The Zora Neale Hurston Award

This annual award, founded in 2008, is given to any ALA member who has demonstrated leadership in promoting African American literature. To further the professional development of the winner so that he or she can continue to build multicultural collections and serve diverse populations, the winner receives funds to attend the ALA Annual Conference, tickets to the Literary Tastes breakfast and the FOLUSA Author tea, and a set of the Zora Neale Hurston books published by Harper Perennial at the time the award is made.

Candidates will be evaluated based on the quality and contribution of their project. Project examples include, but are not limited to, a program, display, collection building efforts, a special readers’ advisory focus, or innovation in service. Candidates will also be evaluated on the extent their projects promoted African American literature and highlighted its rich history and diversity. In addition, the candidate’s project should serve as a model for others, must be innovative and/or should advance service in this area. Candidates will also be evaluated based on the quality of their essay and the ideas expressed therein (clarity of content and form, clear goals and benefits of attendance, commitment to ALA and the library profession, enthusiasm, and potential growth perceived).


Interested candidates must complete the nomination form; they should also submit a nomination letter that describes their project. Photos, booklists, screen captures, or other forms of illustration of the project must be included. In addition, candidates should submit a brief (250) word essay explaining how attending the annual conference will help further their efforts to support and promote African American literature. Self-nominations are welcome.

Questions about the award should be directed to the committee chair.

The deadline for nominations is December 15. This award was won last year by librarian extraordinaire Vanessa Irvin Morris


2 thoughts on “The Zora Neale Hurston Award

  1. Hey Edi, I applied for one of your announcements already, so please keep them coming! When the Zora announcement says “ALA member” does that mean a librarian? Also, my radio show debuts tomorrow…If I sen you the info would you mind forwarding it?

    Thanks and great day! Lysa

    Whatever is praiseworthy, think of such things.


    1. Hi there!
      I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have abbreviated that name. ALA is the American Library Association. I’m sorry I missed the debut of your show!! Please do send me information and I’ll post it for you. I’m curious to see what topics you’ll be addressing!


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