Maya Angelou Book Award

Recognizes contemporary authors whose work demonstrates a commitment to social justice and diversifies contemporary American literature.

About the Award

The Maya Angelou Book Award was founded in 2020 to honor the legacy of Missouri-born author Maya Angelou. The award recognizes exceptional books by contemporary authors whose work demonstrates a commitment to social justice and diversifies contemporary American literature. The Maya Angelou Book Award recognizes works of poetry or fiction in alternating years.

2024 Award Snapshot

In 2024 the Maya Angelou Book Award will be given to a work of fiction. Poetry submissions are not eligible for the 2024 award.

Submissions open: January 1, 2024
Submissions close: April 1, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. CDT
Announcement of winner: Fall 2024
Book tour and ceremony: Spring 2025

For Writers

Each year, one writer will win $10,000, conduct a reading tour of Missouri colleges, universities and libraries, and be recognized in a ceremony sponsored by the Kansas City Public Library, the University of Missouri and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Eligibility

  • Entries must come from publishers. Authors may not submit their works independently.
  • Works with a publication date in 2023 or a scheduled publication date through November 2024 are eligible.
  • Both novels and short story collections will be considered.
  • We are currently unable to consider translations.
  • Entrants must be at least 18 years of age and reside in the United States.
  • Entrants must be available for a two-week reading tour at partnering educational institutions in Missouri. The award winner and partner institutions will collaborate on the tour schedule.
  • Entrants must not be employees of a Missouri college or university that co-sponsors this award, or an employee of the Kansas City Public Library.
  • Publishers may be asked for additional copies of titles that are selected for the longlist.
  • Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. CDT on April 1, 2024. Please note that entries are not considered complete until an electronic manuscript or five print copies (galleys or finished books) have been received by the committee.

Sponsors