About the American Library in Paris Book Award

The Book Award was launched in 2013 and carries a $5,000 prize, which is supported by generous funding from the Florence Gould Foundation. The past recipients of the prize reflect the diversity of intellectual and literary output that the Book Award seeks to recognize.

Eligibility

Submissions for the 2021 Award open on 1 November 2020. Please ensure that nominations are eligible:

  • Any book-length prose fiction or nonfiction work, originally written in English, about France or the French, will be considered by a committee of Award screeners.
  • A translation into English from another language is not eligible.
  • Nominated books must be scheduled for English-language publication between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2021.
  • A reprint of a book first published in another year is not eligible.
  • Anyone – author, publisher, agent, reader — may submit books for this award.
  • Books published exclusively in electronic form or online are not eligible.
  • Self-published books are eligible.
  • Books by members of the Library’s Writers Council or Book Award screening committee are not eligible for the Award.
  • The decision of the jury is final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the judging process.

Please see the Book Award FAQ for additional information.

Timeline

2021 Book Award2020 Book Award
Submissions open1 November 20201 November 2019
Submissions close1 May 20211 May 2020
Shortlist announced15 July 202117 July 2020
Winner announcedNovember 2021November 2020
Award ceremony in ParisNovember 2021January 2021

Submission Process

All submission materials for the 2021 Book Award must be received by 1 May 2021.

  • STEP ONE – Complete the online submission form. A separate form must be submitted for each title.
  • STEP TWO – Submit the entry fee of €50.00 or $60.00. We accept payments by check, by credit card, or via wire transfer. A separate entry fee must be submitted for each title. To pay by credit card use the Paybox link below. Please make checks (Euros or US dollars) out to The American Library in Paris and send them to the address below. Contact the Book Award Coordinator at bookaward@americanlibraryinparis.org for instructions on paying via wire transfer or with American Express.

Entry Fee Payment

Online credit card payment via Paybox

  • STEP THREE – Send us five (5) copies of each submitted book. Proof or reviewer’s copies are acceptable as long as the book’s publication date will fall on or before 30 June 2021 and must be replaced by finished copies at the time of publication. Access to eBooks or digital review copies alongside the print copies is appreciated.

The American Library in Paris Book Award
c/o The American Library in Paris
10, rue du Général Camou
75007 Paris FRANCE

Phone number, if needed by shipper:  +33 1 53 59 12 60

As soon as an online submission form has been completed, please notify the Book Award Coordinator at bookaward@americanlibraryinparis.org with the title of the book and the estimated date the Library will receive the required five print copies. If you choose to send books via FedEx, UPS, DHL, or another shipping company, please provide us with a tracking number.

All submitted books must be postmarked and mailed to the American Library in Paris no later than 1 May 2021. Early submissions are encouraged, and access to eBooks or digital review copies alongside the print copies is appreciated. Print copies of books will not be returned and become the property of the American Library in Paris. Digital review copies and eBooks will be deleted at the end of the Book Award cycle upon request.

Administration

The Award is administered by the American Library in Paris and is overseen by its Writers Council. The independent jury for the 2020 award is chaired by Ethan Katz, a professor at the University of California-Berkeley whose book The Burdens of Brotherhood won the 2016 Library award. He is joined on the jury by Rachel Donadio, former European cultural correspondent of The New York Times and The Atlantic contributing writer, and Jake Lamar, former Time correspondent and Paris-based novelist, essayist and playwright.

The Book Award Administrator is Charles Trueheart, former Director of the Library. The Book Award Coordinators are Elliot Rambach and Orlene McMahon.

Support

The American Library in Paris Book Award is made possible by a generous gift from the Florence Gould Foundation.

If you are interested in becoming a patron of the Book Award ceremony, or have questions about the prize, please write the Book Award administrator, Charles Trueheart, at bookaward@americanlibraryinparis.org.

Frequently asked questions

What is the American Library in Paris Book Award?
The American Library in Paris Book Award is an annual literary prize for the most distinguished book of the year, written and published in English, about France or the French. The Book Award is made possible by a generous gift from the Florence Gould Foundation. The Award is administered by the American Library in Paris and advised and supported by its Writers Council.

