Literary contests have been quite popular in recent years among American publishers. Regardless of their merits, such contests have raised two questions for librarians charged with responsibilities for book selection. The first is whether such award winners are of sufficient merit as to justify immediate purchase as a result of their being the recipients of the publisher's prizes, or whether such titles should have the same slow, careful screening that is set up by the library policy for other new titles. The second question is whether other titles by prize-winning authors could be justified for purchase on the grounds that the authors had been proved of merit in their production of prize-winners, or whether the works other than their prize novels should be subjected to closed scrutiny. For these questions there have been no ready answers. In order to help answer the above questions a study has been made of one publisher's contest, analyzing the Atlantic Novel Prize winners together with a brief survey of later works of the recipients of that award. This study will attempt to show how both the later books by the Atlantic authors and the prize novels have been received immediately by the reviewers and how they have stood the test of time as revealed by their presence or absence in the standard selection aid.