Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 6, 2019

Opportunity: AWP Annual Competition for Publication

About the Award Series
AWP’s Award Series is an annual competition for the publication of excellent new book-length works. The competition is open to all authors writing in English regardless of nationality or residence, and it is open to published and unpublished authors alike.

The Award Series conducts an evaluation process of writers, for writers, by writers. AWP hires a staff of “screeners” who are themselves writers; the screeners review manuscripts for the judges. Typically, the screeners will select ten manuscripts in each genre for each judge’s final evaluations.

Eligibility Requirements
Only book-length manuscripts are eligible. The Award Series defines “book-length” as:
• Poetry: 48 pages minimum text;
• Short story or creative nonfiction collection: 150–300 manuscript pages; and
• Novel: at least 60,000 words.

Poems and stories previously published in periodicals are eligible for inclusion in submissions, but manuscripts previously published in their entirety, including self-published manuscripts, are not eligible. As the series is judged anonymously, no list of acknowledgements should accompany your manuscript.

The AWP Award Series is open to all authors writing original works in English for adult readers. Mixed-genre manuscripts cannot be accepted. Criticism and scholarly monographs are not acceptable for creative nonfiction, which the Award Series defines as factual and literary writing that has the narrative, dramatic, meditative, and lyrical elements of novels, plays, poetry, and memoir.

To avoid conflict of interest and to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, friends and former students of a judge (former students who studied with a judge in an academic degree-conferring program or its equivalent) are ineligible to enter the competition in the genre for which their former teacher is serving as judge.

Current staff of AWP and members of AWP’s Board of Trustees may not enter the AWP Award Series, and previous staff and Board members may not enter for a minimum of three years after leaving AWP or rotating off the Board, respectively.

AWP makes every effort to vary the judges by region, aesthetic, and institution so that writers, if ineligible one year, will certainly be eligible other years. If a contestant wins in any genre, he/she may not enter the competition again in the same genre for the next five consecutive years.

You may submit your manuscript to other publishers while it is under consideration by the Award Series, but you must notify AWP immediately via Submittable if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere.

AWP cannot consider manuscript revisions during the course of the contest, but the winning authors will have an opportunity to revise their works before publication. Please read the entry requirements and guidelines carefully before submitting your work.

Winners will be announced on our website and via email in the Summer of 2019.

Terms & Conditions
• Your submitted manuscript must be an original work of which you are the sole author.
• The decision of the judge is final. The judge may choose no winner if he or she finds no manuscript that, in his or her estimation, merits publication and the award.
• Your manuscript must be submitted in accordance with the eligibility requirements, format guidelines, and entry requirements or it will be disqualified.
• No entry fees or manuscripts will be returned.
• This competition is void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Manuscript Format Guidelines
Manuscripts must be typed and double-spaced. Poetry manuscripts may be single-spaced. Each manuscript must include a title page with the manuscript title only. If the author’s name appears anywhere on the manuscript, the submission will be disqualified. Do not add a page with acknowledgement of previous publications or a biographical note. Please upload your manuscript to our submission system as a doc, docx, txt, pdf, or rtf document.

Entry Requirements
Please upload your manuscript to our submission system as a doc, docx, txt, pdf, or rtf document at
• You will be required to remit an entry fee—$30 for nonmembers and $20 for AWP members—at the time of submission. All entry fees are nonrefundable. Students and faculty who have been registered by their program directors as members of AWP are eligible for the member fee.
• You may enter in more than one genre, and you may also enter multiple manuscripts in one genre, provided that each manuscript is uploaded separately as an individual entry.

Manuscripts must be uploaded to between January 1 and February 28, 2019.

2019 Prizes, Judges, and Presses

Donald Hall Prize for Poetry
Judge: Natasha D. Trethewey
Publication from the University of Pittsburgh Press

Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction
Judge: Dan Chaon
Publication from the University of Massachusetts Press

AWP Prize for the Novel
Judge: TBA
Publication from New Issues Press

AWP Prize for Creative Nonfiction
Judge: Debra Monroe
Publication from the University of Georgia Press

Talk tomorrow,


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