What kinds of books are eligible?
The American Library in Paris Book Award is not limited by genre. In 2020, the 71 entries included memoirs, children’s books, poetry, debut novels, exhibition catalogues, and academic titles as well as works of fiction, history, biography, and criticism.
All submitted books must have been written and published in English and explore France or the French in some way. In order to be eligible for the 2021 award, submitted books must be published on or after 1 July 2020 and on or before 30 June 2021.

My book is self-published. Is it still eligible?
Yes.

My book was originally published online. Does it qualify?
No. Books first published in electronic form or online are not eligible.

My book isn’t published in the UK or in the US. Is it still eligible?
Yes. As long as the book matches the eligibility criteria, the country in which it is published is not a consideration. Every year we receive a number of books published in France, Australia, Canada, South Africa, and elsewhere.

I am not an American citizen. Is my book eligible?
Yes. The competition is open to authors of all nationalities. However, only books originally written and published in English are eligible.

I am an author. May I submit my own book?
Yes. Submissions may come from authors, publishers, agents, or readers.

My book will be published on 1 July 2021. Is it still eligible?
Only books published between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2021 will be considered for the 2021 Book Award. However, books published on or after 1 July 2021 will be eligible for the 2022 award.

My book will be published in the US and the UK on different dates. Is it still eligible?
The book must be published by the submitting publisher during the current Award cycle’s dates (1 July 2020 and 30 June 2021). If an earlier English-language date of publication in another country is within the previous cycle’s dates (1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020), the later book is still eligible for the 2021 Award. If both countries’ publication dates fall within the current cycle, only one publisher needs to submit the book for consideration.

Do you accept posthumous works?
The book’s author must be living during the submission and screening process in order for the title to remain eligible. The decision to award a posthumous prize is at the discretion of the Book Award Administrator.

Do you accept e-books in lieu of hard copies?
No. In order for a submission to be complete, we must receive five print copies before the 1 May 2021 deadline. However, we do welcome e-books and access to digital review copies in addition to the print copies.

Do you accept proofs, galleys, or advance copies?
Yes. We would be happy to receive proof copies⁠—paper or electronic⁠—in advance of the publication date. However, in order for a submission to be complete, we must receive five finished print copies once they are available.

My book is an academic title with a high retail price. Its cost doesn’t permit me or my publisher to send five copies. May I send fewer?
Please contact the Award Coordinator if your book has a list price of £75 / $75 or higher.

Where do I send my submission?
The submission form must be filled in online. Please send books and entry fees to:

The American Library in Paris Book Award
c/o The American Library in Paris
10, rue du Général Camou
75007 Paris FRANCE
Phone number if needed by shipper: +33 1 53 59 12 60

May the books, submission form, and payment be sent separately?
Yes, but please ensure that all parcels and envelopes are clearly labeled for The American Library in Paris Book Award.
Any payment coming separately from the submitted books should include a cover note or a payment reference stating the title of the book(s) associated with the check or wire transfer.

What happens after my book is entered?
Once the submission is complete, one copy of your book will be added to the American Library in Paris’s circulating collection. Four copies are shared among screening committee members for consideration.
All authors are informed of the Book Award shortlist when it is made public in mid-July. The independent jury will then select the winning book from the shortlist, and the winner is announced in November.
All submitted books are featured in a special Book Award display in the Library in the fall and on the Library’s website and online catalog. All authors who entered are invited to the award ceremony in Paris.

Who is on the jury?
Each year’s independent jury is overseen by the members of the Library’s Writers Council.

2020 jury – Ethan Katz, Rachel Donadio, and Jake Lamar
2019 jury – Alice Kaplan, Thomas Chatterton Williams, and Pamela Druckerman
2018 jury – Diane Johnson, David Bellos, and Pierre Assouline
2017 jury – Adam Gopnik, Bruno Racine, and Stacy Schiff
2016 jury – Laura Auricchio, Robert Harris, and Robert O. Paxton
2015 jury – Laura Furman, Lily Tuck, and Fredrik Logevall
2014 jury – Alice Kaplan, Sebastian Faulks, and Pierre Assouline
2013 jury – Adam Gopnik, Julian Barnes, and Diane Johnson

Who do I contact if I have further questions?
The Library’s Book Award Coordinators will be pleased to answer any further questions you may have. You may reach them via e-mail at bookaward@americanlibraryinparis.org.