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Judging Process



Each book entered into the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award program is judged by three independent judges.


For audiobooks, each judge considers production, performance or an editorial quality. For most print books, each judge has either a design focus or an editorial focus. Some print books, however, like those in the Interior Design category, are assigned only design judges and some print books, like those in the Best New Voice category, are assigned only editorial judges. Below you will find complete judging forms for all categories.

The IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award program is unique in that the verbatim judging forms are returned to all participating publishers, providing entrants with direct feedback on each submission.

Below you'll find links to the 36th annual judging forms (for books with a copyright date of 2023).

Judges determine one Gold and two Silver winners in each category.* Finalists are announced in mid-March and the gold winner will be announced at the 2024 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards ceremony on Friday, April 26, 2024 in Denver, CO.  More details and tickets can be accessed here.

*From time to time none of the entries in a category will earn the honor of an award based on the judges' feedback.


Prestige as a publisher is one of the many benefits of being named a winner of this distinguished award. In addition, all winners receive:

  • Recognition prior to the awards ceremony on the IBPA website.

  • Archived listing after the awards ceremony on the IBPA website.

  • Two tickets to the awards ceremony recognizing all of the award winners.

  • Engraved trophy marking their achievement (Gold winners only).

  • A press release template to use when announcing the winning book(s).

  • A personalized award certificate.

  • Special award stickers to affix to the winning books.

  • Inclusion in announcement to major trade journals, all IBPA social media channels (including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the IBPA news feed), and more.

Are you an expert in the field of book editorial, book design, or audiobook performance and interested in giving back to your community as a judge in the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award program? We’d love to consider your application for the 37th annual program. Apply by Tuesday, August 31, 2023 to be considered. Previous and prospective judges must both apply.

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