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2017 MLA Books Panel Best Book Proposal Contest

Contest Sponsored by Rowman & Littlefield

MLA, in partnership with Rowman & Littlefield, is cosponsoring a book proposal contest. MLA is inviting writers to submit their best book pitches for a chance to pursue a book contract and win $250.00.

Please provide detailed answers to the following prompts, along with the documents from the MLA Books Panel Best Proposal Contest Materials Checklist, for a chance to win $250.00 from Rowman & Littlefield and the opportunity to pursue a book contract. To be eligible, proposals must be submitted electronically to Martha Lara, MLA’s director of marketing and communications, by 11:59 p.m. on November 15, 2017. Submissions will be evaluated by the MLA Books Panel, and the contest winner will be contacted in December 2017.

Book Proposal Outline

  1. Why is this book needed? Who will want to read it or use it and why? How is it different from other books on the same topic (what’s unique about your idea)?
  2. Imagine that your book will appear in the next Rowman & Littlefield catalog. Begin with a title that captures the tone and spirit of your book. What would the ideal description of your book for our catalog be? Emphasize special features or sections using bullets where appropriate.
  3. Identify titles on the same topic published in the last five to seven years. These will be your book’s competition. Provide a sentence or two that would make MLA and Rowman & Littlefield want to publish your book even though those books are out there.
  4. Include a tentative table of contents that includes page number estimates for each chapter. Please also include for each chapter an estimated number of photographs, figures, tables, or other graphic elements that you think you would want to include in the chapter.
  5. What is your target date for completing the manuscript?
  6. Include a one to three paragraph biographical statement about you as well as a copy of your curriculum vitae or resume that includes information on your previous experience presenting, writing, teaching, conducting research, or other professional activities relevant to the proposed book. In the biographical statement, emphasize your education and experience that is relevant to the book topic. Please include bibliographic information about other articles or books that you have published related to this topic. The point is to position you as an expert in this area.
  7. Include at least one example of your published professional writing. This can be a journal article, a book chapter, or another sample publication.

2017 MLA Books Panel Best Proposal Contest Materials Checklist

MLA Books

MLA publishes books on topics of vital interest to medical librarians and other information professionals. Books are published in cooperation with Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group and ALA Neal-Schuman, and are available in a variety of electronic formats as well as print. 

Purchase Current Books

Members are entitled to a 10% member discount on MLA books.

Our latest books can be ordered through Rowman & Littlefield. Please use the coupon code "MLAMBR10" when ordering. Older titles (2014 and earlier) can be ordered through ALA Neal-Schuman. Please use the coupon code "MLA" when ordering.

Bibkits and Dockits cover more specific health sciences information subjects. Titles can be purchased in e-book or print formats from the MLA store:

Over 25 older titles are available free to MLA members as e-books.

Latest Titles

To suggest a topic for a future title, please contact Martha Lara.


The Library Staff Development Handbook: How to Maximize Your Library's Most Important Resource

by Mary Grace Flaherty


Information and Innovation: A Natural Combination for Health Sciences Libraries

Edited by Jean P. Shipman and Barbara A. Ulmer


Assembling the Pieces of a Systematic Review

edited by Margaret J. Foster and Sarah T. Jewell


Becoming a Powerhouse Librarian

by Jamie M. Gray


Developing Librarian Competencies for the Digital Age

edited by Jeffrey G. Coghill and Roger G. Russell


New Methods of Teaching and Learning in Libraries

by Ann Whitney Gleason


The Medical Library Association Guide to Data Management for Librarians

edited by Lisa Federer


Digital Rights Management

edited by Catherine A. Lemmer and Carla P. Wale


Translating Expertise

Edited by Marisa L. Conte


Expert Searching in the Google Age

by Terry Ann Jankowski


Interprofessional Education and Medical Libraries 

edited by Mary E. Edwards


Marketing for Special and Academic Libraries: A Planning and Best Practices Sourcebook 

by Valerie S. Gordon and Patricia C. Higginbottom


The MLA Guide to Answering Questions about the Affordable Care Act 

edited by Emily Vardell


Mobile Technologies for Every Library 

by Ann Whitney Gleason


The Small Library Manager's Handbook 

edited by Alice Graves 


Curriculum-Based Library Instruction: From Cultivating Faculty Relationships to Assessment 

edited by Amy Blevins and Megan Inman 


Library as Safe Haven: Disaster Planning, Response, and Recovery 

by Deborah D. Halsted, Shari Clifton, and Daniel T. Wilson 


Introduction to Reference Sources in the Health Sciences, 6th ed.

by Jeffrey T. Huber and Susan Swogger 


Health Sciences Librarianship 

by M. Sandra Wood


Coming Soon

Watch for books on the following topics coming soon:

  • systematic review
  • grey literature
  • consumer health

Publish a Book with MLA

MLA is always looking for new book ideas that are of interest to a significant segment of the library community. If you're interested in submitting a proposal as an author or editor, get started by visiting "Publish a Book with MLA." Proposals are reviewed by the MLA Books Panel, an MLA committee. 

Seeking Authors

The Books Panel is currently seeking proposals for the following topics:

  • Library Liaisons
  • Librarians in Informatics
  • Libraries and Sustainability