Eric Hoffer Book Award - for Small, Academic, & Independent Books

The Eric Hoffer Book Award

The Eric Hoffer Award was founded at the start of the 21st century (with permission from the Eric Hoffer Estate) to honor freethinking writers and independent books of exceptional merit. The commercial environment for today’s writers has all but crushed the circulation of ideas. It seems strange that in the Information Age, many books are blocked from wider circulation, and powerful writing is barred from publication or buried alive on the Internet. Furthermore, many of the top literary prizes will not consider independent books, choosing instead to become the marketing arms of large presses.

The “Hoffer” honored books are from small, academic, and micro presses, including self-published offerings. (No unpublished manuscripts, please.) Throughout the centuries, writers such as Emily Dickinson, James Joyce, Walt Whitman, and Virginia Woolf have taken the path of self-publishing, rather than have their ideas forced into a corporate or sociopolitical mold. Today, small and academic presses struggle in this same environment. The Hoffer will continue to be a platform for and the champion of the independent voice. Winners of the Hoffer are given prizes, honors, and worldwide media exposure, as well as being covered in the US Review of Books.

See Eric Hoffer Award success stories.

Nominated books are judged by independent panels within eighteen all-inclusive categories. The annual grand prizewinner is awarded a $2,000 cash prize. Each category is assigned a winner, runner-up, and multiple honorable mentions. Recognition is given to the best academic, small, micro, and self-published presses. The Montaigne Medal is awarded to the most thought-provoking books. The da Vinci Eye honors exceptional cover art. The First Horizon Award is given to the best first-time authors. Each year, the Eric Hoffer Award results are publicly announced in the spring, and every nominee is notified via the contact e-mail on their registration form.