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The Washington Institute Book Prize

"A war of ideas can no more be won without books than a naval war can be won without ships. Books, like ships, have the toughest armor, the longest cruising range, and mount the most powerful guns. I hope that all who write and publish and sell and administer books will rededicate themselves to the single task of arming the mind and spirit of the American people with the strongest and most enduring weapons."

—President Franklin Roosevelt, in a letter to W. W. Norton, chairman of the Council on Books in Wartime, 1942

About the Prize

The Washington Institute Book Prize is awarded annually to outstanding new books that have illuminated the Middle East for American readers. With this prize, The Washington Institute seeks to acknowledge the very best new works on the region and encourage authors and publishers to produce books of unique quality and insight. With gold ($25,000), silver ($10,000), and bronze ($5,000) prizes, it is one of the most lucrative literary awards in the world.

The selection of the winners is made by a distinguished jury of Middle East experts. Publishers may submit nonfiction books in English on any subject that bears on the modern Middle East or America's role in the region. The nearest deadline for submissions is May 1, 2018, for awards made the following autumn.

Past Prize Winners

The 2017 Washington Institute Book Prize recipients were Yitzhak Rabin: Soldier, Leader, Statesman, by Itamar Rabinovich (Gold Medal); Ike's Gamble: America's Rise to Dominance in the Middle East, by Michael Doran (Silver Medal); and Vanguard of the Imam: Religion, Politics, and Iran's Revolutionary Guards, by Afshon Ostovar (Bronze Medal). To learn more about the 2016 recipients of the Washington Institute Book Prize, read the award announcement.

Learn more about past Book Prize winners from 2008-2017.

Rules & Eligibility

New books published in the United States for the first time in English between May 1, 2016, and May 1, 2017, are eligible for the prize.

For more details, read the complete prize rules.

How to Enter

Publishers should complete an entry form (PDF) and mail or fax it with the appropriate entry fee. Entry forms must be postmarked no later than May 1, 2018.

Download an entry form in PDF format.


May 1, 2018: Official entry forms, entry fee, and six (6) copies of each book or bound galley entered must be postmarked by this date.

Contact Information

Publishers wishing clarification with regard to any of the rules should contact the prize administrator at the following address:

The Washington Institute Book Prize
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
1111 19th Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036

Telephone: 202-452-0650
Fax: 202-223-5364

Send an email