The following is a list of major literary awards and prizes for writing by women. The description of each is taken directly from the associated website.
NB: These awards are given by nomination. I have a separate resources page with contests open to entries by authors themselves.
This list is a work in progress. If you find a non-working link or know that award is no longer on offer, or if you know of a prize that should be added to this list, please do let me know. I appreciate your help in making this list as comprehensive as possible. Thank you!
— Nicole Melanson
The BAILEYS Women’s Prize for Fiction celebrates the very best full-length fiction written by women throughout the world.
Barbara Jefferis Award (Australia)
The Barbara Jefferis Award is offered for “the best novel written by an Australian author that depicts women and girls in a positive way or otherwise empowers the status of women and girls in society”.
Chommanard Book Prize (Thailand)
This is the most prestigious book prize in Thailand for non-fiction authors and writers aimed at representing and recognising the country’s elite female literary talent.
Davitt Awards (Australia)
Presented for Australian crime fiction, by women, for both adults and young adults.
Prize for fiction by an American woman.
Lulu Awards (USA)
Brings attention to the best, most women-friendly and reader-friendly work in comics and recognizes the work of women comics creators of the past.
The Moon Prize (USA)
The Moon Prize ($91) is awarded once a month on the full moon for a story or poem posted in Writing In A Woman’s Voice during the moon cycle period preceding that full moon.
Nita Kibble Literary Awards (Australia)
The Awards recognise the works of Australian women writers of fiction or non-fiction classified as “life writing”. The Kibble recognises the work of an established writer; the Dobbie recognises a first published work.
Pat Lowther Award (Canada)
The Pat Lowther Memorial Award is given for a book of poetry by a Canadian woman published in the preceding year.
The Quentin Bryce Award (Australia)
Established in association with the University of Queensland (UQ), the annual University of Queensland Press Quentin Bryce Award will be awarded to one book on UQP’s list that celebrates women’s lives or promotes gender equality, with the winner to be chosen by former Governor General Quentin Bryce.
Rapallo Carige Prize (Italy) (NB: site is in Italian)
Open to new works by women writers in Italian.
For a historical or critical work on any subject connected with English Literature by a woman of any nationality provided that the nominated work is available in English.
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Prize (Mexico)
Recognition for the literary work of women in Spanish.
Stella Prize (Australia)
A major literary award celebrating Australian women’s writing, and championing diversity and cultural change.
Recognizes women who have written works of outstanding quality for the English-speaking theatre.