Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction & Nonfiction

  • Congratulations to the 2017 finalists for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction
  • Congratulations to the 2017 winners, Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence, Pictured: Bookcovers, The Underground Railroad and Evicted

The 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence Longlist will be announced on September 21, 2017.

2017 Winners

Congratulations to Colson Whitehead and Matthew Desmond, 2017 winners of the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction! All the finalists will be honored during a celebratory event at ALA’s 2017 Annual Conference in Chicago, sponsored by Novelist.


Colson Whitehead
The Underground Railroad

(Doubleday, Penguin Random House LLC)

Book cover: The Underground RailroadIn this magnetizing and wrenching saga, Whitehead tells the story of smart and resilient Cora, a young third-generation slave on a Georgia cotton plantation. Certain that the horror will only get worse, she flees with a young man who knows how to reach the Underground Railroad. Each stop Cora makes along the Underground Railroad reveals another shocking and malignant symptom of a country riven by catastrophic conflicts, a poisonous moral crisis, and diabolical violence. Hard-driving, laser-sharp, artistically superlative, and deeply compassionate, Whitehead’s unforgettable odyssey adds a clarion new facet to the literature of racial tyranny and liberation.


Matthew Desmond
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
(Crown, Penguin Random House LLC)

Book cover: EvictedDesmond does a marvelous job exposing the harrowing stories of people who find themselves in bad situations, shining a light on how eviction sets people up to fail. He also makes the case that eviction disproportionately affects women (and, worse, their children). This is essential reading for anyone interested in social justice, poverty, and feminist issues, but its narrative nonfiction style will also draw general readers—and will hopefully spark national discussion.


About the Awards

The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction were established in 2012 to recognize the best fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers published in the U.S. the previous year. The winners (one for fiction, one for nonfiction) are announced at an event at the ALA Midwinter Meeting; winning authors receive a $5,000 cash award, and two finalists in each category receive $1,500. For more information on award seals, please visit the ALA store

A longlist comprised of no more than 50 titles is released in September.  Six finalists, three fiction and three nonfiction, are announced in October.  The winners are announced at the RUSA Book and Media Awards Ceremony, Sunday, January 22, 5-7:00 p.m. EST, at the American Library Association's Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta.

Who Selects the Winners

The shortlisted authors and eventual winners reflect the expertise of a seven-member selection committee of library professionals from across the country who work closely with adult readers. The annually appointed selection committee includes a chair (Donna Seaman 2016-2017), one member of the American Booksellers Association, three Booklist editors or contributors, and three former members of RUSA CODES Notable Books Council. The committee members can be found here

Supporting the Awards

The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction are made possible by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York on the occasion of the foundation’s centennial and in recognition of Andrew Carnegie's deep belief in the power of books and learning to change the world.

ALA Co-sponsors

Booklist and the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) cosponsor the awards. Booklist also sponsors the Michael L. Printz Award ,  Odyssey Award and Alex Awards. RUSA’s Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES) administers Notable Books, The Reading List, The Listen List and the Sophie Brody Award.