The Reading the West Book Awards honor the best fiction, non-fiction, and illustrated books for adults and children set in one of the twelve MPIBA member states, or created by an author or artist living or working in the region. The awards celebrate the spirit of the west and the rich variety of writing in and about our region and reflect the extraordinary diversity of our reading public.


  • Adult Fiction
  • Adult Narrative Non-Fiction
  • Adult Photography, Art, Illustrated Non-fiction
  • Young Adult (for ages 13+)
  • Young Readers (for ages 7 – 12)
  • Picture Book
  • Eating the West: Regional Cookbook/Culinary Writing
  • Reading the West Advocacy Award
    • Given to an outstanding book that promotes equity and inclusivity and addresses themes of social, economic and/or environmental justice. Submissions from all genres of fiction and non-fiction including kids and teen books are encouraged to apply.



  • Titles originally published in 2019.
  • Books should be the work of authors or illustrators who live or work in the MPIBA region; and/or are set in our region, and/or invoke the spirit of the West.
  • Books must be available through mainstream distribution channels at standard retail terms and fully returnable. Ideally, books will also available via mainstream wholesale channels.
  • The person submitting or the publisher (if different) must be able to provide complimentary reading copies (approximately 10) to our bookseller reading committees. Copies must be available to mail by January 15, 2020.
  • The person submitting or the publisher (if different) must pay the $150 nomination fee.



  • Nomination Period: October 1, 2019 – January 15, 2020
  • Long-list Announced: February 5, 2020
  • Short-list Announced: April 15, 2020
  • Public Voting: April 20 – May 17, 2020
  • Winners Announced: May 20, 2020
  • Regional Bookstore Display Contest: April 15 – June 30, 2020



  • Accepted via on-line form, October 1, 2019 – January 15, 2020
  • MPIBA member booksellers may suggest titles for consideration. Titles suggested by booksellers must be nominated and paid for by publishers in order to qualify.
  • Nomination fee is $150 per title.
    • Publishers and authors must pay when submitting a title for consideration (invoice due upon receipt).
    • Other nominations will be accepted when approved and paid for by a publisher or the nominator.
  • Publisher or nominator must ship reading copies to the appropriate award selection committee members (up to 10 copies depending on the category). After titles are nominated, you’ll receive a list of booksellers and mailing addresses for shipping the books.
  • Nominated titles must be available to bookstores at standard retail terms, must be fully returnable, and ideally, will be available through wholesalers with regular discounts and returns.


  • A long-list is created from all nominated titles.
  • Reading the West Book Award reading committees, made up of regional booksellers, will read the nominated titles (long-list) to create a shortlist of five titles per award category.
  • The shortlists will be announced in April, and voting will begin with promotion to bookstores and booksellers and the reading public.
  • Bookseller voting counts as 60% of the vote tally. Consumer voting counts 40%.
  • Category winners are determined by bookseller and public voting.



  • Long-list titles promoted on new public facing website – readingthewest.com – with links in e-newsletters and social media.
  • Long-list titles read by regional booksellers to create shortlist.
  • National media release for shortlist announcement.
  • E-newsletter and extensive social media outreach for shortlist announcement and opening of public voting.
  • National media release for announcement of winners.
  • E-newsletter and extensive social media outreach for announcement of winners.
  • Region-wide bookstore display contest for the shortlist and winning titles.
  • Downloadable fliers, bookmarks, shelf-talkers, and signage provided to MPIBA member bookstores for promoting the Reading the West program and titles.
  • Digital assets for e-newsletters, websites, and social media provided to MPIBA members for promoting the program and titles.
  • Winning titles promoted in Fall 2020 Holiday Gift Guide Catalog.