Books for General Readers

Nautilus Book Awards recognizes books that promote spiritual growth, conscious living & sustainability, high-level wellness, and positive social change & social justice as they stimulate the imagination and inspire the reader to new possibilities for a better world.

01 - Aging Consciously: Dealing with diverse issues unique to aging and retirement; finding ways to enjoy, prosper, and experience these years with gratitude, enthusiasm, high-level wellness, and community.

02 - Animals & Nature: Promoting awareness, understanding of and appreciation for the natural world and its wide range of inhabitants; includes supporting our animal friends who live on land, in the air, and in the seas, and deepening our relationships with plant and mineral kingdoms.

03 - Body ~ Mind ~ Spirit Practices:  Physical, mind-body, and energy-based approaches designed to enhance and nurture our whole being; practices to maintain balance and amplify positive effects; includes but not limited to yoga, meditation, therapeutic touch, and breath work.

04 A - Business & Leadership: (Self-published, or Small Press: 10 or fewer titles annual)  Innovative, whole-system practices and leadership that build effective and inclusive stewardship of public, private and/or social-profit companies; with focus on individual as well as community and institutional solutions.

04 B - Business & Leadership: (Large Publisher, or Large Hybrid Publisher: more than 10 titles annual) Innovative, whole-system practices and leadership that build effective and inclusive stewardship of public, private and/or social-profit companies; with focus on individual as well as community and institutional solutions.

05 - Creativity & Innovation: Diverse ways that our innate creative nature finds inspiration and expression, from igniting creative ideas through processes, techniques and artistic craft.  Can include instruction, description or demonstration in a wide spectrum of creative forms.

06 - Ecology & Environment: Promote a wider understanding of the interrelationships that affect the health and viability of our home planet.  Share new viewpoints and wisdom to enhance the integrity and well-being of Earth's ecosystem.

07 A - Fiction: (Self-published, or Small Press: 10 or fewer titles annual)  Inviting imaginative storytelling that includes evolving human capacities, and can involve visionary positive futures and the resilience of the human spirit.

07 B - Fiction: (Large Publisher, or Large Hybrid Publisher: more than 10 titles annual)  Inviting imaginative storytelling that includes evolving human capacities, and can involve visionary positive futures and the resilience of the human spirit.

08 - Food, Cooking, & Healthy Eating: Promotes selecting and preparing food to nourish the wholeness of the body and to stimulate the senses; includes growing-edge approaches to nutritional health and the healing potential of food.

09 - Gift & Specialty: Unique books that focus on or express special ways of thinking, feeling, and being to enhance the human experience; includes books that you would love to share with others. (For gift books for children, teens, or young adults: see Categories 30- 35)

10 - Green, Restorative Practices /Sustainability:  Practical ways to enhance responsible and intimate stewardship, conservation, natural living (with air, water, land, and fire; mineral, plants, animals, & human aspects of ecosystems). These approaches may consider home & community systems, gardening and farming, design and construction, transportation, and alternative (renewable) energy - and may include local, regional, and larger scope.

11 - Death & Dying / Grief & Loss: Insights that recognize the challenges and transitions of loss (beloved persons or animals) with a sense of acceptance, recovery, healing, and wisdom; may include personal stories to help other persons in a related situation.

12 - Health, Healing & Wellness: Empowering, learning and exploring programs that restore and sustain a high level of individual, family and group wellness and vitality. This field includes books from a wide spectrum of topics. They can focus attention on healing specific groups such as men, women, or children, as well as community and cultural influences on health beliefs and practices.

13 - Heroic Journeys: True stories of courage, collaboration, and dedicated leadership; includes situations where persons or groups overcame obstacles or "impossible odds" and inspired others.

14 - Inner Prosperity & Right Livelihood:  Provide inspiration and tools that activate the unfolding of one's authentic journey. These books offer insights on "where love and life come together" --for personal, professional, and spiritual fulfillment.

15 - Journalism & Investigative Reporting: Intelligent, perceptive reporting on current or newsworthy events that raise consciousness. These books bring attention to important issues that may affect our health, safety, societal & political connections for individuals, communities, institutions, cultures, species, and our world as a whole.

16 A - Memoir & Personal Journey: (Self-published, or Small Press: 10 or fewer titles annual) Writing based on personal history and reflection, which reveals important personal lessons and growth in life and relationships, and thereby contributes to greater social and community growth.

