Publishers (including trade, university, and small presses), agents, readers, or authors may submit books published in 2013 by living writers.
- Each nominated eligible book is evaluated by three reviewers, representing a panel of Chautauquans who are writers, publishers, critics, editors, librarians, booksellers, and literature and creative writing educators. Books are distributed in a deliberate random fashion. If a reviewer self-discloses a concern that s/he cannot review a particular assigned book fairly, the submission is reassigned to a different reviewer.
- The reviewers read and recommend independently of each other and the staff at Chautauqua Institution.
- Books must be advanced for the finalist longlist by two of the three reviewers.
- Shortlist and winner are chosen by a three-member, independent, anonymous jury. Each jury member may also advance one selection to the finalist longlist.
- The task of the jury is to select books that, in their opinion, best fulfill the purpose of the prize.
- The jury’s choice of winners is binding and final.