Scéal Book Awards

Pronunced (Shkayle)


Awards finalists and winners are chosen from among all books reviewed, including those submitted for review or reviewed from a NetGalley publisher. Beginning in 2017, books reviewed from a reviewer's personal library will be eligible for our Editors' Choice Scéal Awards.


To increase your chances of a review, please see the FAQs on the submission page.

How Does it Work?

Three to six books in each genre are selected by our team and moved to the second round; these are the Scéal Book Award Finalists. Those finalist entries will then be read by a small panel of judges. If a sub-genre has fewer than five books reviewed during the qualifying year, those books will be included in the general category.


Finalists will receive a Scéal Book Award Finalist badge to be used on their website and/or book. Our process for determining finalists from among the many books reviewed take into account the story itself, but also the overall presentation, quality of writing, and professionalism of the book.


It's not the most popular books that win or even the books with the highest scores, but the ones our judges feel the most deserving of the award from among the books reviewed. Finalists are not determined solely on star ratings received by reviewers. To guarantee fairness and impartiality, you will never find one of our reviewers, editors, judges, or anyone else associated with this site, considered for an award.


One winner will be chosen from each genre in the final round.

Details & Dates

  • The awards are open to any author in the world, and the book(s) must be written in English.

  • Books submitted for review up through December 31st of the qualifying year are eligible, even if the book review is posted in January.

  • Multiple books by one author may be submitted for review and each of those books may be eligible for the contest.

  • Boxed sets by a single or multiple authors are not allowed. Short story collections by a single are allowed.

  • Finalists are notified in February and the winners are announced the first week of April.

  • There is no entry fee for this contest and recognition of merit is the reward.

Not Allowed:

While we do read books that may feature some steamy scenes and swearing (we have a rating system), we do have some limitations based on content. We do not review or feature erotic romance, erotica, BDSM, or books which contain or promote incest, pedophilia, necrophilia, bestiality, rape, cruelty to animals, racial intolerance, or sexual encounters with minors. We also do not feature books with heavy/explicit language (think erotica in language form).


Scéal (Shkayle) – We don't expect you to be able to pronounce the word, and while we could have come up with a dozen other names for our award, we happen to appreciate both the history of storytelling in Ireland and the word itself.  Scéal in the simplest term means 'story' or 'tale.' The purpose of these awards is to highlight and honor those authors whose stories strike a chord, give us goosegumps, make us laugh, cry, and fall in love with the characters.

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