonfly Book Award for writing targeted to an adult readership. For details, go HERE.

Reader Views Award

Categories: There are 35 categories, including baby books, children’s stories, YA novels. For a complete list of categories, go HERE (and scroll down).

This award is judged by a large panel of anonymous book reviewers across the U.S. and Canada. Books considered can be traditionally published or self-published, in print or as ebooks. The book must be in the English language. For details, go HERE.

Submissions Deadline: December 1, 2016

The Spark Award

Categories: Self-published fiction or nonfiction as a Board Book, Picture Book, Chapter Book, Middle Grade Novel, Graphic Novel or Young Adult Novel.

From SCBWI, this award is specifically for self-published authors who are members of the SCBWI. The book must be in print and in English and it must have an ISBN. For contest details, go HERE.

Note: You must choose between Golden Kite and Spark. You cannot submit to both.

Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards

Categories: There are 9 categories in all, including children’s picture book and Middle Grade/ YA Novels. For a complete list of categories, go HERE.

This award is from Writer’s Digest and honors the best printed product in its category. All aspects of the book are considered, not just the story. Book block design, cover design, etc.

Submissions Deadline: Currently closed to submissions. Will reopen November 2016.

Note: Writer’s Digest also offers a Self-Published Ebook Awards, which includes the same categories as with the print edition contest. For details, go HERE. Submission Deadline: August 1, 2016.

What do YOU want to get out of this?

Have you ever submitted to a writing or book competition? What did you think of the experience? Would you (are you going to) do it again? Write below, let me know. Where did you submit?

I’m really curious about this. My feeling is that there’s a big difference between submitting to contests for unpublished stories and for something that is already on the market. So I’d like to know: in your experience does this really increases sales for you?

Keep creating, no matter what.



--Download Top Indie Book Awards as PDF --

This entry is part of the series
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