Criteria for the 2017 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence:

• A work of fiction (novel or collection of short stories) that will be published in 2017. Galleys for a 2017 publication are also accepted.
The nominee must be a rising author, not yet widely recognized for their work.
• Author must be an African-American U.S. citizen.
• Self-published books will not be accepted. Self-published is publishing one's work independently and at one's own expense.
• Emailed entries will not be accepted.