Policy, Eligibility and

Application Information



Mt. Blackadar








2019 National Outdoor Book Awards: Policy, Eligibility Requirements and Application Information 

PDF Download a PDF file of the following guidelines and application. (The application form within the PDF is a fillable form.)

Note: If your accounting department requires it, here is: IRS Form W-9



The National Outdoor Book Awards (NOBA) is a non-profit educational program sponsored by the NOBA Foundation, the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education, and Idaho State University.  Its purpose is to recognize and encourage outstanding writing and publishing in the outdoor field.  Books may be nominated for awards in one of ten categories. 



1. General Eligibility. Eligible works include full length books with subject matter related to outdoor adventure activities, i.e. mountaineering, rock climbing, kayaking, rafting, canoeing, hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, skiing, exploration, fishing, sailing, and other related, primarily non-motorized, outdoor activities. Works dealing with nature, natural history, or the environment are also eligible and should be entered in the appropriate category. Books must be written in English.

2. Release Dates. To be eligible for the 2019 National Outdoor Book Awards, nominated books should be newly published and must have been released (date of first shipment of books) after June 1, 2018 and before September 1, 2019, except for those titles which have been nominated for the Outdoor Classic Award.

3. Outdoor Classic Award. One special award (The Outdoor Classic Award) will be made annually to outdoor books of unusual and lasting significance in the outdoor field. Books nominated for the Classic Award must have been originally copyrighted prior to 2009 and still be in print.

4. Revised Editions. Revised editions are only allowed in the Instructional and Guidebook categories. The following restrictions apply: 1) the new edition must be significantly updated; 2) the copyright year must have been updated; and, 3) the revised edition must meet the "Release Dates" requirement above.

5. Edited Works. All books, except those entered in the Design and Outdoor Classic categories, must be the work of one or two authors. Edited collections and anthologies with multiple authors are not acceptable.

6. Nominations. Book nominations may be submitted by publishers or authors.

7. Deadlines. Nominated books are accepted starting in June of 2019. The final deadline to receive books and entry forms is Thursday, August 22, 2019.

8. Limits. There is no limit to the number of books an author or publisher may submit.

9. Eligibility Disputes. In the event of a dispute as to eligibility, the judges will decide whether a book is eligible, and their decision will be binding.

10. Previous Winners. No entry will be ineligible because its author has previously won the National Outdoor Book Award or any other award.

11. Judges Decisions. Decisions made by the judging panel and the NOBA Governing Committee will be final.

12. Confidentiality. All work of the judging panels and the Governing Committee is confidential.



1. Number of Copies. Nine (9) copies of each nominated title should be submitted. Books should be in final finished form. Soft or hardbound versions are acceptable. Manuscripts, proofs, galleys or ebooks are not acceptable. (Note that at least one copy of all submitted titles will be used for display purposes at national outdoor conferences.)

2. Entry Forms. One National Outdoor Book Awards Entry Form should accompany the nine copies of the nominated book being submitted. Photocopies of the Entry Form are acceptable. Entry forms and books must be received no later than August 22, 2019.

3. Application Fee. An $85.00 application fee should accompany each nominated title.

4. Multiple Category Entries. A single title may be entered in more than one category, but each extra category entered requires a separate application form, nine review books, and an $85 application fee.

5. Central Office. Send the entry form, books and application fee to: Ron Watters, Chairman, National Outdoor Book Awards, 921 South 8th Ave., Stop 8128, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID 83209


History & Biography
Examples include expedition narratives, historical works, biographies or autobiographies of outdoor personalities revolving around outdoor adventure activities.

Outdoor Literature
Examples include works of fiction, non-fiction narratives, poetry, essay collections, or other forms of literature about outdoor adventure activities.

Instructional and How-to Texts  
Examples include titles dealing with outdoor skills, techniques, equipment, clothing and safety of outdoor adventure activities.

Guidebooks (Outdoor Adventure)  
Examples include trail, river, and mountain guidebooks for outdoor adventure activities.

Guidebooks (Nature)
Examples include identification guides and field books for birds, mammals, plants, etc.

Design and Artistic Merit
Books nominated for this award may be of any genre, but they should be graphically and visually appealing and use artistic design, photographs and/or other art forms to enhance subject matter or to convey a message or theme.  Nature or outdoor adventure topics are acceptable in this category.

The Outdoor Classic Award  
Books nominated for this award should be full length works related to outdoor adventure activities or nature and should be a work of unusual significance and lasting value in the outdoor field.  The book must be in print.

Nature and the Environment
Books entered in this category should be oriented to general audiences and use a combination of text, photographs and/or graphics to educate and enlighten.  Acceptable subject matter includes nature, natural history and the outdoor environment. Fictional works are not eligible.

Natural History Literature
Books nominated for this category should be non-fictional works oriented toward general audiences.  The emphasis is on outstanding writing.  Acceptable subject matter includes nature and natural history topics.  Works should be primarily textual.

Children’s Books
Any children's book dealing with nature, natural history or outdoor activities is acceptable. Age orientation may range from pre-school to teens.


1. All titles submitted for the program will be displayed at the International Conference on Outdoor Recreation and Education.

2. Press releases announcing the winning titles will be sent to selected newspapers, web sites, corporate buyers, periodicals and wire services.

3. Winning titles along with reviews, cover scans, and publisher links will appear on the National Outdoor Book Award’s web site (

4. Publishers of winning titles will receive notification and a letter authorizing the use of the National Outdoor Book Award medallion on book jackets, and permission to use the Award logo on other promotional materials.


Members of the NOBA Governing Committee include: Susanne Dubrouillet Morais, Jim Fullerton, Rodney Ley, Jim Moss, Ron Watters, and Melanie Wulf. Judging panels include invited educators, academics, trade representatives, authors, book reviewers, and outdoor columnists. NOBA is a non-profit educational program and is sponsored by the NOBA Foundation, Idaho State University, and the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education.



Application forms are available from: Ron Watters, Chairman, National Outdoor Book Awards, 921 South 8th Ave, Stop 8128, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID 83209. Phone: 208-282-3912.  Email:

Or the application form (as a PDF file) may be downloaded . . .
To print or view the downloaded application form, you'll need Adobe Reader.  It's a free program. Just click on click the Adobe Reader icon:

PDF To download the National Outdoor Book Award Application Form and Eligibility Requirements, click: Application 2019 (The application form within the PDF is a fillable form.)

Note: if your accounting department requires it, here is: IRS Form W-9

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