2020 CALA Best Book Award Call for Nominations

The annual CALA Best Book Award recognizes outstanding books, published in English or Chinese, which exhibits excellence in addressing topics about China and/or written by authors of Chinese (or Chinese descent). The Award is to raise awareness of these topics and authors in North America.

The Committee will select nominated books in the following categories: fiction/poem, research and others. Each award author(s) will receive an award certificate and be presented at CALA Annual Award Banquet in June 2020. The winner(s) will be announced before 2020 ALA Annual conference Early Advance registration date (06/15/2020).

If there is not eligible books meeting the criteria, there wouldn’t be award(s) given.


Eligible Works

  • Related to Chinese culture heritage or topics about China, and/or written by authors of Chinese or Chinese descent.

  • Published between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019 by a publishing house, trade or small press/publisher located in North America or one of its territories for general commercial release in the United States. Self-published works and exclusive internet publications may be also considered by the committee.

  • Written 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.

  • Works that have previously won other prizes or recognitions are eligible.

Ineligible Works

  • Anthologies by more than one author.

  • Reprints of books originally published prior to the current award year.

In the event of a dispute as to eligibility, the Award Committee will decide whether a book is eligible, and its decision will be binding.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Strengths: the overall judgement based on the works.

  • Narration (for fiction/poem): this criterion measures the fluency of description and attractive language on fictions or poems.

  • Reliability of Information (for research): this criterion measures the critical thinking and preciseness on academic studies focus on research works.

  • Content (for others): this criterion measures the overall quality of a work belong to neither fiction/poem nor research.

  • Value/Influence: this criterion evaluates the general implication or potential force of a work.

  • Other feedback as reference: this criterion depends on the feedback from different channels, such as online bookstores, etc.

The Award Committee will combine these criteria and select the winner(s).

Submission Process

  • Entries may be submitted by an author, publisher, agent, publicist or any individual.

  • Nominations must be submitted through the Best Book Award Nomination Form by April 1, 2020.

  • An author, publisher, publicist, agent or individual may submit more than one entry per author, but not more than one entry per book.

  • It is encouraged to mail books of entry to the Best Book Award Committee, with four copies, one copy each to committee members. All nominated books must be postmarked by May 1, 2020. Please send books as early as possible. The Award Committee are not obligated to consider books with postmark after May 1, 2020. Book packages must be clearly marked with "CALA Best Book Award.”

  • Electronic books are also acceptable.  

  • Upon receipt of an entry, the Award Committee will notify the submitter via email. The Award Committee is not responsible for lost submissions.

  • Please mail or email books of entry to the following address:

Jie Huang

Penn State University Libraries

E009 Paterno, 3 Paterno Library

University Park, PA 16802



Xiaocan Wang

Bridgewater State University Library

10 Shaw Road

Bridgewater, MA 02325



Jennifer Woo

San Francisco Public Library

100 Larkin Street

San Francisco, CA 94102-4733

415- 557-4400


Li Sun

Rutgers University Libraries

Technical and Automated Services

Libraries Technical Services Building

47 Davidson Road

Piscataway, NJ 08854-5603



If you have any questions, please email to Jie Huang, juh44@psu.edu or Xiaocan Wang, x4wang@bridgew.edu, or visit CALA Annual Best Book Award to learn more about the Award.

Thank you for your attention.


Jie Huang, juh44@psu.edu (Co-chair)
Xiaocan Wang, x4wang@bridgew.edu  (Co-chair)
Jen Woo, Jennifer.woo@sfpl.org (Member)
Li Sun, lisun@rutgers.edu  (Member)
Tiewei (Lucy) Liu, twliu@utexas.edu (Member)