The Pattis Family Foundation Chicago Book Award | Newberry

The Pattis Family Foundation Chicago Book Award

The Pattis Family Foundation Chicago Book Award at the Newberry Library is presented annually to a book that transforms public understanding of Chicago, its history, or its people. The prize, established in 2021 by The Pattis Family Foundation in partnership with the Newberry Library, brings attention to publications that advance greater insight into the city among a general readership while resonating with the Newberry’s collections related to the history and people of Chicago.

Please use this form to nominate a book.

Read further to learn about:

Details of the Prize

Books Eligible for the Award

Criteria for Selection

Nomination Process

Review and Selection Process

Timeline

Details of the Prize

  • The award-winning author(s) will receive a prize of $25,000;
  • The award will be presented at a public event at the Newberry Library and will include a lecture by or conversation with the prize winner, followed by a private reception;
  • The public event will be recorded for re-broadcast on the Newberry’s website and social media channels following the live event;
  • The prize winner may be invited to participate in other Newberry programs, including an engagement with its archival collection. The scope and nature of this engagement will be created to suit the award winner.

Books Eligible for the Award

  • Any book, whether fiction or nonfiction, that promotes public understanding of Chicago; titles must be available for purchase by the general public in either hardcover or bound paperback form;
  • All subject areas, disciplines, and genres are eligible, including but not limited to: history, biography, the social sciences, art, architecture, poetry, drama, graphic novels, or fiction;
  • Translations, textbooks, anthologies, reprints or new editions of previously published works, pamphlets, digital publications, travel guides, children’s books, or self-published works are not eligible;
  • Books must bear a copyright of 2020 or 2021 to be eligible for the 2022 prize;
  • Books by current Newberry staff members and books by authors who were members of the Newberry’s staff at the time the book was written are not eligible.

Criteria for Selection

  • Advancement of understanding of Chicago among a broad, general audience;
  • Quality of writing;
  • Unique perspective or pathbreaking research;
  • Relevance to an issue of contemporary importance;
  • Resonance with the Newberry Library’s collection strengths;
  • Thoroughness of research in the discipline or subject area.

Nomination Process

  • Nominations may be made by authors, publishers, or members of the general public by using this form;
  • Nominators must complete the award submission form for each book submitted;
  • Nominations must be received no later than January 31, 2022, to be eligible for the 2022 award;
  • The Newberry will request from the publisher five copies of those books selected for further review;
  • There is no cost to submit a book for the award.
  • Questions about the nomination process can be sent to pattisprize@newberry.org.

Review and Selection Process

  • The Book Prize Selection Committee will be comprised of no more than three Newberry staff members and at least one but no more than two external members, all of whom have expertise in Chicago, its history, and its culture; and one ex-officio member from The Pattis Family Foundation,
  • The Book Prize Selection Committee may select one or more submissions as “Honorable Mention”, though that designation does not receive a monetary award.

Timeline

  • Books must be published in 2020 or 2021 and be nominated by January 31, 2022, to be eligible for the 2022 award;
  • The winner will be selected by April 30, 2022;
  • Presentation of the award will take place in July 2022.