Jane's Stories Press Foundation
nurturing emerging and established women writers since 2000
            Groundbreaking. Purposeful. Bold. Excellent. Challenging to social constructs.

Jane's Stories Press Foundation announces nominations are open for the 2021 Clara Johnson Award for Women's Literature, which will be given to a book published in 2020 that bears the attributes of the award’s namesake. The winner will be awarded $1000 and will receive the award at a ceremony held in late 2021.

The Jane's Stories Board will choose the finalists from a field nominated by editors, publishers, authors, booksellers, librarians, and readers—anyone who loves exciting books. The award also showcases presses that publish such work.

A writer may receive the award for a specific work or for a body of work published in 2020. For purposes of this award, women's literature includes all literary works by women (born or identified).

The award is open to prose 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 are open March 8 to May 8, 2021, and should be mailed to JSPF c/o Carol Rizzardi, 27 Burning Bush Drive, Palm Coast, FL32137. All nominations must use the nominating form found here.

Five copies of the nominated work will also be required from the publisher accepting the nomination.



About Clara Johnson

Johnson, who died in 2017, was one of a handful of women who worked as chemists in the defense industry during WWII. After the war, she worked at the US Department of Agriculture Illinois Northern Regional Research Lab in Peoria, IL, for 40 years.

During her life, Johnson was active in the League of Women Voters, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and other activist groups working for social justice and the inclusion of all voices in our democracy. She managed the Illinois National Organization for Women (NOW) office during and after the ERA ratification campaign in that state. 

A self-published memoirist, Johnson was a co-founder of Prairie Moon Feminist Bookstore in Arlington Heights, IL. As one of the first editors of the Jane’s Stories anthologies by women, she pushed for “stories with a purpose.” This award was founded in her memory in 2018 to honor her leadership and dedication to telling our purposeful stories. 



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Nominations for the 
2020 Johnson Award for Women's Literature 
Open on March 8
Click for Nomination Form