Inside Literary Prize

"Inaugural “Inside Literary Prize” will send a selection of National Book Award honorees to hundreds of incarcerated people in a dozen prisons across the country; Inside Literary Prize winner to be announced in June 2024

Freedom Reads, the National Book Foundation, and the Center for Justice Innovation announced the launch of the Inside Literary Prize, the first-ever US-based literary prize awarded exclusively by currently incarcerated people. The prize will be awarded in June 2024 to one exceptional book by a jury of 300 incarcerated individuals from a dozen prisons across the nation. This new initiative, which is also supported by Lori Feathers, literary podcaster and co-owner of Interabang Books, seeks to expand access to our country’s most thought-provoking literature for people who are incarcerated.

Over the coming months, 25 judges at each of 12 prisons across six states—including both men’s and women’s facilities—will be given copies of the four National Book Award-honored books listed below. Freedom Reads will provide each facility with additional sets of each book for general circulation in the facility library, as well as for correctional staff. Throughout the Spring 2024, Inside Literary Prize organizers will travel to each prison to lead live discussions, conduct voting, and host literary readings with acclaimed authors previously honored by the National Book Awards."