High Plains Book Awards 2017 Award Criteria

The High Plains Books Awards recognize regional authors and/or literary works which examine and reflect life on the High Plains. The High Plains region includes Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.


Nominations will be accepted in the following categories in 2017:

  • The Art & Photography Award recognizes the best book depicting art and/or photography by one artist or a collection of artists.
  • The Children’s Award honors books written for readers under 12 years of age.
  • The Culinary Award honors writing about food, wine and beverages in any category. Books may include cookbooks, fiction, reference sources, essays, biographies or works about food production or restaurants.
  • The Fiction Award recognizes longer works of fiction in novel or novella form;
  • The First Book Award honors a writer’s first published book in any category;
  • The Indigenous Writer Award honors the best book by an indigenous writer in any category;
  • The Nonfiction Award recognizes research-based expository writing based on real events and real people;
  • The Creative Nonfiction Award recognizes books that present factual information on people, places or events using experiential techniques often associated with fiction, such as personal observation, narrative forms, and dramatic renderings of events;
  • The Poetry Award recognizes a collection of poetry by one author or an anthology of poetry from multiple authors;
  • The Medicine & Science Award recognizes works of nonfiction or fiction based on natural or physical sciences.
  • The Short Stories Award recognizes a collection of short fiction by a single author or a group of authors;
  • The Woman Writer Award honors the best book by a woman writer in any category;
  • The Young Adult Award honors books written for readers between 12 and 18 years of age

The High Plains Book Award Committee (the Committee) reserves the right to determine there is no winning entry in a given category.


  • Nominated books must have been published for the first time in 2016 in any format. This is determined by the copyright date listed in the published work.
  • All entries must have an ISBN.
  • Nominated books must be written by an author or writing team with significant ties to the High Plains region or is a literary work which examines and reflects life on the High Plains.
  • In books containing contributions from several writers, photographers or artists (i.e.,collections or anthologies) the majority of the contributors must have significant ties to the High Plains region or the subject matter must reflect life on the High Plains.
  • Revised editions or new translations of previously published works are not eligible.
  • Books may be nominated in more than one Award category. For example, a work of fiction may also be the writer’s first book. Additional nomination fees and four (4) additional reader copies are required for each additional category in which a book is nominated. Books must be provided in a print format.
  • Self-published books are eligible for all awards.


Nominations for the Book Awards must be submitted on the High Plains Book Awards website, http://highplainsbookawards.org between January 13, 2017 and March 17, 2017.

Book Award Nomination Process, Deadline and Fees:

  1. Each Book Award nomination must include a completed nomination form. Books nominated in more than one category must include a separate nomination form for each category in which it is nominated.
  2. Nomination forms, fees, and accompanying reader copies must be received at Billings Public Library by Friday, March 17, 2017 at 5:00 pm Mountain Standard Time. NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE. Failure to meet the deadline will disqualify a nomination from consideration. It may be desirable for nominators to use express shipping to ensure timely delivery, especially for shipments that involve crossing international borders.
  3. Nomination for a Book Award must be accompanied by a $45 fee and four (4) copies of the nominated work. Each additional nomination for a work in another category requires another $45 fee and an additional four (4) reading copies.
  4. Nomination fee payments may be made on the website or by check. Checks should be made payable to High Plains Book Awards. W-9 forms are available upon request. Reader copies should be shipped to: Dee Ann Redman, High Plains Book Awards, Billings Public Library, 510 N 28th St, Billings, MT 59101

The High Plains Book Awards Committee selects readers to evaluate all nominations and it identifies finalist books based upon reader evaluations. The Committee selects judges to determine the winning entry in each category. The Committee resolves any issues that may arise in the nomination, evaluation, finalist selection and judging process. All decisions of the Committee are final. Winners for all Book Awards will be announced at an Awards Banquet held in conjunction with the High Plains BookFest in October 2017 in Billings, Montana. Each Book Award winner will receive a $500 award and commemorative plaque.