CAL Writing Awards

Colorado Authors’ League 2018 Awards Information

You have already done the hard part. You have published this year. Why not take a good look at your best work and take it out for a second spin?

Last year’s winners say it’s more than worth the effort. They use words like “thrill, encouraged, gratifying, rewarding, vindication, satisfying, recognition, inspiration, support, validation, tremendous privilege” when asked what it meant to win.

What could it mean for you?

Winners will be announced at the CAL Annual Awards Banquet May 4, 2018 at Arvada Center.

Winners will receive:

*A $100 cash prize
*An engraved glass trophy
*Promotion on the CAL website
*All Finalists will also be hosted by Tattered Cover Bookstore for a reading/signing event
*All Finalists will receive a supply of fifty silver labels with CAL’s logo to set their work apart. Winners will receive a supply of 100 gold labels as well. Additional labels are available for purchase by clicking here.
*In addition, Winners and Finalists will receive shelf-talkers for placement in the bookstores and libraries that carry their books, and digital images for placement on blogs and websites.

You can find a link to the entry form by clicking here. We look forward to hearing from you.

Please contact Jerry Mitchell, CAL Awards Chair, at or at 303-948-7763 if you have any questions.

Contest Entry Rules

NOTE: In recognition of the 75th anniversary of Mary Coyle Chase’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Harvey, CAL has added categories for Stage Script and Screenplay to this year’s CAL Awards program. Click here for the rules specific to these two categories. For all others, see the following.

1. Only original entries FIRST published in 2017 are accepted, except for categories 16 and 17, stage script and screenplay (see special rules for those categories). A derivative of a published work, like a novel published in 2017 based on an earlier published short story, does qualify.

2. Work contributed to a larger publication (book of essays/poems) is acceptable, but only your work will be judged.

3. Self-published work is eligible if it meets CAL bylaws and is available for public purchase – please indicate where.

4. Only CAL members in good standing can submit entries, including writing collaborators. Non-writing collaborators do not have to be CAL members. To become a member when submitting your entry, click here.

5. Please choose a category for your entry. If we have to shift categories we will advise you before making any changes. Entry fee, per submission, is $50.00. Multiple entries, whether entering the same work into multiple categories or multiple entries into the same category, will require a $50.00 fee for each entry. Payment via PayPal is preferred, but if you must pay by check, please contact Linda Lange by email at

6. Judging will be conducted independently by Southwest Writers.

7. Please send one copy of your published work to Jerry Mitchell, PO Box 271585, Littleton, CO 80127. All entries, other than ebooks, require a hard copy at the request of our judges. If your work appeared in e-format only, such as a blog, please make a hard copy for this entry. If you are entering an ebook, you will make a copy of your ebook available for the judges by using the Amazon gifting process:

Go to and log into your account
Go to your ebook page
Select Give as Gift
Select Email the gift to me

8. Entries for single poems must include a photocopy of the title page, table of contents (if there is one) listing the poem, and page(s) on which the poem appears.

9. We will confirm receipt of all entries and will advise everyone who entered when the finalists have been chosen, approximately April 1, 2018.

10. Entries will be accepted beginning December 1, 2017. All entries must be postmarked by Saturday, January 31, 2018, when entries close.

Writing Categories this year include:

1. POETRY, SINGLE POEM All forms, with the single poem published in a magazine or journal (can be online) or published in a poetry anthology, book, or chapbook. Multiple entries allowed; each requires separate entry fees.
2. POETRY, COLLECTION All forms; 2 in a collection; chapbook
3. BLOG 3-5 posts from a single blog
4. FEATURE ARTICLES Travel; trends; profiles; how-to; investigative; round-ups; etc.
5. ESSAYS Op-ed; humor; inspirational; personal; etc.
6. GENERAL NONFICTION adult; book length
7. CREATIVE NONFICTION adult; book length
8. SHORT FICTION Adult/children
9. CHILDREN’S Book length
10. YOUNG ADULT Book length
13. GENRE FICTION Book length
14. NON-FICTION EBOOK Book length
15. FICTION EBOOK Book length
16. STAGE SCRIPT (click here for entry rules)
17. SCREENPLAY (click here for entry rules)