Indie Ink Awards 2023

Indie Ink Awards 2023 header art

Books by marginalized authors, self-published books, and books by small presses often get overlooked. The Indie Ink Awards is a unique event that brings together the writing community to celebrate books that have made an impact on us. This is our way of highlighting the future we want to see in books–by uplifting those that shine.

We have two categories: the "Best In" awards and the "Writing The Future We Need" awards. The "Best In" awards should exemplify the chosen category. We are looking for exceptional inclusion and diversity in works nominated for "Writing the Future We Need" awards.

Only self published/small press books will be considered, AND they must be on Indie Story Geek. Those published by a subsidiary of the Big 4 are not eligible. If you're an author and your book is not on Indie Story Geek, you may create an account and submit your book. You are not allowed to nominate your work, but you are encouraged to let your readers know that the Indie Ink Awards are taking place so they can nominate and vote.

The contest has four phases:
Nomination phase – Readers can nominate books for up to 5 awards they think fit. After this phase has ended, we will contact the authors to verify if the nominations make sense for their books before moving on to voting.
Voting phase – the nominated books will be listed by award for readers to vote on. The top ten in every category will move on at the end of this phase as finalists. Voting opens December 15!
Authors of finalist books are contacted and may provide a digital ARC for our judges to review if they wish, or they may opt-out of continuing in the competition.
Judges read and score finalists, utilizing a rubric for increased objectivity.

Eligibility:
Books must be either self published or published by a small press as of November 1, 2023 and must not be out of print.
A small press is considered a press that is not associated with, owned by, or considered a part or subsidiary of any large-scale publisher, such as Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, Hachette, Penguin Random House, Tor, etc. If a book is picked up by a large scale (or subsidiary of) publishing company, the press release/contract agreement must be post November 1, 2023 in order to still qualify for the Indie Ink Awards.
Finalists from any previous year are not eligible. (Other indie books by the same author are eligible, but not the one that made finalist status.)
Eligible books must be in the YA or Adult age categories. We do not have the capacity to review other age categories at the moment, but may expand in the future.
Eligible books can be of any fiction genre category and be of novella or novel length. We do not have the capacity to consider graphic novels, memoirs, anthologies, or poetry books at this time.
Books written by WriteHive staff (board members, admin, or coordinators), Inked in Gray staff, or Indie Story Geek staff are not eligible and any nominations will be removed during the voting review phase.
Any judges for the year may not have a book in the running for that year’s awards.

For more information, see https://indieinkawards.com/


Congratuations Finalists!


The judges are hard at work determining the winners.

Please check back later and keep an eye out for the final announcement!


Best audio narration

A Circle of Stars by Craig Montgomery
Finalist
Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver
Finalist
Glimmer of The Other by Heather G Harris
Finalist
Heart, Haunt, Havoc by FreydĂ­s Moon
Finalist
Life After by genalea barker
Finalist
Mistletoe & Mishigas by M.A. Wardell
Finalist
The Dryad's Crown by David Hopkins
Finalist
The Reanimator's Heart by Kara Jorgensen
Finalist
We Are the Origin (Wrath of the Gods Book 1) by C.M. Lockhart
Finalist
imPerfect Magic by C.N. Rowan
Finalist

Best book cover and cover artist

A Circle of Stars by Craig Montgomery
Finalist
Angels Before Man by Rafael Nicolás
Finalist
Dreams of the Dying by Nicolas Lietzau
Finalist
Glimmer of The Other by Heather G Harris
Finalist
Inked (Gilded Blood)  by Rachel Rener
Finalist
Into the Forest by Jennifer Willcock
Finalist
The Dryad's Crown by David Hopkins
Finalist
The Name-Bearer (Flowers of Prophecy #1) by Natalia Hernandez
Finalist
The Way of Edan by Philip Chase
Finalist
imPerfect Magic by C.N. Rowan
Finalist

Best friendship

A Circle of Stars by Craig Montgomery
Finalist
A Rival Most Vial: Potioneering for Love and Profit by R.K. Ashwick
Finalist
Angels Before Man by Rafael Nicolás
Finalist
Glimmer of The Other by Heather G Harris
Finalist
Life After by genalea barker
Finalist
Orphan Planet by Rex Burke
Finalist
The Way of Edan by Philip Chase
Finalist
The Wolf in Me: Survive by Alex Smith
Finalist
When Shadows Fall by Lindy Enns
Finalist
imPerfect Magic by C.N. Rowan
Finalist

