Dayton Literary Peace Prize

Nomination open: January 15, 2021

Nomination deadline: March 15, 2021

Eligibility

  • All books must be written in the English language or must have been translated into the English language.
  • English-language books must have a printed first U.S. copyright date of 2019. There may be some exceptions for English-language books published outside the U.S. Contact Emily Kretzer with questions at emily.kretzer@daytonliterarypeaceprize.org.
  • Foreign-language books must have a printed first U.S. copyright date of 2019 for the English language translation.
  • The book should focus on a central message of peace, broadly defined as increasing understanding between and among people. Peace may be addressed on any of several levels including family, communities, nations, ethnic groups, cultures and religions. 
  • Nominations might include issues of human rights – universal rights that should apply to everyone – but must focus on peace. The prize is designed for works that characterize peace as ending or seeking to end conflict – personal, national or international, establishing concord between and among people showing the consequences of persons, nations or institutions that recklessly disrupt personal harmony or universal accord.
  • The book must have significant and enduring literary value.
  • The book must appeal to a variety of audiences.

Submission Requirements

  • Nominators must complete the online or pdf entry form and submit the $100 nomination fee by March 15, 2020. Nomination fees are payable using the following methods:
    • Credit Card or ACH: Please contact Emily Kretzer to request an invoice and arrange payment.
    • Check: Please make the check payable to Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation. Enclose a copy of the nomination form with payment to ensure that we credit you properly.
  • Nominators must mail copies of each submitted book to the addresses provided on or before April 3, 2020. The Dayton Literary Peace Prize shall provide a list of addresses. Please do not send copies of the nominated book(s) until DLPP sends you the list of names and addresses to which you should send copies.
  • All entries should include biographies and pictures of entrants and may be mailed to the address below or sent electronically to the Chair Sharon Rab and Operations Manager Emily Kretzer.

Sharon Rab, Chair
P.O. Box 461, Dayton, Ohio 45409-0461
937-298-5072

Holbrooke Nominations

The Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke
Distinguished Achievement Award and Criteria

The Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award honors a writer who has produced an enduring body of writing on or connected to peace. Formerly known as the Lifetime Achievement Award, the recognition was renamed in honor of Ambassador Holbrooke after his death in 2010.

When Ambassador Holbrooke received the Dayton Peace Prize, the forerunner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, he advised us to pay annual tribute to the peace process and not let the world forget that peace can be forged with words. We are proud to recognize extraordinary writers whose work seeks to promote better understanding and harmony among people, cultures, and nations.

Winners of the DLPP Lifetime Achievement Award include Studs Terkel (2006), Elie Wiesel (2007), Taylor Branch (2008), Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (2009), and Geraldine Brooks (2010). Barbara Kingsolver (2011) was the first author honored with the Holbrooke Award, followed by Tim O’Brien (2012), Wendell Berry (2013), Louise Erdrich (2014), Gloria Steinem (2015), Marilynne Robinson (2016), Colm Tóibín (2017), and John Irving (2018).

The prize includes a Michael Bashaw sculpture and a monetary award of $10,000.

The Criteria

Requirements for the Distinguished Achievement Award are the same as those for the other DLPP writing awards, although the Holbrooke Award recognizes the writer’s body of work, rather than a single book.

The Distinguished Achievement Award winner:

  • Should have produced a body of enduring writing on or connected to the subject of peace, broadly defined as increasing harmony and understanding between and among people. Peace may be addressed as it applies to individuals, families, communities, nations, ethnic groups, cultures, and religions.
  • Should enjoy national and international respect for the merit of his/her writing.

Members of the Panel

Kati Marton, Honorary Chair
Robert Taft, Governor of Ohio 1999-2007; Chair
Sharon Rab, Founder and Chair, DLPP
Jeff Bruce, Writer; Former Editor of the Dayton Daily News
Bob Fogarty, Writer; Editor of the Antioch Review
Geeta Kothari, Writer; Nonfiction Editor of the Kenyon Review
Carol Loranger, Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Wright State University
Vick Mickunas, Book Reviewer
Sharon Kelly Roth, Director of Public Relations, books&co
Jon Sebaly, Attorney; Independent Bookstore Owner
Andrew Slade, Chair, Department of English, University of Dayton
Winona Wendth, Writer and Editor; Adjunct Professor of the Humanities, Quinsigamond Community College; Founding Member, Seven Bridge Writers’ Collaborative
Nancy Zafris, Writer; Editor of the Flannery O’Conner Award

Nominations Come From the Following Sources

  • The panel members
  • The Nominating Academy, which is composed of former winners and former judges, independent bookstore owners, magazine and book editors.
  • The University Consortium, which is composed of professors and librarians from the participating universities.

Judging Process

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize has a dual nature: it is a peace prize; it is a literary prize. We designed the judging process to honor books whose writers focused on peace with clarity and style. We were also looking for books that would endure the test of time and would appeal to a wide audience.

We identified a spectrum of First Readers who had the expertise to recognize literary quality and the judgment to evaluate each book’s contribution to peace. Our first readers ranged in age from their twenties to their seventies. They represent a number of ethnic groups, races and religions. They are librarians, professors, journalists, former generals and peace activists. They are history and literature majors. They had the most difficult job—narrowing the field to the few best books to be sent on to the Final Judges.

Each First Reader was responsible for reading and evaluating six books. They were asked to both rate and rank the books using a rubric, to comment on how the books related to the criteria, and to pull quotes that illustrated theme or demonstrated style and language.

Their recommendations were sent on to the Final Judges, four award-winning writers. Our Final Judges read and evaluate the selections and determine which of the many fine books best fit our criteria of a dual focus on peace and high literary quality. We then evaluated the comments and rankings of the Final Judges to determine our winners and runners-up.

We could not be more pleased with the selections these dedicated readers and judges made and we hope the books will find their way to homes and libraries throughout the world.

Final Judges List

For more information about our judges, please visit the Award Winners page and click on the year they judged the Prize.

Lesley Nneka Arimah
Bob Shacochis
Brando Skyhorse
Helen Thorpe
Lesley Nneka Arimah
Robin Hemley
Susan Southard
Alan Taylor
Robin Hemley
Gish Jen
Alan Taylor
Helen Thorpe
Alexander Chee
Christine Schutt
Rubén Martínez
Evelyn McDonnell
Ron Carlson
Christine Schutt
Faith Adiele
Evelyn McDonnell
Michelle Latiolais
Lee Martin
Maureen McCoy
Faith Adiele
Rubén Martínez
Michelle Latiolais
Maureen McCoy
Christopher Cerf
Ken Bode
Alan Cheuse
April Smith
Christopher Cerf
Ken McClane
Eric Bates
Ron Carlson
Ken McClure
April Smith
Ken McClane
Cullen Murphy
Katherine Vaz
Nancy Zafris
Gerald Early
Gordon Lish
Cullen Murphy
Katherine Vaz
Gerald Early
Amy Hempel
Jane McCafferty
Katherine Vaz
Alan Cheuse
C.M. Mayo
Amy Hempel
Jane McCafferty
Alan Cheuse
Gordana Filipovich
Kevin Ryan