Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions about the event, please reach out to us.

Books by current employees of the Los Angeles Times, by currently serving judges of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes or by immediate family members of these groups are not eligible.

NO. There is no external nominating process for the Book Prizes. Authors, publishers, agents or publicists cannot propose or submit titles for consideration. Responsibility for nominating books for consideration and for naming both the finalists and the ultimate winners rests solely with the judging panels.


Please do not send books directly to the judges. Unsolicited books will not be reviewed.

The Book Prize judges are writers, academics, journalists, librarians and others who work in or have a deep connection to the fields in which they judge. Not all the judges are, in any given year, from Los Angeles, or even from California. Most, but not all, are published writers. None is ever a current Times employee. Judges are typically appointed for two-year terms, which are usually staggered. Responsibility for nominating books for consideration and for naming both the finalists and the ultimate winners rests solely with the judging panels. The best way to get your book noticed by the judges is to send it out widely for review.

Five finalists in each single-title category are announced in late February of the year following the actual Prize year (i.e. the 2022 finalists are announced in February of 2023). At that time, the winners of the Robert Kirsch Innovator’s Awards, as well as the Christopher Isherwood Prize are revealed. From each group of category finalists, a winner is announced when the Book Prizes are presented in a public ceremony in the Friday night, April 21, 2023, kick off to Festival of Books weekend.

The Book Prizes cover 13 subject categories: audiobooks (sponsored by Audible, added in 2023), biography, current interest, autobiographical prose (the Christopher Isherwood Prize, added in 2016), fiction, first fiction (the Art Seidenbaum Award, added in 1991), graphic novel (added in 2009), history, mystery/thriller (added in 2000), poetry, science fiction/fantasy (added in  2019), science and technology (added in 1989) and young adult literature (added in 1998).


The Robert Kirsch Award recognizes the body of work of a living author who resides in and/or whose work focuses on the West and whose contributions to American letters deserve special recognition.
The Innovator’s Award recognizes the people and institutions that are doing cutting-edge work to bring books, publishing and storytelling into the future, whether in terms of new business models, new technologies or new applications of narrative art.


The Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose spans fiction, travel writing, memoir and diary — all genres in which Isherwood worked. During his lifetime, he authored novels, an autobiography, travel books and over a million words of diaries. Katherine Bucknell, executive director of the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, says, “We are absolutely delighted to be giving this prize with the Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles was Christopher Isherwood’s adoptive home, and in 1984 he was awarded the Robert Kirsch Award for his own writing.” A five-judge panel has selected the 2023 winner.


The Robert Kirsch Award and the Innovator’s Award winners are selected by an anonymous internal Los Angeles Times committee and will be announced with the winner of the Isherwood Prize and all the category finalists on February 21, 2024.