Best light read

A Necromancer Called Gam Gam by Adam Holcombe
Finalist
A Rival Most Vial: Potioneering for Love and Profit by R.K. Ashwick
Finalist
Inked (Gilded Blood)  by Rachel Rener
Finalist
Kit & Basie by Tess Carletta
Finalist
Orphan Planet by Rex Burke
Finalist
Sushi and Sea Lions by Rachel Corsini
Finalist
Teacher of the Year by M.A. Wardell
Finalist
The Wolf in Me: Survive by Alex Smith
Finalist
Wishhobbler by Francis O'Dowd
Finalist
imPerfect Magic by C.N. Rowan
Finalist

Best mentor character

A Case of Madness by Yvonne Knop
Finalist
A King's Bargain (Legend of Tal #1) by  J.D.L. Rosell
Finalist
A Necromancer Called Gam Gam by Adam Holcombe
Finalist
Ace of Hearts by Lucy Mason
Finalist
Beta by MT Zimny
Finalist
Crown Prince: Book One of New Blood by W.D. Kilpack III
Finalist
How to steal a demon's heart and get away with it by Devi Letalis
Finalist
Orphan Planet by Rex Burke
Finalist
Shattered Kingdom by Angelina J. Steffort
Finalist
The Thread That Binds by Cedar McCloud
Finalist
The Way of Edan by Philip Chase
Finalist
The Wolf in Me: Survive by Alex Smith
Finalist
Three Meant To Be by M N Bennet
Finalist
imPerfect Magic by C.N. Rowan
Finalist

Best morally gray character

A Canticle for the Fallen by Steven Raaymakers
Finalist
A Circle of Stars by Craig Montgomery
Finalist
Angels Before Man by Rafael Nicolás
Finalist
Dreams of the Dying by Nicolas Lietzau
Finalist
Glimmer of The Other by Heather G Harris
Finalist
How to steal a demon's heart and get away with it by Devi Letalis
Finalist
The Brightest Shadow by Sarah Lin
Finalist
The Dryad's Crown by David Hopkins
Finalist
The Way of Edan by Philip Chase
Finalist
imPerfect Magic by C.N. Rowan
Finalist

Best setting

A Circle of Stars by Craig Montgomery
Finalist
Angels Before Man by Rafael Nicolás
Finalist
How to steal a demon's heart and get away with it by Devi Letalis
Finalist
Initiation: Sex Wizards, Book 1  by Alethea Faust
Finalist
Rebel Unicorn by Brogan Thomas
Finalist
Sedona by Kerry Fryar Freeman
Finalist
The Dryad's Crown by David Hopkins
Finalist
The Name-Bearer (Flowers of Prophecy #1) by Natalia Hernandez
Finalist
The Way of Edan by Philip Chase
Finalist
The Wolf in Me: Survive by Alex Smith
Finalist
When Shadows Fall by Lindy Enns
Finalist
imPerfect Magic by C.N. Rowan
Finalist

Best use of tropes

A Canticle for the Fallen by Steven Raaymakers
Finalist
A Circle of Stars by Craig Montgomery
Finalist
Inked (Gilded Blood)  by Rachel Rener
Finalist
Mistletoe & Mishigas by M.A. Wardell
Finalist
Sushi and Sea Lions by Rachel Corsini
Finalist
The Dryad's Crown by David Hopkins
Finalist
The Way of Edan by Philip Chase
Finalist
The Wolf in Me: Survive by Alex Smith
Finalist
We Are the Origin (Wrath of the Gods Book 1) by C.M. Lockhart
Finalist
imPerfect Magic by C.N. Rowan
Finalist

Prettiest book interior

Angels Before Man by Rafael Nicolás
Finalist
Heart, Haunt, Havoc by FreydĂ­s Moon
Finalist
Hills of Heather and Bone by K.E. Andrews
Finalist
How to steal a demon's heart and get away with it by Devi Letalis
Finalist
Inked (Gilded Blood)  by Rachel Rener
Finalist
Silent Sounds by Annait LJ
Finalist
Sistah Samurai by Tatiana Obey
Finalist
The Dryad's Crown by David Hopkins
Finalist
The Necessity of Rain by Sarah Chorn
Finalist
Wolf, Willow, Witch by FreydĂ­s Moon
Finalist

Side Character MVP

Angels Before Man by Rafael Nicolás
Finalist
How to steal a demon's heart and get away with it by Devi Letalis
Finalist
Inked (Gilded Blood)  by Rachel Rener
Finalist
Orphan Planet by Rex Burke
Finalist
Rebel Unicorn by Brogan Thomas
Finalist
Teacher of the Year by M.A. Wardell
Finalist
The Dryad's Crown by David Hopkins
Finalist
The Way of Edan by Philip Chase
Finalist
The Wolf in Me: Survive by Alex Smith
Finalist
imPerfect Magic by C.N. Rowan
Finalist

