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CAL Writing Awards


Colorado Authors League 2021 Awards Information

To all CAL Members who have published during this tumultuous year:

We salute you!

2020 has been a challenging year for writers: from finding time and the wherewithal to write at all to seeing your work through to publication.

The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that the 2021 Colorado Authors League Awards of Excellence is open for submissions.

Submission period December 1, 2020, to January 31, 2021.
All entries must be postmarked by January 31st, 2020.

Award finalists and winners will be announced in May/June 2021.

Past CAL Awards winners and finalists say CAL Awards are both rewarding and a marketing plus. We look forward to receiving your entries.

Best of luck and best wishes as 2020 comes to a close.

Please contact Jennie MacDonald, CAL Awards Chair, with any questions.



    1. NOVEL
      1. Mainstream, Literary
      2. Book Length Genre Fiction--You may choose two categories per book. Each category is one entry. Each entry fee is $50.
      3. Mystery, Crime, Suspense
      4. Action, Adventure
      5. Historical
      6. Romance
      7. Science Fiction, Fantasy
      8. Supernatural, Horror
    2. Book Length Youth Fiction/Nonfiction
      1. Middle Grade/ YA
      2. Young Readers Picture Book or Chapter Book
    3. Book Length Art Fiction/Graphic Novel--Adult or Youth
    4. Book Length Adult Non-fiction:
      1. Biography/Memoir
      2. History, Science, Research
      3. Lifestyle, Health and Fitness, Travel, How-to, Cookbook

    14. Book Length Prose Anthology--collection by one author

    15. Book Length Poetry Anthology--collection by one author

    16. SCREENPLAY (Full-length)*

    17. STAGE or AUDIO PLAY (Full-length)*
  • SHORTER WORKS--$25 per submission Recorded Media could be a 2nd category entry.
    1. Book Cover Design
    2. Poetry (1-3 poems)
    3. Essay -- Opinion/Inspirational/Humor/Personal/Memoir
    4. Non-fiction Articles --Research/Journalism/Academic/Scholarly
    5. Short Story
    6. Screenplay (short)*
    7. Stage or Audio Play*-- Monologue/10 Minute/ One Act.
    8. Recorded Media--Podcasts/Online Performances/Readings of your original work.
      (Submit text in hard copy and include permalink)
    9. BLOG POST
      (Submit text in hard copy and include permalink)

*Please note: Screenplays and Stage and Audio Plays must be registered as of 2018, 2019, or 2020, with an industry-recognized registry (WGAE, WGAW, U.S. Copyright Office, for example) to be eligible for entry. A copy of the industry registry must accompany the submission.



Submission Fee:    $50.00

Submission Fee:    $25.00

Awards Entry Rules

  • You must be a CAL member to submit for any award, and you are welcome to apply for membership to submit for award consideration. Traditionally published and independently published works may be submitted.
  • Only CAL members in good standing may submit entries as principal authors, but co-authors and non-writing collaborators such as illustrators do not have to be CAL members.
  • Only work FIRST published from January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020, is eligible for entry. If your work was published in December 2019 and you did not submit it for 2019 award consideration, you may submit it for a 2021 award.
  • Short works published in a larger publication such as anthologies, collections, and magazines, are acceptable, but only your work will be judged in the appropriate SHORTER WORKS category.
  • All submitted work must be publicly available. Please indicate on the entry form where it is available. Online-only works must have a permanent URL (permalink).
  • Judging will be conducted independently by an outside panel not associated with CAL.
  • CAL reserves the right not to confer any award in any given year.
  • Please provide all submission information and your complete personal contact information on your entry form. A link to the entry forms, mail-in and electronic, can be accessed by clicking here. Please print out and complete a submission form for each entry.
  • All entries require a physical book or hard copy for judging.
  • Adult FICTION may be entered in up to two GENRE categories (Mainstream/Literary works may only be entered in Mainstream/Literary). Adult NON-FICTION may be entered in up to two categories. The BOOK COVER DESIGN (Book-Length Works Only) category is an optional third category.
  • SHORTER WORKS may be entered in up to two categories.
  • If entering the same work in multiple categories, you must provide a physical book or hard copy for each category. Multiple submissions may be sent in one package.
  • Please securely package your submission form(s) and one (1) physical book or hard copy per category. If submitting a Screenplay, or Stage or Audio Play, a copy of the industry registry must accompany the submission. If mailing in payment, checks should be made out to “Colorado Authors League.”
  • Your submission package should be sent to: Jennie MacDonald, CAL Awards Chair. 2086 Grape Street Denver, CO 80207
  • Entries will be accepted beginning December 1, 2020. All entries must be postmarked by January 31, 2021.
  • We will confirm receipt of all entries by email.
  • Award finalists and winners will be announced in May/June 2021.
  • All finalists will receive awards of finalist recognition. Up to two finalists will be recognized in each category.

Online Writing Awards Submission Form Book Length Works

Online Writing Awards Submission Form Shorter Works

Printable Writing Awards Submission Form