The Nebraska Center for the Book


Nebraska Book Awards

The Nebraska Book Awards program, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book (NCB), recognizes and honors books that are written by Nebraska authors, published by Nebraska publishers, set in Nebraska, or concerning Nebraska.

Nebraska Book Awards Graphic


Please note: Nominations for the 2021 Nebraska Book Awards are now closed.

The Awards competition opens in March each year and entries are due by June 30 each year. Books published in 2021, as indicated by the copyright date, are eligible for nomination in 2022. They must be professionally published, have an International Standard Book Number (ISBN), and be bound. Books may be entered in one or more of the following categories: Nonfiction, Fiction, Children/Young Adult, Cover/Design/Illustration, and Poetry. Certificates will be awarded to the winners in each category.

Award winners from this year's competition will be presented at the Nebraska Center for the Book’s Celebration of Nebraska Books and Annual Meeting in downtown Lincoln.

Nebraska Book Awards Graphic Banner

The entry fee is $40 per book and per category entered.

Enter in one of two ways:

  • Complete the Online Entry Form and submit payment through PayPal. Mail three copies of the book to the below address.
  • Mail the Entry Form [pdf], three copies of the book, and the entry fee to:
    NCB Book Awards Competition
    c/o Nebraska Library Commission
    The Atrium
    1200 N Street, Suite 120
    Lincoln, NE 68508-2023


    The competition is open to Nebraska authors, Nebraska publishers, and other authors or publishers of books set in or relating to Nebraska. To be eligible, the book must be:

    • Published the previous year as indicated by the copyright date (e.g., published in 2021 for the 2022 awards);
    • Published professionally and assigned an ISBN number; and
    • Bound (no loose-leaf).

    Books may be one or more of the following:

    • Written by a Nebraskan or Nebraska-related author;
    • Published by a Nebraska publisher; or
    • Have a Nebraska theme or setting.

    Entries must be made in one or more of the following categories:

    • Children/Young Adult
    • Cover/Design/Illustration
    • Fiction
    • Nonfiction
    • Poetry

    Certificates will be awarded to the winners in each category.

    Award recipients

    2020 (21st annual) for books published in 2019

    Children's Picture Book
    Your Bridge to History, by Portia Love & Preston Love, Jr.
    Illustrated by Regina Jeanpierre
    Publisher: Preston Publishing
    Children's Picture Book Honor
    Major: A Soldier Dog, by Trevor Jones
    Illustrated by Ming Hai
    Publisher: Six Foot Press
    The Spirit of Nebraska: A History of Husker Game Day Traditions – the Tunnel Walk, Mascots, Cheer, and More, by Debra Kleve White
    Design by Concierge Marketing and Publishing Services.
    Publisher: Cheerful Books
    See Willy See, by Faith Colburn
    Publisher: Prairie Wind Press
    Fiction Honor Series
    The Line Between: A Thriller and A Single Light: A Thriller by Tosca Lee
    Publisher: Howard Books
    Nonfiction Investigative Journalism
    Zoo Nebraska: Dismantling of an American Dream, by Carson Vaughan
    Publisher: Little A
    Nonfiction Nature Reference
    Great Plains Birds: Discover the Great Plains, by Larkin Powell
    Publisher: Bison Books
    Nonfiction Immigration Story
    Citizen Akoy: Basketball and the Making of a South Sudanese American, by Steve Marantz
    Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
    Nonfiction Nebraska Perseverance
    Nebraska During the New Deal: The Federal Writers’ Project in the Cornhusker State, by Marilyn Irvin Holt
    Publisher: Bison Books
    Nonfiction Native American History
    Lakota America: A New History of Indigenous Power, by Pekka Hämäläinen
    Publisher: Yale University Press
    This Bright Darkness, by Sarah McKinstry-Brown
    Publisher: Black Lawrence Press
    Poetry Honor
    In a Good Time, by Mark Sanders
    Publisher: WSC Press

    Go to the comprehensive list of winners, dating back to 2000.

    Previous submissions

    View the lists of submissions from previous years:


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