This Book Made Me Hungry/Thirsty

Angels Before Man by Rafael Nicolás
Finalist
Beta by MT Zimny
Finalist
FIRST CREATION by mars adler
Finalist
How to steal a demon's heart and get away with it by Devi Letalis
Finalist
Kit & Basie by Tess Carletta
Finalist
Merchants of Light and Bone by Erika McCorkle
Finalist
Sistah Samurai by Tatiana Obey
Finalist
Teacher of the Year by M.A. Wardell
Finalist
The Binding of Bloom Mountain by Siggy Chambers
Finalist
The Nameless Restaurant: A Cozy Cooking Fantasy by Tao Wong
Finalist
The Way of Edan by Philip Chase
Finalist

Wittiest character

A Case of Madness by Yvonne Knop
Finalist
A Circle of Stars by Craig Montgomery
Finalist
Glimmer of The Other by Heather G Harris
Finalist
How to steal a demon's heart and get away with it by Devi Letalis
Finalist
Orphan Planet by Rex Burke
Finalist
The Dryad's Crown by David Hopkins
Finalist
The Way of Edan by Philip Chase
Finalist
The Wolf in Me: Survive by Alex Smith
Finalist
We Are the Origin (Wrath of the Gods Book 1) by C.M. Lockhart
Finalist
imPerfect Magic by C.N. Rowan
Finalist

Writing the Future We Need: Asexual or Aromantic Representation

Ace of Hearts by Lucy Mason
Finalist
How To Sell Your Blood and Fall In Love by D.N. Bryn
Finalist
In the Care of Magic: a queer cozy monster erotica by Robin Jo Margaret
Finalist
Odd Blood by Azalea Crowley
Finalist
Tell Me How It Ends by Quinton Li
Finalist
The Chasm by Branwen OShea
Finalist
The Remarkable Retirement of Edna Fisher by E.M. Anderson
Finalist
This Doesn't Mean Anything by Sarah Whalen
Finalist
Wild Flowers, Electric Beasts by Alina Leonova
Finalist
imPerfect Magic by C.N. Rowan
Finalist

Writing the Future We Need: Asian Representation by an Asian author

A Match Made for Thanksgiving by Jackie Lau
Finalist
Elemental Ruin by Alx Chan Yee
Finalist
Odd Blood by Azalea Crowley
Finalist
Petition by Delilah Waan
Finalist
Play it Back by Vanessa Lopez Aziz
Finalist
Realm of Hope by E.L. Li
Finalist
The 5-Day Plan by Ashish Rastogi
Finalist
The Brightest Shadow by Sarah Lin
Finalist
Under an Azure Sky - Elysia Dayne: Book One by Wil Chan
Finalist
Wedded to the Warlord by Sirena Knighton
Finalist

Writing the Future We Need: Bisexual or Biromantic Representation

A Rival Most Vial: Potioneering for Love and Profit by R.K. Ashwick
Finalist
Cover Story by Valerie Gomez
Finalist
Does Love Always Win? by Diane Billas
Finalist
Dreams of the Dying by Nicolas Lietzau
Finalist
Heart, Haunt, Havoc by FreydĂ­s Moon
Finalist
How to steal a demon's heart and get away with it by Devi Letalis
Finalist
Initiation: Sex Wizards, Book 1  by Alethea Faust
Finalist
Teacher of the Year by M.A. Wardell
Finalist
The Dryad's Crown by David Hopkins
Finalist
The Elitist Supremacy by Niranjan K
Finalist
The Fall Is All There Is by C.M. Caplan
Finalist
The Forgotten Lyric by Carolina Cruz
Finalist

Writing the Future We Need: Black Representation by a Black author

Alfajiri by Michael LaBorn
Finalist
Honu Book One: Waterborn by Dawyone Combes
Finalist
Mud Crab Kingdom: My People or My Peace? by Dr. Joel Anthony Hamilton
Finalist
Prophecy Trilogy: New Moon (Prophecy Series Book 1)  by Liz Bullard
Finalist
Silent Sounds by Annait LJ
Finalist
Sistah Samurai by Tatiana Obey
Finalist
The Fall That Saved Us by Tamara Jerée
Finalist
We Are the Origin (Wrath of the Gods Book 1) by C.M. Lockhart
Finalist
When The Stars Alight by Camilla Andrew
Finalist
Wolves of Duty by Charlotte Murphy
Finalist

