CIPA EVVY™ Rules & Guidelines

2020 CIPA EVVY™ Award winners will be announced on August 10th.

This year’s CIPA EVVY™ Awards ceremony will be broadcast virtually … more information coming soon.

View our 2020 finalists here.


The 2020 competition is open to any independently or self-published print book, or audio book and may be submitted by the author, publisher or credited service provider (Illustrator, designer, editor, printer, consultant, etc). CIPA membership is NOT REQUIRED.


  • The 2020 competition is open to any independently or self-published print or audio book.
  • Entries may be submitted by author, publisher or credited service provider (Illustrator, designer, editor, printer, consultant, etc.).
  • CIPA membership is not required.
  • The 2020 non-member fee includes a one year membership to CIPA

Each entry:

  • Must be in English or Bilingual with English as one of the languages.
  • Must have an ISBN and a publication date no earlier than 2018.
  • Must not have been entered in any previous CIPA ELF EVVY™ Awards competition.
  • A book that has been revised and has been printed in a second edition may be entered a second time.
  • Books may be entered in as many regular categories as desired. Each category entered requires a full entry
  • Audio books are considered a technical category.
  • To enter a technical category the book must be entered in a regular category first. A copy of the regular category entry email confirmation must be included when books are shipped.
  • PR opportunities
  • Increased book sales
  • Better marketing position
  • Distribution deals

Timeline for Entries:

  • February 15, 2020:  Entries are open for acceptance.
  • Early Bird Pricing: February 15 – March 21, 2020
  • Regular Pricing: March 22 – May 30, 2020
  • May 30, 2020, 5pm (MDT):  REGISTRATION CLOSED.

All finalists announced – To be determined.

26th Annual CIPA EVVY™ Awards Banquet & Ceremony – To be determined.

CIPA EVVY™ Awards Step-by-Step Process:

Step 1: Read the CIPA EVVY™ Details.

Step 2: Read the Rules and Submission Guidelines here.

Step 3: Purchase Your CIPA EVVY™ Entry & Categories & Print your receipt to send with your books.

Step 4: Complete the Book Submission Entry Form (Form will become live during registration period).

Step 5: Upload your book cover art & multi-media books (Form will become live during registration period).

Step 6: Mail your books! Details on where and how many to send are below.

Questions? Get in touch with us.

Award Submission Categories

Each book entered must be submitted in at least ONE regular category. You may submit your book in as many regular categories and as many technical categories as you wish. To enter a technical category, the book must be submitted in a regular category first.

  • The audio book category is listed under the technical categories section.
  • EACH category entered requires a submission fee. (See “Fees and Submission Requirements”)

Regular Categories: Nonfiction Genres (click to view)

  • Academic/Educational
  • Animals/Pets
  • Art/Architecture/Design/Photography
  • Biography/Autobiography/Memoir—General/Historical
  • Business—General/Careers/Communications/Entrepreneurship/Finance/Marketing/Public Relations/Technology/Writing and Publishing
  • Children Nonfiction
  • Cooking/Entertaining—General/International
  • Cultural Studies/Social Issues
  • Health/Fitness/Medicine/Sports
  • History—General/Military/United States
  • How-To
  • Motivational/Inspirational
  • Narrative Nonfiction
  • Parenting & Family Life
  • Poetry
  • Self Help—General/Relationships
  • Spiritual/Religion
  • Travel/Outdoors

Regular Categories: Fiction Genres (click to view)

  • Action/Adventure
  • Animals/Pets/Nature
  • Children’s Picture Books
  • Children’s Story Books
  • Fantasy/Folklore/Mythology
  • Historical
  • Horror—Psychological Horror/Gothic Horror/Occult
  • Humor
  • Juvenile Fiction—Middle Grade
  • Literary & Contemporary Fiction
  • Multicultural Fiction—American experience from minority points of view.
  • Mystery/Crime/Detective—General Mystery/Cozy/Historical/Police Procedural/Paranormal
  • Religious/ Spiritual Fiction
  • Romance—Christian/Contemporary/Romantic Comedy/Erotic Romance/Paranormal/Gothic/Historical/Regency/Reverse Harem/Romantic Suspense/Western
  • Science Fiction—Hard Sci-Fi/Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopia/Military Sci-Fi/Alternate History/Cyberpunk/Steampunk
  • Thrillers/Suspense—Espionage Psychological/ Historical/Medical/Supernatural/Military/ Techno
  • Westerns
  • Women’s Fiction—These plot lines are characterized by central female characters who face challenges, difficulties, and crises that have a direct relationship to gender.
  • Young Adult 14 – 18 Years-old

Technical Categories (click to view)

  • Audio Books
  • Children’s Illustration
  • Cover Design
  • Editing
  • General Illustration
  • Interior Layout/Design
  • Printing & Binding

Submission Rules & Guidelines

Below you’ll find important CIPA EVVY™ Awards information pertaining to your submission, the judging and the awards process.

Award Entry Fees (click to view)

Early Bird Pricing: 2/15/2020 – 3/21/2020 Regular Pricing: 3/22/2020 – 5/30/2020
Regular Category:
Members $75, Non-Members $140*
Regular Category:
Members $85, Non-Members $155*
Technical Awards**:
Members $40, Non-Members $75
Technical Awards**:
Members $40, Non-Members $75

*Non-member entry fees include a one-year membership for CIPA! Additional categories, additional books and Technical Award entries are at the member rate after the non-member fee has been paid one time.

**Technical Awards MUST be entered in a regular category to be considered.

Entries must be received no later than May 30, 2020. A postmark of May 30 is not sufficient.

Entry fees must be paid online by credit card or PayPal. Checks are not accepted.

