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 resource 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 an award is no longer on offer, or if you know of a prize that should be added to this list, please 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.
Liberatur Award (Germany)
Founded in 1987 by the initiative “LiBeraturpreis e.V.”, this audience award has been organized by Litprom since 2013. It is given to a particularly popular book by a female writer from Africa, Asia, Latin America or the Arab World. All books by female writers included on the previous year’s Weltempfänge lists are automatically nominated for the award. Since 2016, the winner has been chosen by a public online vote, giving everyone interested in world literature the opportunity to vote for their favourite author. The winner receives 3,000 euros and an invitation to Frankfurter Buchmesse.
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.