WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
16 Apr 2012 | News

Call for Submissions: 2012 WOLA-Duke Human Rights Book Award


The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) is now receiving submissions for the fifth annual WOLA-Duke Human Rights Book Award. The award honors the best current, non-fiction book published in English on human rights, democracy, and social justice in contemporary Latin America. The author of the winning book will receive a $1,000 cash prize.

WOLA and Duke University will present the award in the fall of 2012. Scholarly and popular books are eligible, either edited or authored. To be eligible, books must meet the following criteria:


  • An original, non-fiction book related to issues of human rights, the rule of law, social and/or economic justice, or democracy, as they are broadly understood, in contemporary Latin America. Books should pertain to events that took place in roughly the past 25 years.
  • Published in the English language by a commercial, university, or non-profit publishing concern. Books written originally in other languages and translated into English are eligible. Self-published books are not eligible.
  • Published in the two years before the date of the award, including the year of the award. In other words, books published in 2011 and 2012 will be eligible for the 2012 prize. Books published before 2011 are not eligible.

Judges will be looking for books that offer important contributions to research on Latin America while also enriching the general public’s understanding of Latin America. The winning book will reflect the standards of originality, high-quality research, and clear writing to which WOLA aspires in its own publications. Both scholarly and popular books are welcome. In the case of two or more authors, the prize money will be distributed equally among them. The deadline for entries is Friday, June 1, 2012.

There is no entry form. Publishers, authors, or readers may send nominations to:

Book Award
Washington Office on Latin America
1666 Connecticut Avenue NW
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20009

The notice or letter should contain a short description of the book and publishing details; no supporting materials or reviews are necessary. Nominators are also encouraged to send one copy of the book, although this is not required for nomination. For books due to be published in 2012 but after the entry deadline, nominators may send a pre-publication copy, indicating the publication date. Judges are drawn from WOLA’s staff and its academic advisory board, Duke University, and the academic community at large.

The winner of the WOLA-Duke Human Rights Book Award will be announced in the fall of 2012. The author(s) will be invited to give a reading later at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

Previous Award Recipients:

2011 – Kathryn Sikkink, The Justice Cascade
2010 – Victoria Bruce and Karin Hayes, with Jorge Enrique Botero, Hostage Nation
2009 – Ambassador Heraldo Muñoz, The Dictator’s Shadow
2008 – Francisco Goldman, The Art of Political Murder

For more information, contact:
Colin Smith