Jane's Stories Press Foundation

The Clara Johnson Award for Women's Literature
The Clara Johnson Award for Women's Literature 2019


Groundbreaking. Purposeful. Bold.
Excellent. Challenging to social constructs.

Jane's Stories Press Foundation announces that nominations are open for the 2019 Clara Johnson Award for Women's Literature, which will be given to a book published in 2018 that bears the attributes of the award's namesake. The winner will be awarded $1000 and will receive the award at a reception held in Fall, 2019.

The winner will be chosen by Terese Mailhot, the 2018 Clara Johnson Award winner, for Heartberries. The Jane's Stories Board will choose the finalists from a field nominated by editors, publishers, authors, booksellers, librarians, and readers—literally anyone who loves exciting books. The award is also intended to showcase the presses that publish such work.

A writer may receive the award for a specific work or for a body of work within the year. Works that were published from January through December, 2018, will be eligible for the 2019 award. For purposes of this award, women's literature includes all literary works by women (born or identified).

The award is open to prose and poetry of all genres, including, but not limited to, fiction and nonfiction, creative nonfiction, or memoir. All subgenres are welcome, as well, though works in popular categories such as romance and mystery will succeed only if they rise to the level of literature. Genre-bending is encouraged. The only exclusions are works that may be defined as erotica or pornography. Works that denigrate any groups or categories of people will be eliminated, as well.

Nominations open on January 15 and the deadline for nominations is March 30, 2018. All nominations must use the nominating form located on the foundation's website at www.janesstories.org. Five copies of the nominated work will also be required from the publisher accepting the nomination.

Please include with the nominating form: Cover letter with all current contact information for the author (name, address, phone number, and email address).

Send both form and copies of work to:
 JSPF 
c/o Bailey-Mershon,
P. O. Box 942, Lawrence, KS 66044
About Clara 

Clara Johnson spent the bulk of her career as a chemist, at a time when women were rarely hired as scientists, except during World War Two, when she helped make explosives for the war effort. She persisted, though she was warned that she would lose her job when male scientists were available once more, and retired as a chemist with the U. S. Department of Agriculture. She then went on to become a groundbreaking feminist, managing the office of the Illinois National Organization for Women during and after the ERA ratification campaign. Later, she wrote a self-published memoir of growing up on a Carlinville area farm and managed a feminist essay contest, while also becoming a co- owner of Prairie Moon Feminist Bookstore in Arlington Heights, Illinois. As one of the first editors of the Jane's Stories anthologies by women, she pushed for "stories with a purpose."
Congratulations  to the winner of the inaugural Clara Johnson Award for Women's Literature
Learn more about Terese and the other finalists here.
Contact Us
Nomination Form
Download Here