Biographers International Organization bestows five major awards, honoring the world’s finest biographers, biographies, editors, and research librarians and archivists. BIO also awards two fellowships designed to help biographers do their work.
Each year, Biographers International Organization presents its highest honor to an individual for contributions to advancing the art and craft of biography. Each honoree is presented with a bronze plaque and a cash prize.
The Plutarch is the world’s only literary award given to biography by biographers. Named after the famous Ancient Greek biographer, the Plutarch winner is determined by secret ballot from a list of nominees selected by a committee of distinguished members of the craft.
First presented in 2014, the Rowley Prize honors the best book proposal by a first-time biographer. Winners receive a cash prize and the winning proposal is submitted to an established literary agent for consideration.
Created in 2012, the Biblio Award is presented to an outstanding librarian or archivist. Awardees are selected by the BIO Board of Directors, from nominations submitted by BIO members.
First presented in 2014, the BIO Award for Editorial Excellence is presented to an outstanding editor, from nominations submitted by BIO members.
In honor of the work of Robert and Ina Caro, Biographers International Organization has set up an annual research and travel fellowship. BIO members with a work in progress can apply to receive funding for research trips to archives or to important settings in their subject’s lives.
To honor former BIO member Chip Bishop and to help biographers in financial need, BIO co-founder James McGrath Morris has established the Chip Bishop Fellowship. The winner of the fellowship will have the fee waived for the annual BIO Conference and receive $500 to help defray travel and lodging expenses. The fellowship is open to both members and non-members.