Travis Morris
Director, Peace & War Center
Executive Director, Symposium
Associate Professor, Criminal Justice

Megan Liptak
Assistant Director – Research Centers

are signature events of the NU Peace & War Center.

The nomination period for the 2024 William E. Colby Military Writers’ Award is now open and will remain open until December 31, 2023. We eagerly look forward to reviewing the submissions.

About the Award

THE COLBY AWARD recognizes a first book-length work of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry that has made a major contribution to the understanding of military history, intelligence operations or international affairs. A $5,000 author honorarium is provided to the award recipient through the generosity of the Chicago-based Pritzker Military Foundation.

Books are nominated by publishers, agents, or promoters, and cannot be self-nominated. All nominated books are considered in a two-step review process. First-round award reviewers carefully consider all nominated eligible books. Then, the five top-scoring titles are reviewed by the Colby Award Selection Committee, which consists of five former Colby winners and a committee chair. 

Books are scored on their depth of research, significance of the work, subject-material clarity and writing quality. The Colby Award review process considers the book and its subject on its own merits absent author biographical context. 

The Colby Award is presented annually at Norwich University during the NU Military Writers’ Symposium in Northfield, Vermont. The annual symposium is a signature event of the John & Mary Frances Patton Peace and War Center

To qualify for consideration for the Colby Award:
1. The book must be a FIRST WORK by the author.
2. Submissions must be received by the stated deadline.
3. Self-nominations are not accepted.
4. The Colby Award recipient must be present at the symposium at Norwich University and participate in an appearance at the Pritzker Military Museum & Library in Chicago based upon the author’s schedule.

Nomination Guidelines


To complete your nomination, please follow these steps:

  1. Complete the online nomination form
  2. Submit the $60.00 nomination fee through our secure online payment manager.
  3. Mail 10 copies of the book to: Norwich University Peace & War Center, 158 Harmon Drive, Northfield VT 05663.

Deadline: Deadline: December 31, 2023 (Nomination window opens September 1, 2023)

Questions: See our FAQs.

More questions? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • 2023, Charles E. Stanley Jr., Lost Airmen: The Epic Rescue of WWII U.S. Bomber Crews Stranded Behind Enemy Lines (Regnery History)
  • 2022, Wesley Morgan, The Hardest Place: The American Military Adrift in Afghanistan’s Pech Valley (Random House)
  • 2021, Mark Treanor, A Quiet Cadence (Naval Institute Press)
  • 2020, Adam Higginbotham, Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster (Simon & Schuster)
  • 2019, Paul Scharre, Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War (W. W. Norton & Company)
  • 2018, Steven E. SodergrenThe Army of the Potomac in the Overland and Petersburg Campaigns: Union Soldiers and Trench Warfare, 1864-1865 (LSU Press)
  • 2017, David Barron, Waging War: The Clash Between Presidents and Congress, 1776 to ISIS (Simon and Schuster)
  • 2016, Nisid Hajari, Midnight’s Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India’s Partition (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • 2015, COL Douglas Mastriano, Alvin York: A New Biography of the Hero of the Argonne (The University Press of Kentucky)
  • 2014, Logan Beirne, Blood of Tyrants: George Washington and the Forging of the Presidency (Encounter Books)
  • 2013, Thomas P. McKenna, Kontum: The Battle to Save South Vietnam (The University Press of Kentucky)
  • 2012, Michael Franzak, A Nightmare’s Prayer (Threshold Editions)
  • 2011, Karl Marlantes, Matterhorn (Atlantic Monthly Press)
  • 2010, Colonel Jack Jacobs (Ret.) and Douglas Century, If Not Now, When? (Berkley Caliber 2008)
  • 2009, Dexter Filkins, The Forever War (Knopf 2008)
  • 2009, Marcus Luttrell, Lone Survivor (Little, Brown and Company, 2007)
  • 2008, R. Alan King, Twice Armed: An American Soldier’s Battle for Hearts and Minds in Iraq (Zenith Press 2006)
  • 2007, Ian W. Toll, Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy (W.W. Norton & Company 2006)
  • 2007, John A Glusman, Conduct Under Fire: Four American Doctors and Their Fight for Life as Prisoners of the Japanese 1941-1945 (Viking 2005)
  • 2006, Kevin J. Weddle, Lincoln’s Tragic Admiral: The Life of Samuel Francis Du Pont (University of Virginia Press 2005);
  • 2006, Nathaniel Fick, One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer (Houghton-Mifflin 2005)
  • 2005, Jon Meacham, Franklin and Winston: An Epic Story of an Intimate Friendship (Random House)
  • 2005, MG Sid Shachnow, USA (Ret.) and Jann Robbins, Hope and Honor (Forge Books)
  • 2004, Bing West and Major General Ray L. Smith, USMC (Ret.), The March Up (Bantam)
  • 2004, Robert L. Bateman, No Gun Ri (Stackpole)
  • 2003, Bryan Mark Rigg, Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers (University Press of Kansas)
  • 2002, Patrick K. O’Donnell, Beyond Valor (The Free Press)
  • 2002, Ralph Wetterhahn, The Last Battle (Avalon Publishing)
  • 2001, James Bradley with Ron Powers, Flags of Our Fathers (Bantam)
  • 2000, B.G. Burkett and Glenna Whitley, Stolen Valor (Verity Press)
  • 1999, Fred Chiaventone, A Road We Do Not Know (Simon & Schuster)
  • 1999, Bill Harlow, Circle William (Scribner)
  • Colby Award Frequently Asked Questions

    Question: Do you accept self-published books?Answer: Yes. However, per our guidelines, we do not accept self-nominations. To be eligible, a self-published book must be nominated by someone other than the author. For example, an editor, another author, or subject-matter expert Read More
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