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Riki Rafner

Commonwealth Club Accepting Submissions for  Upcoming California Book Awards Competition  September 15 through December 15

Awards Ceremony: Monday, June 10, 2019 at 6 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO (September 4, 2018)—The Commonwealth Club of California will be opening submissions for the 2019 California Book Awards September 15 through December 15, 2018. Book lovers from around the state will gather on Monday, June 10 at 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco to recognize the winners at a special program and reception. The event is open to the public. Books from award winning authors will be sold and available for book-signing immediately after the ceremony.  

2018 California Book Awards Submissions may be made from September 15 through December 15, 2018, using the submission form posted on the Commonwealth Club website at After submitting the entry form, six copies of each submitted book must be mailed to: California Book Awards, The Commonwealth Club, 115 Steuart Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. The California Book Awards jury accepts submissions in the categories of Fiction, First Work of Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Juvenile (birth to 12), Young Adult, Californiana, and Contribution to Publishing.

Questions can be directed to

Books must have been written by authors living in California at the time the work was published or submitted for publication. Works must have been published during the calendar year being considered (January 1 through December 31, 2018). To be eligible for Californiana, the work must deal with a California-based issue, topic or historical period. To be eligible for Contribution to Publishing, the publisher must be based in California. To be eligible for Juvenile, the writer and illustrator must be a California resident. To be eligible for First Work of Fiction, the work must be the author’s first fictional effort. Previously published short story collections will disqualify an author from the First Work of Fiction category; however, that author can still submit for general fiction. Short story collections and essays by the same author will be accepted for consideration. If certain stories in the short story or essay collection have been published previously, the work may still be submitted for consideration. Acceptance is at the discretion of the jury.


Since 1931, the California Book Awards have honored the exceptional literary merit of California writers and publishers. Each year a select jury considers hundreds of books from around the state in search of the very best in literary achievement.  Eligible books must be written while the author is a resident in California and must be published during the year under consideration.

The California Book Awards have often been on the vanguard, honoring previously unknown authors who go on to garner national acclaim. John Steinbeck received three gold medals—for Tortilla Flat in 1935, In Dubious Battle in 1936 and The Grapes of Wrath in 1939.  Recent award winners include Adam Johnson, Jared Diamond, Karen Fowler, Kay Ryan, Bill Vollman, Joyce Maynard, Andrew Sean Greer, Yiyun Li, Adrienne Rich, Chalmers Johnson, Richard Rodriguez, Michael Chabon, Philip Levine, Rebecca Solnit, Galen Rowell, Jonathan Lethem, Peter Orner and Kevin Starr.
Founded in 1903, The Commonwealth Club of California is the nation’s oldest and largest public affairs forum, with more than 25,000 members. The Club hosts speeches, debates and discussions on topics of regional, national and international interest.