Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award


Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award

From his home in Hartford, Mark Twain changed the way the world sees America and the way Americans see themselves.

Part of what makes Mark Twain’s work such an iconic piece of American history is the part he played in establishing a uniquely American voice in literature – especially with his 1885 masterpiece Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Just as Huckleberry Finn defined the voice of 19th-century America, The Mark Twain House & Museum looks to recognize modern voices that define our current America.

First presented in 2016, the Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award honors a work of fiction from the previous calendar that speaks with an “American Voice” about American experiences.

The award carries a $25,000 cash prize underwritten by bestselling author and trustee of the Mark Twain House and Museum, David Baldacci.

For more information contact Alice Fraioli at or see submission guidelines below.



The Mark Twain House and Museum will accept submissions until February 15, 2022.

Submission Checklist

1. A link to access the title digitally (this will be shared with our preliminary judges)

2. Complete submission form (download here) and submit to Alice Fraioli at

3. Please be aware that hard copies of each title on the short list will be provided to our final panel of judges – we may require up to FIVE copies of each title being entered.

Contact information for both the publisher who is submitting and the author must be included on the submission form (name, address, phone, and email).

Novels and short-story collections will both be accepted. Self-published works will not be accepted.

Centered around the restored Hartford, Connecticut home where American author Samuel Clemens — Mark Twain — and his family lived from 1874 to 1891, The Mark Twain House & Museum is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to foster an appreciation of the legacy of Mark Twain as one of our nation’s defining cultural figures and to demonstrate the continuing relevance of his work, life, and times. Twain wrote his most important works, including Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, during the time he lived in the house, and he considered those the happiest, most productive years of his life.

Open year round for guided tours, The Mark Twain House & Museum attracts more than 65,000 visitors a year and is one of the premier tourist attractions in Connecticut. The Mark Twain House was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1963.

2021 Award Winner

Stephen Graham Jones for his ripping novel of horror and revenge, The Only Good Indians.

Author Stephen Graham Jones and The Only Good Indians book cover

Previous winners

Ocean Vuong for On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

Jesmyn Ward for Sing, Unburied, Sing

Bill Beverly for Dodgers

T.C. Boyle for The Harder They Come