Honoring Women's Lives
The Sarton ~ The Gilda
The 2021 competitions are now open.
See the 2020 shortlist below.
The Women's Book Awards are sponsored by the Story Circle Network, an international nonprofit association of women writers.
o The Sarton Awards are presented in four categories (memoir, historical fiction, contemporary fiction, nonfiction). The award program is named in honor of May Sarton, who is remembered for her outstanding contributions to women's literature as a memoirist, novelist, and poet. Sarton memoirs, novels, and nonfiction books are distinguished by the compelling ways they honor the lives of women.
o The Gilda Prize: “It’s Always Something” is named in honor of comedian Gilda Radner. Gilda memoirs are distinguished by their fresh voices, their honesty, and their authenticity. They make us laugh (even when we want to cry).
Winners of the 2020 competitions will be announced in April, 2021.
The Sarton and Gilda 2021 competitions are open now and will close November 15, 2021. Guidelines here. Please read carefully before applying.
Sarton Shortlist 2020
Child Bride, Jennifer Smith Turner (Spark Press, Phoenix AZ)
Copy Boy, Shelley Blanton-Stroud (She Writes Press)
Freedom Lessons, Eileen Harrison Sanchez (She Writes Press)
Her Sister's Tattoo, Ellen Meeropol (Red Hen Press)
Hunting the Devil, Suanne Schafer (Waldorf)
Luz, Debra Thomas (She Writes Press)
Queen of the Owls, Barbara Linn Probst (She Writes Press)
Sweet Jane, Joanne Kukanza Easley (Black Rose Writing)
Tea by the Sea, Donna Hemans (Red Hen Press)
The Best Part of Us, Sally Cole-Misch (She Writes Press)
Watermark, Elise Schiller (Spark Press)
Finding Venerable Mother: A Daughter's Spiritual Quest to Thailand, Cindy Rasicot (She Writes Press)
I Have Been Assigned the Single Bird: A Daughter's Memoir, Susan Cerulean (University of Georgia Press)
Ordinary Skin: Essays from Willow Springs, Amy Hale Auker (Texas Tech Press)
The Spiral Shell: A French Village Reveals Its Secrets, Sandell Morse (Schaffner Press)
This Particular Happiness: A Childless Love Story, Jackie Shannon Hollis (Forest Avenue Press)
When the Red Gates Opened: A Memoir of China's Reawakening, Dori Jones Yang (She Writes Press)
Behind the Kingdom’s Veil: Inside the New Saudi Arabia, Susanne Koebl (Mango Publishing)
Seven Sisters and a Brother, Marilyn Allman Maye, et al. (Books and Books Press)
Victory for the Vote. Doris Weatherford (Mango Publishing)
The Gilda Shortlist
Bad Tourist: Misadventures in Love and Travel, Suzanne Roberts (University of Nebraska Press)
Brave(ISH): A Memoir of a Recovering Perfectionist, Margaret Davis Ghielmetti (She Writes Press)
The Girlfriend Mom: A Memoir, Dani Alpert (Little Ricky Press)
Both competitions are open to women authors whose work is published in English in the United States and Canada. The awards are limited to submissions originally written in English and published by independent publishers, university presses, and author-publishers (self-publishing authors). Entries from/about women of color and LBT+ women are welcome in all categories.
Professional librarians not affiliated with SCN select the winners from finalists chosen by first round jurors. Winners and finalists will be announced in April, 2022 via social media, on the Story Circle Network website, and to SCN’s extensive email list.
- Winners receive a cash prize of $100, a commemorative award, gold seals, and a virtual seal for their websites, as well as advertising in SCN’s eletters and website and a year’s membership in SCN. Winners are also invited to attend and be honored at Stories from the Heart, SCN’s national conference (virtual or onsite).
- Finalists receive silver seals and a virtual seal for their websites.
See previous winners here.