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

    2021 (22nd annual) for books published in 2020

    Children's Picture Book
    Letters from Space, by Clayton Anderson
    Illustrated by Susan Batori
    Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
    Sy's Barbershop and Pool Hall: New and Selected Poems and Paintings, by Jay D. Gerber
    Publisher: Infusionmedia
    Lily Discovers People are Like Donuts, by Rob Otte
    Illustrated by Carey Goddard
    Publisher: Jelly Donut Publishing
    Illustration Honor
    The Day We Went to the Park, by Linda Stephen and Christine Manno
    Origami Artwork by Linda Stephen
    Publisher: Handersen Publishing
    The Brightest Place in the World, by David Philip Mullins
    Publisher: University of Nevada Press
    Nonfiction Legal History
    A Question of Freedom: The Families Who Challenged Slavery from the Nationa's Founding to the Civil War, by William G. Thomas III
    Publisher: Yale University Press
    Nonfiction Memoir
    Dancing with the Octopus: A Memoir of a Crime, by Debora Harding
    Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
    Nonfiction Memoir Honor
    Yards After Contact - Team Jack: Scoring a Touchdown Against Childhood Brain Cancer, by Andrew Hoffman, forward by Rex Burkhead
    Publisher: Nico 11 Publishing and Design
    Nonfiction Military History
    A Mighty Force for Peace: A History of the Former Lincoln Air Force Base, by Robert M. Branting
    Publisher: Infusionmedia
    Nonfiction Nebraska History
    Never Caught Twice: Horse Stealing in Western Nebraska, 1850-1890, by Matthew S. Luckett
    Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
    Nonfiction Nebraska as Place
    Cut in Stone, Cast in Bronze: Nebraska Historical Markers and Monuments, 1854-1967, by Jeff Barnes
    Publisher: The Donning Company
    Nonfiction Solidary
    American Harvest: God, Country, and Farming in the Heartland, by Marie Mutsuki MOckett
    Publisher: Graywolf Press
    Nonfiction Urban History
    My Omaha Obsession: Searching for the City, by Miss Cassette, forward by Chris Ware
    Publisher: Bison Books
    Two-Toned Dress, by Lucy Adkins
    Publisher: Blue Light Press
    Poetry Honor
    Forever War, by Kate Gaskin
    Publisher: YesYes Books

    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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