The UTOPiA Awards began in 2012, and were the first publishing awards to honor both self- and indie-published authors right alongside their traditionally published peers; the first to shine the spotlight on the influencers and service providers who help bring bring the books to life; and the first to create categories that celebrate LGBTQ+ main characters in fiction, as well as best leads, villains, best friends, hottest couples, and book cover models, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

With a focus on the wildly popular contemporary, romance, and supernatural genres in the young adult and new adult literature categories, the awards honor the stories, characters, originality and creativity in writing, publishing, marketing, merchandising and licensing of the works.

A “red carpet”-style event—a mix of glamour, humor, music, multimedia and social media—aimed at celebrating the writers, characters and stories that are inspiring readers worldwide, the nominees are peer-selected by the UTOPiA Academy (a membership comprised of both past and present attendees, panelists, and speakers), and the winners are determined by public vote.