Sarton Memoir Award: Guidelines

The Story Circle Network (SCN), an international nonprofit association of women interested in writing about their lives, sponsors this annual award. It is named in honor of May Sarton, who is remembered for her work as a memoirist, novelist, and poet.

The award is given annually to the author of the best woman's memoir published in the United States and Canada and selected from works submitted. The award is limited to submissions from small/independent publishers, university presses, and author-publishers (self-publishing authors). Professional librarians not affiliated with SCN will select the winner. The winner of the 2019 award will be announced on the Story Circle Network websites and to its extensive email list in date tba... (in April of even-numbered years, our current & previous years' winners will be invited to attend and be honored at Stories from the Heart, the biannual SCN National Conference, Austin TX).

Guidelines for 2019

Entry Deadline: November 15, 2019
  • Memoirs by women authors published during January 1, 2018 - December 31, 2019 in the United States and Canada are eligible.

    • A book (or any part thereof) originally published in any format and released later in another format is eligible only if the original copyright date is within the eligibility period.
    • The memoir must have an ISBN; go here to read more or obtain an ISBN.

  • Memoirs by women authors written in collaboration are acceptable if both authors experienced the events described in the narrative (for example, a mother/daughter collaboration about their lives together).

  • Memoirs published by major publishing houses are not eligible.

  • Ghostwritten memoirs (memoirs written by or with anyone other than the person or persons who experienced the events therein) are NOT eligible.

  • Novels are NOT eligible.

  • Anyone (author, publisher, SCN member, non-SCN member, other) may submit one or more eligible memoirs.

  • The memoir must be submitted in its final, reader-ready form. Advance Reading Copies (ARCs) are not acceptable.

  • E-book entries must be submitted in printed and bound form; spiral binding is acceptable.

  • Loose manuscript pages or three-ring binders are NOT acceptable and will neither be acknowledged nor returned.

  • The entry submission package consists of the application form, the entry fee, and three bound copies of the memoir.

  • The application must be completed, payment received, and books postmarked no later than November 15, 2019. If any part of the package is missing by this date, the submission is incomplete and ineligible for the current year's contest; however, books that don't meet the deadline will be held for the following year's contest.

  • Entries received with incomplete submission packages will not be acknowledged or returned. The entry fee for an incomplete submission will not be returned.

  • If you would like to check out our rubric (the scoring guide our jurors and judges will use to determine the winner), go here.

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