Writing the Future We Need: Disability Representation by a disabled author

Failure to Communicate by Kaia Sønderby
Finalist
Fragmented Fates by Nancy Foster
Finalist
How To Sell Your Blood and Fall In Love by D.N. Bryn
Finalist
JUNKER SEVEN by Olive J. Kelley
Finalist
Season One: Iris and the Crew Tear Through Space! by Cait Gordon
Finalist
Shades and Silver by Dax Murray
Finalist
The Binding of Bloom Mountain by Siggy Chambers
Finalist
The Fall Is All There Is by C.M. Caplan
Finalist
The Forgotten Lyric by Carolina Cruz
Finalist
The Necessity of Rain by Sarah Chorn
Finalist

Writing the Future We Need: Gay or Lesbian Representation

A Circle of Stars by Craig Montgomery
Finalist
A Rival Most Vial: Potioneering for Love and Profit by R.K. Ashwick
Finalist
Angels Before Man by Rafael Nicolás
Finalist
How To Sell Your Blood and Fall In Love by D.N. Bryn
Finalist
Initiation: Sex Wizards, Book 1  by Alethea Faust
Finalist
Mistletoe & Mishigas by M.A. Wardell
Finalist
Teacher of the Year by M.A. Wardell
Finalist
The Darkest Memories by Alyse N. Steves
Finalist
The Dryad's Crown by David Hopkins
Finalist
The Fair Isle Trilogy: Complete Series Collection by Tessonja Odette
Finalist
The Forgotten Lyric by Carolina Cruz
Finalist

Writing the Future We Need: Indigenous Representation by an Indigenous author

The Long Game by D.W. Howard
Finalist
The Name-Bearer (Flowers of Prophecy #1) by Natalia Hernandez
Finalist

Writing the Future We Need: LGBTQ+ Representation

A Circle of Stars by Craig Montgomery
Finalist
A Rival Most Vial: Potioneering for Love and Profit by R.K. Ashwick
Finalist
Angels Before Man by Rafael Nicolás
Finalist
Dreams of the Dying by Nicolas Lietzau
Finalist
How To Sell Your Blood and Fall In Love by D.N. Bryn
Finalist
How to steal a demon's heart and get away with it by Devi Letalis
Finalist
Initiation: Sex Wizards, Book 1  by Alethea Faust
Finalist
Mistletoe & Mishigas by M.A. Wardell
Finalist
The Dryad's Crown by David Hopkins
Finalist
The Wolf in Me: Survive by Alex Smith
Finalist
imPerfect Magic by C.N. Rowan
Finalist

Writing the Future We Need: Latinx/Latine Representation by a Latinx/Latine author

A Vermilion Curse by DC Guevara
Finalist
Angels Before Man by Rafael Nicolás
Finalist
Bring Her Home by R.N. Barbosa
Finalist
Cover Story by Valerie Gomez
Finalist
Coward by Ayrton Silva
Finalist
Fragmented Fates by Nancy Foster
Finalist
Heart, Haunt, Havoc by FreydĂ­s Moon
Finalist
The Forgotten Lyric by Carolina Cruz
Finalist
The Name-Bearer (Flowers of Prophecy #1) by Natalia Hernandez
Finalist
With A Vengeance by FreydĂ­s Moon
Finalist

Writing the Future We Need: Mental Health Representation

A Canticle for the Fallen by Steven Raaymakers
Finalist
A Case of Madness by Yvonne Knop
Finalist
A Circle of Stars by Craig Montgomery
Finalist
Angels Before Man by Rafael Nicolás
Finalist
Dreams of the Dying by Nicolas Lietzau
Finalist
How to steal a demon's heart and get away with it by Devi Letalis
Finalist
Life After by genalea barker
Finalist
Mistletoe & Mishigas by M.A. Wardell
Finalist
The Reanimator's Soul by Kara Jorgensen
Finalist
When Shadows Fall by Lindy Enns
Finalist
imPerfect Magic by C.N. Rowan
Finalist

Writing the Future We Need: Neurodivergent Representation by a Neurodivergent author

A Rival Most Vial: Potioneering for Love and Profit by R.K. Ashwick
Finalist
Dragon Mage by ML Spencer
Finalist
How To Sell Your Blood and Fall In Love by D.N. Bryn
Finalist
How to steal a demon's heart and get away with it by Devi Letalis
Finalist
JUNKER SEVEN by Olive J. Kelley
Finalist
Mistletoe & Mishigas by M.A. Wardell
Finalist
The Binding of Bloom Mountain by Siggy Chambers
Finalist
The Fall Is All There Is by C.M. Caplan
Finalist
The Reanimator's Heart by Kara Jorgensen
Finalist
The Tale That Twines by Cedar McCloud
Finalist

