Published Books

Guidelines for Submissions


Published Books

Submissions must be postmarked February 28.

Eligibility: Competition is open to current residents of San Diego County whose book was first published in 2014 and/or bear a 2014 copyright (late 2013, is OK, too). A book may be entered only once, in either the publication year or the copyright year. If a book has multiple authors, at least one coauthor must reside within San Diego County. Books by former residents of San Diego County cannot be considered; however, books published posthumously will be considered if the deceased author was a resident of San Diego County at the time the book was written and if the work was first published in 2014 or bears a 2014 copyright. Self-published printed books are eligible. E-books are eligible, but they must be submitted in printed form. Ghostwritten books are eligible, if the ghostwriter is disclosed. SDBA officers and members of the board are eligible to enter the competition provided they do not participate in the judging of published books. More than one title by the same author may be submitted, but each submission must be accompanied by a separate submission form, waiver, and submission fee.

A book may be submitted only once and judged in only one category. Published book categories include fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Authors (or their representatives) are required to choose a subcategory for their entry, which will serve as the judging category. Authors may note more than one subcategory, if applicable, in case their first-choice subcategory is excluded from the contest, but the book will only be judged in one category. Winners of a category award will be selected from the top finalists from each subcategory.

Categories (and their subcategories) are listed below. The final categories and the number of finalists each year is dependent on the number of entries.

Published Fiction Categories (Subcategories)

  1. General (General, Mainstream, Contemporary)
  2. Children/Young Adult (Children, Picture Book, Young Adult)
  3. Historical/Romance (Historical Mystery, Historical Fantasy, Romance)
  4. Mystery/Thriller/Suspense (Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Political/Legal Thriller)
  5. Anthology (Short Story Collection, Fiction Anthology/Collection)
  6. SciFi/Fantasy (SciFi, Fantasy, Horror)

Published Nonfiction Categories (Subcategories)

  1. General (General, Humor, Pets)
  2. Children/Young Adult (Children, YA, Picture Book)
  3. Biography/Autobiography (Biography, Memoir)
  4. Business/Science/Politics (Business, Military, Politics, Science)
  5. Local Interest/History (Local Interest, History)
  6. Self-Help/Inspirational (Health/Medicine, Psychology/Social Sciences, Self-help, Spiritual, Inspirational)
  7. Hobbies/Travel (Travel, Cookbook, Arts, Crafts)

Published Poetry Categories (Subcategories)

  1. Single author
  2. Collection/multiple authors

Rights: All submissions remain the literary property of the writer.

Number of Copies: Authors must submit three copies of each book or printed e-book.

Submission form: A completed, signed, and dated submission form must accompany each submission.

Fee: A nonrefundable submission fee of $25 must accompany each submission. Make checks payable to: San Diego Book Awards Association, Inc. Payments may be made via PayPal if prearranged: contact us at

Deadline: All published books, submission forms, and fees must be postmarked by February 28, 2015.

Notification: Finalists in each category will be notified in advance of the awards ceremony, which will be held in June 2015. All finalists and category winners will be honored at the awards ceremony. Winners and finalists will be promoted on the SDBA web site: http://www.sdbookawards.or

Theodor S. Geisel Award
Presented to the best book published in the award year by a San Diego County author. All books entered in the Published Books category are eligible for the Theodor S. Geisel Award. A trophy and a monetary prize will be presented to the winning author at the  Annual San Diego Book Awards ceremony.

Cash Awards
Winner, San Diego Sister & Misters in Crime Award: $150
Winner, Theodore Geisel Award: $150