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CAL Writing Awards


Colorado Authors’ League 2019 Awards Information

CAL members, you have already done the hard part: written a literary work that has been published this year. Now… take the next step and submit your work for a CAL Writer’s Award.

Our past finalists and category winners have said that becoming part of the awards process is definitely worth the effort. When asked what it meant to have their work recognized, they have said the experience was thrilling, encouraging, extremely gratifying, and inspired them on to their next project.

What would being recognized by a jury of your peers mean to you?

Winners will be announced at the CAL Annual Awards Event on Sunday, May 17, 2020.

Entry Costs and Winner Recognition

We listened to your feedback, and we have revamped the award categories and the submission fee schedule for the 2019 awards.

BOOKS: Fiction & Non-Fiction, Novels & Novellas, Children’s Chapters Books, e-Books, Screenplays, Stage plays

  • Submission Fee: $50.00
  • Awards: Trophy, $100.00 & award book labels (physical and digitized)

ALL OTHER CATEGORIES: Poetry (single entry & collections), Articles, Essays, Children’s Picture Books, Short Stories, Cover Design

  • Submission Fee: $25.00
  • Awards: Trophy, $50.00 & award book labels (physical and digitized)


All Second and Third Place Finalists

Will receive a Certificate of Recognition of the top three finalist’s names in each category.


Additional promotion of winners and finalists will occur throughout the year as opportunities arise.

Please contact CAL Awards Chair, Daniel Ginsberg with any questions. or 303.544.1012.



  1. POETRY, SINGLE POEM: All forms, printed or e-book
  2. POETRY, COLLECTION: All forms, 3 in a collection or chapbook, printed or e-book
  3. FEATURE ARTICLES: Travel, Trends, Profiles, How-to, Investigative, etc.
  4. ESSAYS: Opinion, Humor, Inspirational, Personal, Memoir, etc.
  5. CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOK: Fiction or Non-Fiction
  6. CHILDREN’S/JUVENILE: Chapter book, Fiction or Non-Fiction
  7. CHILDREN’S/ELEMENTARY: Chapter book, Fiction or Non-Fiction
  8. ADULT FICTION: (over 40,000 words)
    1. Category A: Romance
    2. Category B: Mystery, Crime, Suspense
    3. Category C: Science Fiction, Fantasy
    4. Category D: Gothic, Horror
    5. Category E: Western
    6. Category F.  Mainstream 
  9. ADULT NOVELLA: Any genre (17,500 to 40,000 words)
  10. SHORT STORY: Any genre (under 17,500 words)
    1. Category G: Cookbooks, Travel, Self Help, Health and Fitness, etc.
    2. Category H: Historical, Biographical
  12. E-BOOK NON-FICTION: published only in this format, book length (over 40,000 words)
  13. E-BOOK FICTION: published only in this format, book length (over 40,000 words)
  14. SCREENPLAY: Any genre, any length
  15. STAGEPLAY: Any genre, any length
  16. COVER DESIGN: Printed or e-book  

Please note:
Screenplays and Stage plays must be registered with an industry recognized registry (WGAE, WGAW, U.S. Copyright Office for example) since 2016 to be eligible for entry.
Authors in categories receiving fewer than three entries will have the option of their work included in another category or having their submission fee returned.

Contest Entry Rules



  • Only original entries FIRST published in 2019, with the exception of stage and screenplays are eligible.
    1. A derivative of a previously published work, such as a novel published prior to 2019 that is based on an earlier published short story, does qualify.
  • Work contributed to a larger publication (book of essays/poems) is acceptable, but only your work will be judged.
  • Self-published work is eligible if it meets CAL bylaws and is available for public purchase – please indicate where it is available.
  • Only CAL members in good standing can submit entries, including writing collaborators. Non-writing collaborators do not have to be CAL members.
  • Please choose a category for your entry. If we have to shift categories we will notify you before making any changes.
  • The entry fee is $50.00 per submission. Certain categories are only $25.00. Checks should be made out to the “Colorado Authors’ League”.
  • Judging will be conducted independently by an out of state writers organization.
  • Please send or deliver one (1) copy of your published work with a copy of your on-line entry form to Daniel Ginsberg, Awards Chair, 2616 Fairfax Street, Denver, CO 80207. All entries require a hard copy for judging. If you are entering an e-book, please make a copy of your e-book available for the judges.
  • We will confirm receipt of all entries when received and will publish a list of entries when the finalists have been chosen, approximately April 15, 2020.
  • All entries must be postmarked no later than January 15, 2020