The George Washington Prize honors outstanding new works on George Washington and his times (the Revolutionary and founding eras circa 1760-1820).

Publishers and authors are invited to submit books that meet these criteria.

  • Works that reach a broad, non-scholarly public audience
  • are elegantly crafted and intellectually rigorous, and
  • contribute substantially to the ongoing national conversation about the legacy and meaning of America’s Revolutionary and founding eras

The $50,000 prize is sponsored by Washington College, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and George Washington’s Mount Vernon.


Each year the sponsors appoint a jury of three historians or other qualified scholars who are asked to name up to seven finalists.

The finalists for this year will be announced on July 4th.


A final selection committee made up of two representatives of each of the three sponsoring institutions, plus an independent historian, reviews the finalists and chooses a winner.

The winner will have the prize presented to them at a gala in the fall. 

Submission Deadline

Submissions for the 2021 George Washington Prize must have a date of first publication between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.

Unpublished manuscripts are not eligible.

Deadline for submission is December 31, 2020.

Please submit five copies of the book plus author and editor contact information to:

Stephen McLeod, Director of Library Programs
(703) 799-8686

 George Washington Prize
Fred W. Smith National Library
George Washington's Mount Vernon
3600 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway
Mount Vernon, VA 22121

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