Illinois Author Project

About This Project

Enter your work in the Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project contest for the opportunity to win a cash prize award and state-wide recognition.

We’re looking for the best adult and YA fiction and memoirs by Illinois self- and indie-published authors. Through our annual contest, we’re helping Illinois libraries connect local authors with readers.

Judged exclusively by Illinois library staff members, the Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project contest is a powerful way for authors to elevate their careers and writing goals, powered by the library community. In addition to prizes and perks, being recognized by librarians creates credibility and visibility for authors, setting them apart in a growing marketplace of digital content and self- and indie-published books.


Submission Guidelines

Sharing Your Content

Additional Information

Prizes and Eligibility

The top three books chosen by our judges will be recognized as contest Finalists.

The overall winner of our contest will receive:

  • $2,000
  • Honors at the 2024 Indie Author Day Reception
  • Statewide recognition by Illinois libraries as the top indie-published book
  • Opportunities to promote your book at public libraries
  • Opportunities to earn royalties through the IAP Select collection (ePUB format required for eligibility)
  • Inclusion alongside other winners in a full-page print spread in Library Journal

Each book submitted to the contest must be:

  • Self- or Indie-published*
  • Written by an Illinois resident
  • English-language only
  • In one of the following genres:
    • Mystery/Thrillers
    • Romance
    • SciFi/Fantasy
    • Historical Fiction
    • General/Contemporary Fiction
    • Memoir (new for 2024)
    • Young Adult
  • Entries should be geared towards an Adult or Young Adult audience
  • Available in either ePUB (strongly recommended) or PDF format
  • Due to the volume of entries we receive, we can only accept one entry per author at this time. Be sure to submit your best current work.

If your book meets the above criteria, please click below to get started.

New for 2024

Entering your book into our Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project provides simultaneous (and optional) entry into the annual Indie Author Project contest, too. This separate contest is open to self- and indie-published authors from across the globe to compete. One winner and two honorable mentions will be chosen in each of the following genres: Mystery/Thrillers, Romance, SciFi/Fantasy, Historical Fiction, General/Contemporary Fiction, Memoir, and Young Adult. For more information about this exciting additional contest click here.

* Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project considers indie-published authors to include any authors who have the rights to independently sell, market, and distribute their works, including authors who have fully self-published all of their works, as well as hybrid authors who may have the rights to some of their works and be under contract on others.

Have a question? Check out our FAQ page

Submission Deadline

May 31, 2024

File Types Accepted