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The David W. and Beatrice C. Evans Biography Awards

Evans Biography Award Seal

Evans Biography Award

The Evans Biography Awards encourage the best in research and writing about the individuals who shaped the Interior West through the awarding of two biennial prizes for excellence in biography, autobiography, and memoir. 

Evans Handcart Award Seal

Evans Handcart Award

The Evans Biography Award is a $10,000 prize given to the best biography, autobiography, or memoir of a person who lived a significant portion of his or her life in the Interior West, or, in the words of the awards’ founders, “Mormon Country,” which is the region historically influenced by Mormon institutions and social practices. The region is roughly an expanded Great Basin and Rocky Mountain region, extending south into Chihuahua and Sonora, Mexico, and north into southern Alberta, Canada.

The $2,500 Evans Handcart Award is given to a biography, autobiography, or memoir addressing similar subjects as the Evans Biography Award, but broadens the criteria to include family histories, and encourages first-time and emerging authors to submit their published books.

All book submissions are read by a local jury of five scholars and book experts. This group selects three finalists that are then sent on to a national jury of three scholars, who choose the Evans Biography Award winner. The local jury selects the winner of the Evans Handcart Award. Past judges on the regional and national juries have included award-winning historians, biographers, and memoirists as well as western studies scholars and representatives from independent booksellers.

The biennial awards are announced in the summer and an awards ceremony is held in the fall at Utah State University where the winning authors discuss their books. 

Please contact the Mountain West Center with questions about the Evans Biography Awards.