The goal of the Mako Prize is to help readers find books they love and may not have found on their own. All books in the tournament were published in the previous calendar year, so many readers aren’t yet familiar with them. We choose the books in the tournament to reflect a range of voices, interests, and genres. We want there to be something for everyone while also giving readers the opportunity to discover something new.
Our broader goal is to create a community of and for readers. We hold periodic events where judges can talk to each other about their books and participate in bookish activities.
We have three competitions: the Mako Prize for adult fiction, Mako Prize YA for young adult fiction, and Mako Prize Jr. for middle grade fiction (grades 3 through 5).
Students, teachers, staff, administrators, parents—anyone can judge! Judges can participate in as many rounds as they would like.
How It Works
The Mako Prize begins with a longlist of 32 novels published between July 1 and June 30.
In August, we begin the group stage. In this stage, judges read and rank the four novels in a group. The two favorite books from each group will advance to the bracket of 16. The 16 titles advancing out of the group stage enter a knockout bracket. The bracket stage takes four rounds to determine The Mako Prize winner. The group stage lasts about eight weeks, and each round of the remainder of the tournament lasts two weeks each. In the bracket stage, judges read both books in a match, then vote for which one they think should advance to the next round.
When a reader judges a round, they read both books in a match, then vote for which one they think should advance to the next round. There is no rubric; the reader gets to decide the basis of what it means to win the match.
Copies of Mako books are available in the Middle and Upper School Media Centers in hardcover and eBook formats. They are also available in Broward County Public Libraries.