British Academy Book Prize Eligibility Criteria

The British Academy Book Prize, worth £25,000 is awarded annually to the best eligible non-fiction book that, in the opinion of the judges, contributes to global cultural understanding for a wider public audience.

Eligibility criteria

The British Academy is the UK’s national academy for humanities and social sciences, and eligible books might come from the subjects that fall within those disciplines, from sociology, to psychology, history and archaeology, philosophy, languages and cultural studies.

  1. The Prize rewards books that best contribute to improving global cultural understanding among public audiences. The judges are seeking books that demonstrate rigorous original and high-quality research, and that are accessible and engaging to read.
  2. Authors can be of any nationality, based anywhere in the world and working in any language provided that the nominated work has been published in the UK and Ireland, for the first time between the 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2023.
  3. Translated books are eligible provided that they are first published in English in the UK between 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2023.
  4. Books that have previously been published outside the UK and Ireland in the English language will only be eligible if the date of original publication is within the previous one year, i.e. not earlier than 1 April 2021.
  5. Previously winning the British Academy Book Prize does not affect an author’s eligibility to enter, provided the entry is for a different non-fiction book.
  6. Authors must be living at the time of submission.
  7. The following are not eligible:
  • edited volumes
  • children books
  • picture books
  • textbooks
  • graphic novels
  • self-published books

Where there are any doubts about eligibility, the prize administrator will seek clarity from the publisher.

Terms & Conditions of the prize

  1. It is free to nominate books.
  2. Publishers may be called upon to submit up to 15 additional copies of a nominated book.
  3. By entering the Prize, publishers and authors of the shortlisted titles are agreeing to work co-operatively with the Prize team in promoting the shortlisted book and the Prize around the time of the shortlist and winner announcement.
  4. The winning title must display the words ‘Winner of the British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding’ on all subsequent printings, according to the Prize’s brand-guidelines, unless otherwise agreed.
  5. Shortlisted titles must display the words ‘Shortlisted for the British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding’ on all subsequent printings, according to the Prize’s brand-guidelines unless otherwise agreed.
  6. There is no entry fee for nominating books. The British Academy will cover reasonable costs incurred by the authors travel and accommodation for Prize events.
  7. Judges also have the right to call in books that have not been put forward.
  8. It is the discretion of the administration team and the Jury as to whether a book is eligible and fits the subject matter. Their decision is final, and no conversation will be entered into.
  9. The Prize is managed by the British Academy, to whom all enquiries about the application of these regulations should be addressed.


General enquiries about the Prize should be sent to [email protected].

All media enquiries regarding the Prize should be directed to [email protected].

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