October 2, 2007

The Hurston/Wright Legacy Award

The Hurston/Wright Legacy AwardThe Hurston/Wright Legacy Award™ is the first national award presented to published writers of African descent by the national community of Black writers. This award, underwritten by Borders Books & Music, consists of prizes for the highest quality writing in the categories of Fiction, Debut Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry.


  • Debut Fiction: Debut Novel, Novella, or Short Story Collection.
  • Fiction: Novel, Novella, or Short Story Collection.
  • Nonfiction: Autobiography, Memoir, Biography, History, Social Issues, Literary Criticism.
  • Poetry: Books In Verse, Pros Poetry, Formal Verse, Experimental Verse.


  • Writers must be of African descent; Black writers from any area of the diaspora.
  • Full-length books of poetry, fiction and nonfiction, collections of short stories, and collections of essays by one author are eligible.
  • Paperback originals are eligible.
  • Works must have been published in the United States or must be U.S. editions of foreign books published for the first time in the United States.
  • Self-published authors are eligible.
  • An English translation of a book originally written in another language is eligible.
  • All books submitted for consideration must have a publication date between January and December of the calendar year in which the application is being submitted. Bound galleys may be submitted.
  • Anthologies containing works written by multiple authors are not eligible.
  • Poetry books less than 50 pages are not eligible.
  • A reprint of a book published in a previous year is not eligible.
  • Board members and staff of the Hurston/Wright Foundation are not eligible for consideration of this award.
  • No entry will be ineligible because its author has previously won the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, or any other award.

Submission Requirements

  • Books must be submitted by the publishing companies only.
  • For full consideration however, permission of the author must be granted.
  • The author of a Legacy nominated book or a representative is expected to attend the awards ceremony.
  • Each publishing company will be required to designate one person to coordinate all Hurston/Wright Legacy Award related matters with the Foundation.
  • The Hurston/Wright Foundation reserves the right to request that publishers submit specific titles to be considered for nomination.

All submissions must be received between September 1, 2007 and November 15, 2007.

How to Apply

Books not accompanied by the proper documentation will not be considered.


A panel of three industry professionals in each genre will judge all submissions. A slate of six books in each category will comprise the nominations for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award.

A short list of books chosen by the Hurston/Wright Foundation committee will be selected and submitted to this panel of judges.

2007 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Judges


Martha Southgate
Austin Clarke
Zelda Lockhart

Debut Fiction

Nalo Hopkinson
Karyn Langhorne
Doreen Baingana


Debra Dickerson
Wil Haygood
Regina Louise


Tyehimba Jess
Brian Gilmore
Allison Joseph

Nominees will be announced in May 2007. The Awards Ceremony will be held at the National Press Club in Washington DC on November 2.

For more information, please follow this link: Hurston/Wright Legacy Award.


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