AAP’s PROSE Awards Call For Entries, Add Graphic Novels

The Association of American Publishers issued a call for submissions for the 2021 PROSE Awards, which honor outstanding scholarly books, journals, reference and digital works, and, for the first time, nonfiction graphic novels.

Submissions for the PROSE Awards are open from September 14, 2020 through November 13, 2020. Publishers submitting titles for the awards must be a member of the Association of American Publishers or the Association of University Presses and entries can include academic titles or scholarly trade books.

The PROSE awards honor outstanding scholarly works published during 2020 in five categories: Biological and Life Sciences, Humanities, Physical Sciences & Mathematics, Social Sciences, and Reference Works. After the winners are chosen in each PROSE category, one of the five works will be chosen to receive the AAP’s R.R. Hawkins, which honors the best of the PROSE Awards winners.

The AAP is also launching a video campaign via social media highlight the PROSE 2020 winners, which will run during the entry period. The video campaign will include 2020 R. R. Hawkins winner Leonardo da Vinci Rediscoered by Carmen C. Bambach (Yale University Press).

This year for the first time the PROSE awards have created a category for works of graphic nonfiction. Syreeta Swann, AAP v-p, programs and administration, told PW the AAP has been encouraged to add the comcs format to the awards. “I researched the category and I support adding it. I’m a fan of graphic novels and so is my family,” Swann said.

Juniata College access services and instruction librarian Sara Kern, who is a PROSE judge for American history and graphic novels, also told PW she was “a huge fan of graphic novels. I love them.” Kern said this was her third year as PROSE judge and that there have been graphic novel submissions in the past.

Kern said “as a librarian I bring graphic novels into the library for the faculty, which uses them in their classes as well as for entertainment. It wasn’t fair to compare graphic titles with prose works so we wanted to start a graphic category and encourage publishers to submit works and see the breadth of the category.”



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