Nonfiction Book Contest

Kenneth Johnston Nonfiction Book Award

Contest dates: September 1-December 31, 2023

Seeking book length nonfiction manuscripts written primarily in English between 27,000 and 90,000 words, broken into approximately 5-12 nonfiction essays/chapters (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 an email sent to

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

Technical Details: 

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

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.

The 2023 judge for the contest is the 2022 winner, Jacquelyn Shah, whose book, Limited Engagement: A Way of Living, won the Kenneth Johnston Nonfiction Book Award. See our Bookstore, if you would like to purchase a copy.

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.

2023 Judge

Jacquelyn Shah, winner of the 2022 Kenneth Johnston Nonfiction Award, will be the judge for the 2023 contest.

As a lifelong writer, Shah understands the creative process, and wrote about her decision to write her award winning memoir for the Rice Feminist Forum (right click on the link to open her essay in a new window).