16 B - Memoir & Personal Journey: (Large Publisher, or Large Hybrid Publisher: more than 10 titles annual) Writing based on personal history and reflection, which reveals important personal lessons and growth in life and relationships, and thereby contributes to greater social and community growth.

17 - Multicultural & Indigenous: Deepening our understanding of unfamiliar or diverse cultures, communities and peoples; includes books with inter-cultural examples, experiences, and practices that heal and strengthen connections within the human family.

18 - Parenting & Family: Support the nurturing, teaching, and guidance of children through all stages of life; with focus on the family unit and its possibilities, diversity of expressions, learning shared responsibilities, and dynamics through all life-chapters.

19 A - Personal Growth & Self-Help (Self-published, Small Press, or Hybrid-Small Press: 10 or fewer titles annual):  Books that offer wisdom, insight, and fresh perspectives for the reader to navigate life's journey and challenges with care, creativity, and social and spiritual fulfillment.

19 B - Personal Growth & Self-Help (Large Publisher, or Hybrid-Large Publisher: more than 10 titles annual):  Books that offer wisdom, insight, and fresh perspectives for the reader to navigate life's journey and challenges with care, creativity, and social and spiritual fulfillment.

20 - Psychology /Mental & Emotional Well-Being: Applied understanding of human evolution and phases of development, with exploration of the roots of and treatments for families, couples, and individuals. This includes innovative approaches that promote greater personal awareness, compassion, empathy, and improved interactions and relationships.   

21 - Photography & Arts: Celebrating beauty in its wide-range of forms as a visual expression of high-level awareness, values, intuitive knowing, and unique self-expression.  Includes books that deepen our understanding and contribute to our creating a better world.

22 A - Poetry: Evoking compassion, wisdom, greater understanding, empathy, joy, delight, and passion through the artful and poetic use of language.

22 B - Lyric Prose or Hybrid Works: Evoking compassion, wisdom, greater understanding, empathy, joy, delight, and passion through lyric prose, poetry-prose hybrid, and other genre blending works expressed in poetic language.

23 - Relationships & Communication: How we develop, strengthen and sustain meaningful interactions and relationships in the varied facets of life, including friendships, marriage, creative partners, workplace colleagues, siblings & extended family, neighbors, and community; includes emerging fields of mutuality and interpersonal communications.

24 A - Religion / Spirituality of Eastern Thought: Perspectives, insights, and practices grounded in the core of Eastern Beliefs & Traditions.

24 B - Religion / Spirituality of Western Thought: Perspectives, insights, and practices grounded in the core of Western Beliefs & Traditions.

24 C - Religion / Spirituality of Other Traditions: Perspectives, insights, and practices grounded in traditions that include indigenous & other cultural approaches that speak to Spirituality of all beings and their connection to the Divine.

25 - Science and Cosmology: Growing-edge and emerging domains of science, human experience and wisdom that contribute to the unfolding story of who we are, how we think, learn, and live as part of Earth and the greater cosmos.

26 - Social Sciences & Education: New innovations and discoveries in the social sciences that support the life-long process of learning.  Includes positive programs that help education and all learning avenues, to promote understanding and interpersonal skills, as integral parts of creating bridges to a better world.

27 - Social Change & Social Justice: Innovative, forward-looking practices and programs for welcoming voices of the historically unheard; improving societal structures, communications, and relationships through greater awareness and actions. May include peace-building, diversity & dialogue, equality & justice, balancing community & uniqueness, particularity, and sacred activism -- being in the world and for the world.

28 - World-Cultures' Transformational Growth & Development:  Beyond differing views of cultural, political, racial, religious, gender, ages, and economic issues, these books offer seeds of Hope towards betterment and wholeness. Books in this category may include a wide spectrum of perspectives on our possible futures and how we as Humanity embrace our next steps.  examples: Beyond fossil fuels, creating community beyond conflict, humanity as an organism growing through global shifts.

29 - Rising To The Moment:  Insightful and powerful books that provide doorways for individuals to rise through today's current challenges and to consciously participate in illuminating our next steps. These books help light our way together toward greater health, wholeness, and unity.

