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: I intend to compile a separate list of competitions and contests open to female literary artists. The awards here are given to previously published work.
All links are current as of November 2015. 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.
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.
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.