General Submission Guidelines (click to view)

General Submission Guidelines

  • Do not send any extraneous materials or materials that display mentions of other awards
  • If the book is only published in audio format you may submit audio files, but registration in a regular category is required. If the book is produced in both print and audio formats, the print book MUST be submitted for judging. Do not upload your entire audio book. Send promo codes from Audible so judges can download the audio book to their preferred device. Please include your book title in the file name. Copies of the book in CD format will also be accepted.
  • During the registration process you will need to upload a JPG file of your book cover. The file must be 300 dpi. Minimum width of the cover file should be 1500 pixels. Name the file with the book title. (Example: booktitle.jpg). Registration cannot be completed without this so please be prepared.
  • For the Editing category you will need to submit two versions of a chapter of the book – a before edit and an after edit version. These files may be submitted as a Word document or as a PDF. The edits must be clearly visible. To enter this category, the book must have been entered in a regular category.
  • CIPA ELF is not responsible for loss or damage to any entry.
  • Entries become the property of CIPA ELF and will not be returned.
  • Print books not claimed at the awards event will be donated to various charitable literacy organizations through CIPA ELF.

After online registration is completed mail three book copies for each Regular category entered, plus two copies for each additional category (including technical awards entries) the same submission is entered in with completed entry forms attached in each copy to:

Sue Ager
12660 Stone Valley Drive
Peyton, CO 80831


  • The entry confirmation email with the category circled MUST be included in the mailing.
  • DO NOT send books with a receiving signature required.
  • It is a good idea to include tracking in your delivery. Because of the volume of entries, receipt of your shipment will not be acknowledged.

Award Process (click to view)

First, Second and Third place may be awarded for each category when minimum scoring criteria are met.

The Awards Committee reserves the right to restrict or eliminate awards in any category where entries do not meet minimum scoring criteria.  Duplicate Awards may be given in case of tie scores in any category. 

The Judging Process (click to view)

  • Judges are selected based on experience, specific expertise and prior judging experience
  • All judges are required to abide by the judging guidelines and code of ethics
  • The names of judges are confidential
  • Entry scores are confidential and will remain the property of the Colorado Independent Publishers Association Education and Literacy Foundation.
  • Submissions must pass a preliminary round before advancing to final judging. If a book has two or more mechanical, grammatical or spelling errors on any random five pages, it will not advance.
  • First, second and third place may be awarded for each category when minimum scoring criteria are met. If minimum scoring criteria are not met, awards may not be presented in a category.
  • Judges use category specific rubrics to determine their scores for an entry.
  • In the event of a tie score, duplicate awards may be given.

CIPA EVVY™ Judges Code of Ethics (click to view)

As a CIPA EVVY™ Judge, I hereby pledge to:

  1. Conduct myself with honesty and integrity and maintain the highest possible standards in my role as a CIPA EVVY ™ judge, and,
  2. Judge my assigned books impartially and fairly according to the CIPA EVVY™ Judging Guidelines. If I cannot judge a book impartially, I will let the CIPA EVVY™ committee know immediately so the book can be reassigned to another judge, and,
  3. Remain anonymous throughout the judging process, and,
  4. Never reveal the scores I give or which books I judge outside of the official scoring system. I will retain my personal opinions of the books I judge until after the CIPA EVVY™ awards banquet in August, whether or not I remove my name from the list of judges. This includes not reviewing the books I have judged on any social media platform, online review sites, in any print publications or on any mass media, and,
  5. Aside from being allowed to keep the books I receive to judge, I understand and accept that there will be no compensation for judging of books.

Thank you for your help!


Do I have to be a CIPA member to enter a book in the CIPA EVVY™ Awards competition?

No. However, CIPA Members are eligible for lower entry fees. You may submit an entry if you are the author, publisher or credited service provider of the entry.

Can a publisher who is a CIPA Member enter multiple titles authored by non-members at the Member entry fee rates?

Yes. The membership status of the person or entity submitting the entry determines the entry fee classification.

What is a credited service provider?

A credited service provider is a person or business that provided a service in publishing the book such as illustrations, editing, layout and/or cover design, printing, consulting, etc. and is given credit in the entered book.

Is there a page minimum or maximum?

No. There are no page limitations. The only limitations are that the book must be in English, it must have an ISBN and it must be a published book. (No manuscripts.)

Can I enter a book again that was entered in a previous CIPA EVVY™ Awards competition?

Yes, if the book has been substantially changed (new cover or at least one third new and/or revised content).

If I enter the same title as a print book, e-book and Audio Book do I pay three First Category Fees?

No. Entry fees are based on entry title not format. However, all books must be entered in a regular category to be eligible for entry in a technical category.

Can I enter my book in eBook or Audio book format?

IF your book is ONLY produced in eBook or audio book format then you may submit that format only. If your book is in both print and eBook format, and you are entering the eBook or audio book format, then you may submit in that format only. Also, you may enter your eBook or audio book for both category and technical awards.

How many books do I send?

Print Books:

Print a copy of the registration payment email for each book you send. Place the printed email copy in the front of each book you send.

Number Of Print Books To Send:
Two (2) books for each Regular category plus One (1) master copy

One book for each Technical category.

Example: For 2 Regular Categories plus 1 Technical Category – Send six (6) books (4 Regular Category books + 1 Technical Category book + 1 master copy.

Where do I send my books to?

Send Books To:

c/o VCA
5640 County Line Pl #1
Littleton, CO 80126

DO NOT send books with a receiving “signature required.”

Note: You must upload your book cover to us after you enter your book. If we do not receive your book cover prior to the close of the 2018 CIPA EVVY Awards, and you win an award, your book cover will NOT be printed on the award.