William Mills Prize

William Mills Prize for Non-Fiction Polar Books

The William Mills Prize for Non-Fiction Polar Books was established in memory of William Mills, a polar librarian and author, and a core member of Polar Libraries Colloquy during its formative years. The prize was first awarded in 2006.

The book prize honours the best Arctic or Antarctic nonfiction books published throughout the world. The prize consists of $500 US*, certificates for the author and publisher, and the right to use the William Mills Prize logo when advertising the winning book.

Winning titles are announced on pollib-L, on the Colloquy web site, in the Polar Libraries Bulletin and other appropriate social media, websites and publications.

The Mills Prize is usually awarded every two years and is announced at the biennial Polar Libraries Colloquy meeting.  The 2020 award cycle was almost complete when the meeting scheduled for Quebec City in June 2020 was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A 2020 Mills Prize was awarded but a decision was made to also award a 2021 Mills Prize that would be announced at the rescheduled Polar Libraries Colloquy meeting in Quebec City in June 2021.

Qualifications for Nomination

  1. The book must be nonfiction, about the Arctic or Antarctic.
  2. The book may be any type of substantive work of nonfiction, or reference resource. Textbooks, anthologies, translations and new editions will not be considered unless they are truly outstanding contributions to polar literature.
  3. Books authored, edited or published by members of the current Polar Libraries Colloquy Steering Committee are not eligible for nomination.
  4. Individuals who are not affiliated with the Polar Libraries Colloquy are welcome to submit nominations.
  5. The book must have been published for the first time within the two calendar years before the Colloquy at which the award will be given. The 2021 award will be an exception. The timeframe for the 2021 award is January 2020 to December 2020.
  6. The official language of the Colloquy is English. For this reason books must be published in an English language version to be eligible.

For more information, please contact the William Mills Prize Coordinator, Julia Finn.

*The prize was increased from $300 US for 2018.

Nomination Process

  1. Nominations must include:
    • Author(s) / Corporate author(s)
    • Title
    • Publisher
    • Date of publication (for the 2021 award, must be between January 2020 and December 2020)
    • Statement of the reasons why the nominator thinks the book should be considered for the prize and the value of the title to polar literature.
  2. Nominations should be sent via email to Julia Finn, William Mills Prize Coordinator.
  3. The deadline to submit a nomination is February 15, 2021.

William Mills Prize Recipients & Nominees