Submission Guidelines 2021


For the 2021 prizes, the committee will consider books that fit the criteria below and have been published during the preceding year (January 1 – December 31, 2021). Books must be published in English; bilingual books will also be considered.

Related Book Awards

Publishers and authors whose books do not meet the Freeman Award criteria are urged to consider submission to these related awards: South Asia Book Award and Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature.

Submission Deadline

The deadline for submission of titles to the relevant committee members is November 30 for Children’s Literature books and for Youth Adult books. It is the responsibility of the publisher to submit one copy of the title to each member of the relevant grade-level committee. (In the case of books that will be published after the deadline, the publishers are asked to send draft copies to the review committees and to notify Nancy Hope of any publication delays.)

Categories and Types of Awards

  • Children’s Literature (picture books)
  • Young Adult Literature – Middle School and High School

Genres: Fiction, poetry, folklore, selected non-fiction, graphic novels (no textbooks or fact books).

Subjects: Books, published in English, which have the culture and people of East or Southeast Asia as the primary focus of the story and contribute meaningfully to understanding of any of the following: China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.


The books should accurately and skillfully portray the experience of individuals living in East Asia and Southeast Asia. 

In determining the award, books will be judged for:

  1. Quality of story, its plot and characterization;
  2. Cultural authenticity;
  3. Potential for classroom use;
  4. Appeal to intended audience.

Bilingual books and translations will be considered:

  • Bilingual books that include English are eligible;
  • Translations are eligible in the year first published in English, in the United States.

Announcement of Awards

We will announce the Freeman Book Awards at the American Library Association Mid-winter Meeting where both the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) announce their awards.

The Awards will be publicized through all the relevant media sites of the participating organizations and the list maintained on a permanent website (

Award Seals

Award seals can be ordered from the printer. Please see directions for ordering the seal HERE.

Nomination Process

There is no entry fee for nomination. To nominate a title:

  1. Publishers or authors: please
    • Complete the submission form;
    • Publishers are asked to please submit one review copy to each member of the relevant review committee by November 30 (Children’s Literature and Young Adult) for titles published in 2021. When available, publishers are all requested to send gift cards for Kindle versions to all reviewers, enabling those who prefer to read on a Kindle to do so. Publishers should contact Nancy Hope directly to receive a private address list for the review committee members.
  2. Teachers and librarians: please complete the submission form with as much information as you can provide and return it to Nancy Hope by email only as soon as possible.

Authors publishers, teachers and librarians are all encouraged to nominate a title for review.


For questions on the awards, please contact Nancy Hope by email only.