The Maya Angelou Book Award/ How To Apply (Prize: $10,000 + Book Tour)
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The Maya Angelou Book Award/ How To Apply (Prize: $10,000 + Book Tour)

The Maya Angelou Book Award was founded in 2020 to honor the legacy of Missouri-born author Maya Angelou.

The award recognizes contemporary authors whose work demonstrates a commitment to social justice and diversifies contemporary American literature. The Maya Angelou Book Award recognizes works of poetry or fiction in alternating years.

In 2023 the Maya Angelou Book Award will be given to a collection of poems. Fiction submissions are not eligible for the 2023 award. Submissions open: January 1, 2023 and close March 31, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. CDT. Announcement of winner would happen in Fall of 2023. Followed by Book tour and ceremony: Spring 2024.

Note: Make sure that you have a reliable internet connection like Spectrum to apply without any delays to this award.


The Maya Angelou Book Award

Eligibility for the Maya Angelou Book Award

  • Entries must come from publishers.Authors may not submit their works independently.
  • Works with a publication date in 2022 or a scheduled publication date through November 2023 are eligible.
  • Entrants must be at least 18 years of age and reside in the United States.
  • Entrants must be available for a two-week reading tour at partnering educational institutions in Missouri. The award winner and the tour scheduler will confirm the tour schedule.
  • Entrants must not be employees of a Missouri college or university that co-sponsors this award, or an employee of the Kansas City Public Library.
  • Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. CDT on March 31, 2023. Please note that entries are not considered complete until an electronic manuscript has been received by the committee.
  • Submissions should be made to the submission site. 
  • There is no entry fee.


  • Each year, one writer will win $10,000, conduct a reading tour of Missouri colleges, universities and libraries, and be recognized in a ceremony sponsored by the Kansas City Public Library, the University of Missouri and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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