The editors of Early American Literature are pleased to announce the annual Early American Literature Book Prize, which will be given in 2024 for an author’s first academic monograph about American literature in the colonial period through the early republic (roughly 1830). The prize is offered in collaboration with the University of North Carolina Press, the Society of Early Americanists, and the MLA’s Forum on Early American Literature.

Monographs published in 2022 or 2023 are eligible for the 2024 prize, which carries a cash award of $2000.

The deadline for nominations is March 31, 2024. Please send the name of the book, author, year published, and the book’s press website URL to:

Hard copies of books that make the short list will be requested from the publisher. The book prize selection committee consists of the journal’s editors, as well as one representative from the SEA executive committee and one representative from the executive committee for the MLA’s Forum on Early American literature.

Inquiries may be directed to Professors Katy Chiles at  and Cassander Smith at

Early American Literature is published by the University of North Carolina Press.

Cotton Mather’s Spanish Lessons: A Story of Language, Race, and Belonging in the Early Americas
Kirsten Silva Gruesz
Assembled for Use: Indigenous Compilations and the Archives of Early Native American Literatures
Kelly Wisecup

BOOK Prize 2023

” ‘The Voice of
the Innocent Blood Cries Aloud from the Ground to Heaven’: Speaking and Discovering Infanticide in the Early American Northeast.”
Rebecca Rosen

“‘I, Young in Life’: Phillis Wheatley and the Invention of American Childhood.”
Camille Owens

Richard Beale Davis Prize 2022

Awakening Verse: The Poetics of Early American Evangelism
Wendy Raphael Roberts

BOOK Prize 2022

“‘I, Young in Life’: Phillis Wheatley and the Invention of American Childhood.”
Camille S. Owens

American literature society’s 1921 Prize 2022

“Remembering Dorothy May Bradford’s Death and Reframing ‘Depression’ in Colonial New England.”
Stacey Dearing

richard Beale davis prize 2021

Letters from Filadelfia: Early Latino Literature and the Trans-American Elite
Rodrigo Lazo

book prizE 2021

“Translation, Counterrevolution, and the Early American Novel: Richard Aslop’s The Lovers of La Vendée, or Revolutionary Tyranny.”
Courtney Chatellier

“In de Dark Wood, No Indian Nigh’: William Apess and the ‘Indian Hymn.’”
Drew Lopenzina

richard davis beale prize 2020

Colonial Revivals: The Nineteenth-Century Lives of Early American Books 
Lindsay DiCuirci


 “Reading with Conviction: Abraham Johnstone and the Poetics of the Dead End.”
 Ajay Kumar Batra

American Literature Society’s 1921 Prize 2020

Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip’s War 
Lisa Brooks

book prize 2019

“Circulating Objects: Crevecoeur’s ‘Curious Book’ and the American Philosophical Society Cabinet.”
Reed Gochberg

“‘Mercy as Well as Extremity’: Forts, Fences, and Fellow Feeling in New England Settlement.”
Ana Schwartz

Richard davis beale prize 2019

In the Neighborhood: Women’s Publication in Early America
Caroline Wigginton

Book Prize 2018

Reading Children: Literacy, Property, and the Dilemmas of Childhood in Nineteenth-Century America 
 Patricia Crain