Nonfiction Book Contest

Kenneth Johnston Nonfiction Book Award

Contest dates: September 4-December 31, 2022

Seeking book length nonfiction manuscripts written primarily in English between 27,000 and 72,000 words, broken into approximately 5-12 nonfiction essays (length and number of each chapter can be very dynamic, but the minimum word count is important). All book manuscript files, following the Technical Details below, should be attached to emails sent to

Essays should be autobiographical in nature, but may be composed of the following types of essays:

  • Memoirs, essays focused around a particular thematic element

  • Reflective, essays focused on a particular person, place, event, or idea

  • Literacy Narratives, essays describing the writer’s relationship with reading, writing, education, or other creative skillset, such as art, crafts, metal working, etc.

  • Expository, essays that evaluate an idea based on the comparison-contrast of criteria or other views; must show personal experience with the topics

  • Personal Narratives, essays that share concrete descriptions of events in the person’s life

Technical Details:

  • Save the book file as one doc or docx file. If you prefer sending pdf files, we will request a doc or docx file copy before publication.

  • Include name of writer ONLY in the email accompanying the submission, not on the manuscript itself. Writers may include a 100-word third person biography in the email.

  • Make certain your cover email includes the title of your book, as well. It is not necessary to send a separate cover letter.

  • Any illustrations or photographs must include permissions or identify the source of the images, and should be embedded in the file of the book where the writer wants the image to appear.

  • If you have a cover for your book in mind, you may either explain that cover idea in the email, or attach a cover you have already had commissioned. Images for the book cover MUST be at least 600 dpi.

  • The work should NOT have been published anywhere else, but may include single essays published in various magazines, as long as those original publications are indicated.

No entry not accompanied by the required contest fee will be read.

Entry fee: $30 (please email us at if cost is an issue)

Prize: Includes

  1. $500 echeck

  2. publication of the book through either Amazon or IngramSpark and as an ebook through this website,

  3. five copies of the paperback book and one copy of the ebook.

All writers submitting manuscripts and paying the fee for this contest will receive a free copy of the ebook edition of the winning book, a $30 value.

Inclusivity Statement

We are committed to advancing more equitable and inclusive literary publishing. We believe creative and thoughtful ideas entrusted to us as books and in our literary magazines can achieve enduring impact when there is a greater diversity and inclusivity of voices collaborating in their creation.