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.

Submission period

Submissions for the 2024 British Academy Book Prize are open from 15 January 2024.

The deadline for the 2024 Prize is midnight, 29 February 2024.


The British Academy is the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences, and eligible books may come from the subjects that fall within these disciplines – sociology, psychology, law, economics, history, art, literature, archaeology, philosophy, languages and cultural studies, among several others.

The purpose of this prize is to recognise and award a work of non-fiction that contributes to the public understanding of world cultures.

In previous years, winning and shortlisted books of the British Academy Book Prize have explored a variety of subjects, including:

  • histories of empire from the perspectives of non-European peoples and societies
  • intersections of gender, violence and crime
  • women and patriarchal systems
  • the unacknowledged contributions of scientists from Africa, America, Asia and the Pacific to the global history of science
  • slavery, emancipation and power inequalities
  • race and resistance
  • the ecology and psychology of abandoned places
  • the use of objects and materiality to understand history
  • testimonies from the residents of remote, isolated and disappearing villages
  • Europe’s physical and psychological borders
  • cognitive science and the meanings of human ritual
  • the use –and abuse – of free speech

Our judges are keen to consider a diverse range of voices. Previous nominations have included debut authors at the start of their careers, to journalists and more established writers, researchers and academics.

It is recommended that applicants consult the FAQ below and our past winners page to get a sense of the previous books that our panel judged to exemplify the theme and criteria of the Prize.

Global Cultural Understanding

Eligibility criteria

  1. The Prize rewards non-fiction 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 easily available in the UK, 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 2023 and 31 March 2024.
  3. Translated books must be first published in English in the UK between 1 April 2023 and 31 March 2024.
  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. 1 April 2022-31 March 2023.
  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 genres are not eligible:
  • fiction
  • edited volumes
  • children’s 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

1. Anyone may nominate. Self-nominations are eligible.

2. There is no limit on the number of nominations any one individual can make.

3. For each nomination, we require one electronic PDF version of the book emailed to [email protected] AND one hard copy of the book, which should be posted to: The British Academy (Book Prize Team), 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH, United Kingdom.

4. Publishers may be called upon to submit up to 20 additional copies of a nominated book.

5. By entering the Prize, publishers and authors are agreeing to work co-operatively with the British Academy to promote the Prize, the shortlist and the winner announcement.

6. The British Academy will cover reasonable costs incurred by the authors for travel and accommodation for Prize events.

7. The winning title must display the words ‘Winner of the British Academy Book Prize 2024’ on all subsequent printings, according to the Prize’s brand guidelines, unless otherwise agreed.

8. Shortlisted titles must display the words ‘Shortlisted for the British Academy Book Prize 2024’ on all subsequent printings, according to the Prize’s brand-guidelines, unless otherwise agreed.

9. The judging panel has the right to nominate books that have not been put forward.

10. It is at the discretion of the British Academy and the judging panel as to whether a book meets the eligibility criteria for the Prize.

11. The Prize is managed by the British Academy, to whom all enquiries about the application of these regulations should be addressed.

How to submit

Submit here

To submit a book for the 2024 British Academy Book Prize, please complete the online form and provide:

  • one electronic PDF version of the book which should be emailed to [email protected]
  • one hard copy of the book which should be posted to: The British Academy (Book Prize Team), 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH, United Kingdom.

For submissions made by open call (individuals/Fellows), the British Academy will contact the publisher to request copies of the nominated book.

Publishers are welcome to send copies of spring and autumn catalogues (from all relevant imprints) for consideration by the judges.

The deadline for nominations is midnight, Thursday 29 February 2024.

If you have any questions concerning eligibility, please contact [email protected]

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