Annual Best Book Award Guidelines

The goal of the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA) Annual Best Book Award is to promote awareness of the best books of Chinese topics or literature written by authors of Chinese descent, in English or Chinese language, that are originally published in North America.

The CALA Best Book Award Committee is charged to coordinate the award application, notification and presentation process. Winners of the Award will be informed by the Committee and announced by CALA during the CALA/ALA Annual Conference. Each category of the Award consists of an award certificate and will be presented at the CALA Annual Award Banquet. A press release will be sent to various print and online media. Honorable mentions may also be named in addition to the winning ones. If no eligible books are found to meet the selection criteria, no awards will be given.

Eligible Works

  1. Works must be related to Chinese culture heritage or deal with subjects about China, written by authors of Chinese descent.
  2. Works eligible must have premier publication during the calendar year from January 1 to December 31 prior to the award year, and must be published for general commercial release by a publishing house, trade or small press/publisher located in North America.
  3. Nominations must be submitted to the Committee using the Best Book Award Nomination Form ( by April 19 of the award year.
  4. Works must be in Chinese or English. This requirement does not limit the use of words or phrases in another language where appropriate in context. Translations of original works may be considered.
  5. Works that have previously won other prizes or recognition are also eligible.

Ineligible Works

  1. Anthologies containing the work of more than one author.
  2. Reprints of books originally published prior to the current award year.
  3. Self-published works.

Entry and submission of Works

  1. Entries may be submitted by an author, publisher, agent, publicist or any individual.
  2. Nominations must be submitted to the Committee using the Best Book Award Nomination Form ( by the deadline.
  3. An email address should be provided with each entry.
  4. Upon receipt of the entry, the submitters get acknowledged by the online submission system. The Award Committee is not responsible for lost submissions.
  5. An author, publisher, publicist, agent or individual may submit more than one entry per author, but not more than one entry per book.
  6. It is encouraged to mail books of entry to the Best Book Award Committee, with maximum of five copies, one copy each to committee members. All books must be received by the deadline.
  7. Please label on the envelope "CALA Best Book Award" when mailing book(s).

If the submitters cannot mail the book, please note it in the nomination form.