After each nominated eligible book is evaluated by three Chautauquan reviewers, the shortlist and winner are chosen by a three-member, independent, anonymous jury.


  1. Publishers (including trade, university, and small presses), agents, readers, or authors may submit books published in 2015 by living writers.
  2. The 2016 prize is open to any book of original fiction or narrative/literary nonfiction, written in English.
  3. Books must be published in the United States between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2015. This means that the first publication must have been during that period. A paperback publication date does not count if that was not the first publication.
  4. Multiple entries may be submitted.
  5. Entries must include the following materials — no exceptions:
    1. An official entry form (or facsimile) for each title entered. Click here for a PDF download of the entry form.
    2. Eight (8) copies of each title entered, either published works or bound galleys. Please mark prominently: 2016 Chautauqua Prize material.
    3. Official entry forms must be accompanied by the entry fee of $75, paid by the nominator and payable by check or money order to Chautauqua Institution.
  6. The postmark deadline for entry form is December 15, 2015. Books must be received by December 15, 2015.
  7. Nominators who wish the Institution to acknowledge receipt of their entry materials should enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard or envelope.
  8. Longlist finalists are notified in February. At that time, they are asked to provide biographies and pictures, and to identify summer dates in which they could visit CHQ Institution to accept the award in person (a requirement of the prize). The winner and shortlist finalists are notified in April. They are also required to accept conditions noted as No. 9 below.
  9. Nominators agree that the decision of Chautauqua Institution and/or the judges will be final as to all matters, including eligibility, timelines of submissions, and compliance with these submission guidelines. Selected author and publisher must grant the permanent right in any and all media throughout the world to use all promotional and publicity rights in connection with their participation in the Chautauqua Prize competition, for use of their respective photographs, names, likenesses, voice, or appearances in connection with The Chautauqua Prize; and each consents to the permanent right of Chautauqua Institution to publish or broadcast the author’s acceptance speech without further consent or payment. Finalists grant the right that the book, author and publisher may be named in CHQ's announcements.
  10. Books not accompanied by entry form will not be considered or returned.
  11. Nominators may send books by U.S. mail or express courier. Chautauqua Institution cannot be responsible for replacing items that are lost in transit. Nominators are encouraged to submit entries and copies well in advance of the deadline.
  12. Books will not be returned. Unused books, if any, will be donated to local public and school libraries as appropriate.
  13. Nothing in these guidelines shall be deemed to limit in any way the authority and control of Chautauqua Institution.
  14. For more information, please contact:
    Sara Toth
    Department of Education
    Chautauqua Institution
    P.O. Box 28
    1 Ames Ave.
    Chautauqua, NY 14722
    (716) 357-6376
Updated Sept. 11, 2015.