British Academy Book Prize Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility criteria

The criteria for submitting a nomination for our British Academy Book Prize, worth £25,000 and awarded annually for a non-fiction book that promotes global cultural understanding. The British Academy Book Prize 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.

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 archaeology, history and psychology to philosophy, languages and cultural studies.

a) 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.

b) 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, in English for the first time between the 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022.

c) 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 2020.

d) Translated books are eligible provided that they are first published in English in the UK between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022.

e) E-books may be submitted, on the condition that a bound copy is submitted for the jury’s consideration by the submission date (31 March 2022), and that if the book is shortlisted it will be made publicly available in print by the time of the shortlist announcement (6 September 2022).

f) 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.

g) Previously winning any other prize does not affect a book’s eligibility. Authors must be living at the time of submission.

h) Edited volumes are not eligible.

i) Children’s books and picture books/graphic novels are not eligible for this Prize.

How to nominate a book

j) Nominations are open to all and invited from publishers, Fellows of the British Academy and by open call.

Nominators must complete the online nomination form and submit an electronic version of the form along with a digital copy of the book to [email protected] and send one hard copy of the book they wish to nominate to: The British Academy Prizes Team, The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, SW1Y 5AH.

For submissions made by Fellows or open call (via the online form) the British Academy will contact the publisher to request copies of the nominated book.

It is free to nominate books.

Publishers should carefully read the eligibility criteria and the guidelines, and only enter books that meet them.

Terms & Conditions of the prize

k) Publishers may be called upon to submit up to 12 additional copies of a nominated book.

l) 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, including the production of any digital media around the time of the shortlist and winner announcement.

m) 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.

n) 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.

o) There is no entry fee for nominating books. However, in doing so publishers of the shortlisted books agree that they will contribute to costs incurred by the author’s travel and accommodation for Prize events including the winner’s announcement in Autumn 2022.

p) Judges also have the right to call in books that have not been put forward.

q) Publishers must declare if there are any previous or ongoing cases of libel with a nominated book.

r) 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.

s) 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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