AALA (Association of American Literary Agents) Previously named the AAR, a nonprofit membership organization of literary agents who work with both book authors and playwrights.

Poets & Writers Founded in 1970, it is the nation’s largest nonprofit literary organization serving poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. P&W’s programs include its eponymous magazine; an information-rich website; financial support for readings and other literary events; and sponsorship of several notable writing prizes and awards.

Publishers Marketplace (Subscription required). A publishing news website that also has a listing of new deals updated daily. It has reported publishing deals since 2001. This database is a quick way to tell who has sold what and to which publishers, and who might represent the kinds of books you write.

Publishers Weekly The international news source of book publishing and book selling.

Writer’s Digest Since 1920, it has chronicled the culture of the modern writer through relevant first-person essays, interviews with bestselling authors and profiles with emerging talent. It also features practical technique articles, and tips and exercises on fiction, nonfiction, poetry and the business-side of writing and publishing.

Agent Query A comprehensive database of agents, writers, publishers, and resources.


The Poets & Writers Complete Guide to Being a Writer: Everything You Need to Know About Craft, Inspiration, Agents, Editors, Publishing, and the Business of Building a Sustainable Writing Career
by Kevin Larimer and Mary Gannon

Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer’s Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting, and Surviving Your First Book
by Courtney Maum

The Business of Being a Writer
by Jane Friedman

The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published: How to Write It, Sell It, and Market It…Successfully
by Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry

Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents, 28th edition: Who They Are, What They Want, How to Win Them Over
by Jeff Herman

Guide to Literary Agents 2020: The Most Trusted Guide to Getting Published
edited by Robert Lee Brewer

The Forest for the Trees: An Editor’s Advice to Writers
by Betsy Lerner

The Shortest Distance Between You and a Published Book
by Susan Page

BIPOC Resources List

This list of resources is for BIPOC writers and illustrators as well as for those interested in pursuing a career in book publishing. The goal of this list is to pull together, for easy reference, various BIPOC-centered literary awards; affinity groups and literary organizations; literary magazines and journals; grants, fellowships, and scholarships; writing conferences, residencies, workshops, and book festivals; internship and mentorship programs (particularly those that provide funding to their interns and mentees); and COVID-19 relief funding. The entries have been culled from lists and announcements posted by other literary agencies, book publishers, literary organizations, and media outlets or submitted by our agency’s staff who have heard about them. This list is by no means comprehensive, but we will be updating it regularly. The DeFiore staff may not have direct experience with these resources; however, we feel they are valuable and hope this list is helpful.

Note: Any eligibility requirements cited within each resource’s description below are as of February 15, 2021. Writers should still investigate current requirements whenever they apply.

Adult Book Awards
Children's Book Awards
Affinity Groups & Literary Organizations
Literary Journals & Magazines
Residencies, Writers Conferences, Workshops, and Book Festivals
Grants, Fellowships, and Scholarships for BIPOC Writers & Illustrators
Internships, Mentorships, Funding, and Affinity Groups for BIPOC Pursuing a Career in Book Publishing
COVID-19 Relief Funding
Adult Book Awards

Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards

Recognize books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures. Cleveland poet and philanthropist Edith Anisfield Wolf established the book prizes in 1935 to reflect her family’s passion for issues of social justice. Today it remains the only American book prize focusing on works that address racism and diversity. Past winners have explored human-rights violations, exposed the effects of racism on children, reflected on growing up biracial, and illuminated the dignity of people as they search for justice.

*Also available to non-U.S. citizens/residents

The PEN Open Book Award

Given for an exceptional book-length work of any genre by a writer of color. It is open to authors of color who have not, prior to the book’s publication, received wide media coverage. Works of fiction, literary nonfiction, biography/memoir, poetry, and other works of literary character are strongly preferred.

* Also available to non-U.S. citizens/residents

Arab American Book Award

A literary program created to honor books written by and about Arab Americans. The program generates greater awareness of Arab American scholarship and writing through an annual award competition and educational outreach.

* No citizenship or residence requirement, although geared toward Arab Americans

Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature

The APAALs honor books about Asian/Pacific Americans, their history and culture. Categories have included fiction and non-fiction for adults, picture/illustrated books, and children’s/young adult literature.

* Exclusive to residents of the U.S. or Canada; if the co-illustrator is neither, work not eligible

BCALA Literary Awards

The Literary Awards Committee of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Inc. (BCALA) presents the annual BCALA Literary Awards. The Committee present four prizes for adult books written by African American authors: a First Novelist Award, a Fiction Award, a Nonfiction Award, and a Poetry Award.

* Available to non-U.S. residents but must be born in the U.S.; all authors, editors, and contributors must be African American

Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award

Annual grant of $2,000 for an emerging writer of color. This grant is intended to support the recipient in crime fiction writing and career development activities. The grantee may choose to use the grant for activities that include workshops, seminars, conferences, and retreats, online courses, and research activities required for completion of the work.

* Also available to non-U.S. residents but must be born in the U.S.; all authors, editors, and contributors must be African American

The Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence

This annual award honors Louisiana’s revered storyteller, Ernest J. Gaines, and serves to inspire and recognize rising African-American fiction writers of excellence at a national level. The book award has become nationally recognized in its role of enhancing visibility of emerging African-American fiction writers while also expanding the audience for this literature. The annual award of a $15,000 cash prize is to support the writer and help enable her/him to focus on her/his art of writing.

* Must be a U.S. citizen to be eligible

Hispanic Heritage Award for Literature

Celebrates the achievements of Hispanic Americans.

Hurston/Wright Legacy Award

Honors the best in Black literature in the United States and around the globe. Introduced in 2001, the Legacy Award was the first national award presented to Black writers by a national organization of Black writers. Fiction, nonfiction and poetry honorees are selected in a juried competition.

* Also available to non-U.S. citizens and residents.

NAACP Image Awards

Celebrates the outstanding achievements and performances of people of color in the arts and those who promote social justice through creative work.

* Also available to non-U.S. citizens and residents.

Phillis Wheatley Book Award

The Phillis Wheatley Book Award is given to books published within the last five years covering the topic of American Slavery.

Golden Baobab Prizes for Literature

The only annual pan-African literature prizes that inspire African authors to create and submit unpublished stories targeting readers below the age of 12 years. Currently, there are two Golden Baobab Prizes for Literature: for the best picture book, and for the best early chapter book. Additionally, Golden Baobab’s publishing sister company connects winning and longlisted authors to leading publishers across Africa and internationally.

* Only available to citizens of African countries.

The Louise Meriwether First Book Prize

is open to fiction and narrative nonfiction by women of color and nonbinary writers of color. Winner will be awarded a $5,000 advance and a contract to publish their book with the Feminist Press

* Only available to U.S. residents.

The Sillerman First Prize for African Poets

Awarded annually to an African poet who has not yet published a collection of poetry. The winner receives USD $1000 and book publication through the University of Nebraska Press and Amalion Press in Senegal.

* Available to African nationals and residents, authors born in Africa, or authors with African parents. No citizenship requirement.