BOOKS FOR CHILDREN - TEENS - YOUNG ADULTS

Literature can be an important factor in shaping children's worldviews as well as their daily experience. We believe it is essential that books for young people be crafted with their best interests in mind, and in a real way embody the Nautilus Award core values: high-level wellness, spiritual growth, conscious living & green values, and positive social change & social justice. Books that express these values inspire and connect our lives in greater wholes - as individual persons, communities, and global citizens. These ideals can be addressed in many ways, including in picture books, fiction and nonfiction, art, and poetry.

All topics covered in the General Categories shown above are welcomed as Entries into the proper age group as described below. 

Children's Books 

30 A - Children's Picture Books / Fiction Ages 2- 6 Years (Preschool- Grade 2):  Imaginative picture books that give young children a visual introduction to values such as family, friendship, adventure, fantasy, legends, healthy foods and well-being. (We consider the dotted line between Fiction & Non-Fiction for Picture Books to reflect the boundary of right-brain and left-brain; they do work together, and need distinct developmental stimulation.)

30 B - Children's Picture Books / Non-Fiction Ages 2- 6 Years (Preschool- Grade 2): Factual picture books that give young children a visual introduction to areas such as colors, numbers, alphabet, beauty, animal species, parts of nature, life cycles, beginning science. (We consider the dotted line between Fiction & Non-Fiction for Picture Books to reflect the boundary of right-brain and left-brain; they do work together, and need distinct developmental stimulation.)

31 A - Children's Illustrated / Fiction Ages 6- 9 Years (Grades 1- 4):  This category has a greater text-picture ratio than children's picture books; includes chapter books, folk and fairy tales, imaginative stories, and many types of adventures, texture and beauty, deepening treatment of friendships with human and/or animal characters. Stories of adventures with multicultural living are especially encouraged.

31 B - Children's Illustrated / Non-Fiction Ages 6- 9 Years (Grades 1- 4):  This category has a greater text-picture ratio than children's picture books; includes non-fiction topics such as introduction to parts of nature, seasons and calendar, habits of animals, intro to science & technology, history of science, travel to other cities, countries, and cultures, how things work, and intro to the arts and music. These books can be illustrated with drawings or photos.

Mid-Grades & Young Adult

32 - Middle Grade Fiction, Ages 8- 12 (Grades 4- 7)
Fictional stories that offer new insights or perspectives for Mid-Grade readers -- to encourage imagination about their life and the future. Stories of inspirational journeys, healing and compassionate relationships will uplift the young heart and spirit with possibilities of a Better World.

33 - Middle Grade Non-Fiction, Ages 8- 12 (Grades 4- 7) 
Includes a wide range of topics and genres that reflect the entire span of the Nautilus Categories.  These books introduce the Mid-Grade readers to topics that widen their horizons while offering areas of wisdom, collaboration, problem-solving, and awareness as global citizens that will serve them well in years ahead.

34 - Young Adult (YA) Fiction, Ages 13- 19+ (Grades 8- 12)
Fictional stories that offer new insights or perspectives for Young Adult readers -- to encourage imagination about their life and the future. Stories of inspirational journeys, healing and compassionate relationships will uplift the young heart and spirit with possibilities of a Better World.

35 - Young Adult (YA) Non-Fiction, Ages 13- 19+ (Grades 8- 12) 
Includes a wide range of topics and genres that reflect the entire span of the Nautilus Categories.  These books introduce the Young Adult readers to topics that widen their horizons while offering areas of wisdom, collaboration, problem-solving, and awareness as global citizens that will serve them well in years ahead.

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rev: 8-18-21  

Entry Guidelines

The new Nautilus Season will be open for Entries postmarked from Sept. 21, 2021 through Feb. 11, 2022, for books mailed from addresses in USA.

NOTE to our International colleagues: For any Entry from locations outside the USA, please arrange your package to be postmarked by Tues, 1 Feb. 2022. The mail-days in transit have grown in past two years; this has created difficulty for our getting all entries forwarded to our Reviewers by end of Feb., so the earlier cutoff date has become necessary. Thank you.

Award Winning Books from the 2021-22 Season will be announced in April 2022!

Entry packages postmarked from Sept. 21 through Oct. 31, 2021 benefit from Early Bird Entry Fees.

Entries postmarked Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, 2021 will have Regular Entry Fees.

And entries postmarked Jan. 1 through Feb. 11, 2022 will need to pay Final Entry Fees.

See our Entry Guidelines page for more detail -- and thank you for participating in the Nautilus program!