The Nero Award is presented annually by The Wolfe Pack (the official Nero Wolfe Society) for the best American Mystery. Criteria include:

  • written in the tradition of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe stories
  • first published in the year preceding the award year
  • originally published in the United States
  • submitted directly by the publisher (see below).

In January, requests are sent to Mystery Writers of America-approved publishers for submissions for that year's award. Up to three submissions per imprint are allowed.

The publishers are requested to send copies directly to the chair and two other readers, whose addresses are provided.

All submissions are read and a short list of four or five is generated sometime in the early summer. At that point, the publishers are requested to send copies of books on the short list to the final panel of three 'distinguished' readers. If you are a published author, and would like to know to whom the request for submission is sent at your publishing house, please check with your publisher.

Please note that all submissions MUST COME directly from the publisher; no author-submitted entries are accepted.

If you are published by a house that has never received a request for Nero submission from the Wolfe Pack, please check the Mystery Writers of America approved publisher listing (click on the link midway down the page). If your publisher is on the listing, please e-mail Stephannie Culbertson, the Nero Award Chair (use the address at the top right of this page), with the publisher's information and it will be included in the next request for submission mailing.

Books that aren't sent by authorized publishing houses WILL NOT be considered for the Award, nor will they be returned. Books that aren't sent to the designated readers also WILL NOT be considered for the Award, nor will they be returned, i.e., don't send books to the Wolfe Pack P.O. Box!).