Writing the Future We Need: Trans or Nonbinary Representation

A Lake of Feathers and Moonbeams by Dax Murray
Finalist
Angels Before Man by Rafael Nicolás
Finalist
Deny Me, The Nightshade Boy by Mary VanAlstine
Finalist
Heart, Haunt, Havoc by FreydĂ­s Moon
Finalist
Love Kills Twice by Rien Gray
Finalist
The Forgotten Lyric by Carolina Cruz
Finalist
The Lion and the Dahlia by Gabriel Hargrave
Finalist
The Thread That Binds by Cedar McCloud
Finalist
The Wings of Ashtaroth by Steve Hugh Westenra
Finalist
Three Kings by FreydĂ­s Moon
Finalist
Veil Us in Gold by Shepard DiStasio
Finalist
World Running Down by Al Hess
Finalist


Judges:

armedwithabook avatar armedwithabook, TheBookDrag0n avatar TheBookDrag0n, AuthorTCLewis avatar AuthorTCLewis, SuesMusings avatar SuesMusings, amnic2017 avatar amnic2017, tandewrites avatar tandewrites, lucygwrites avatar lucygwrites, soulfullyalex avatar soulfullyalex, theshaggyshepherd avatar theshaggyshepherd, kevinscorner avatar kevinscorner, PetalsPawsPages avatar PetalsPawsPages, tinyelfarcanist avatar tinyelfarcanist, theislandalien avatar theislandalien, geekyst avatar geekyst, jlhines78 avatar jlhines78, BookishBenny avatar BookishBenny, scenophile avatar scenophile, CJDaley avatar CJDaley, JPatriciaAnderson avatar JPatriciaAnderson, slreads avatar slreads, rosynreads avatar rosynreads, EmPageMage avatar EmPageMage, WaywardChar avatar WaywardChar, RachelGreen avatar RachelGreen, yuricon avatar yuricon, CatStrawberry avatar CatStrawberry, minnielikesbooks avatar minnielikesbooks, Lisadoeslife_ avatar Lisadoeslife_, Fayte-Orchid avatar Fayte-Orchid, APGoodman avatar APGoodman, Elts_F avatar Elts_F, bethtabler avatar bethtabler, EmMosro avatar EmMosro, abooktropolis avatar abooktropolis, MelodyEMcIntyre avatar MelodyEMcIntyre, thebookreviewcrew avatar thebookreviewcrew, Crazycanadianwriting avatar Crazycanadianwriting, Limegreenpuppies avatar Limegreenpuppies, RocketGirl avatar RocketGirl, caffeinatedcovers avatar caffeinatedcovers, bookterror avatar bookterror, OneReadingNurse avatar OneReadingNurse, Jaysbookiverse avatar Jaysbookiverse, OllieCy avatar OllieCy, riseandspine avatar riseandspine, Priyanka_N avatar Priyanka_N, mxsallybend avatar mxsallybend, Paparish avatar Paparish, bacterialover avatar bacterialover, toriyoreads avatar toriyoreads, egstone avatar egstone, jasperbw avatar jasperbw, tessitalynn avatar tessitalynn, Menendezbe avatar Menendezbe, Bogi avatar Bogi, Vicariousadult avatar Vicariousadult, TobinH avatar TobinH, RoxanneBlackhall avatar RoxanneBlackhall, teach09 avatar teach09, livingnormally avatar livingnormally, nonbinaryknightreads avatar nonbinaryknightreads, bkwrm1317 avatar bkwrm1317, notforvanity avatar notforvanity, Jessa avatar Jessa, trinigirlreads avatar trinigirlreads, BooksintheSkye avatar BooksintheSkye, Laura avatar Laura, cupofteajones avatar cupofteajones, justanotherfinalgirlreview avatar justanotherfinalgirlreview, Sparks avatar Sparks, amanjareads avatar amanjareads, AntanoSparreboom avatar AntanoSparreboom, Dmarvin14 avatar Dmarvin14, JaleesaRBTBC avatar JaleesaRBTBC, JFZeigler avatar JFZeigler, LAYoung avatar LAYoung, FEMmedia avatar FEMmedia, Kjdaniels avatar Kjdaniels, lillysbookworld avatar lillysbookworld, heenarathore avatar heenarathore


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