first book awards

Emerging Poets Contest

Boulevard
Entry Fee: 
$16
Deadline: 
June 1, 2020
A prize of $1,000 and publication in Boulevard is given annually for a group of poems by a poet who has not published a poetry collection with a nationally distributed press. The editors will judge. Submit three poems of any length with a $16 entry fee, which includes a subscription to Boulevard, by June 1. All entries are considered for publication. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Poetry Prize

Cave Canem Foundation
Entry Fee: 
$20
Deadline: 
March 9, 2020
A prize of $1,000 and publication by a participating press is given annually for a first book of poetry by a Black poet of African descent. The University of Pittsburgh Press will publish the winning collection this year. Douglas Kearney will judge. Using only the online submission system, submit a manuscript of 48 to 75 pages with a $20 entry fee by March 9. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize

Wick Poetry Center
Entry Fee: 
$25
Deadline: 
May 1, 2020
A prize of $2,500 and publication by Kent State University Press is given annually for a debut poetry collection. The winner is also invited to teach a weeklong writing workshop at Kent State University and give a reading with the judge, Richard Blanco. Using only the online submission system, submit a manuscript of 50 to 70 pages with a $25 entry fee by May 1. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize

University of Pittsburgh Press
Entry Fee: 
$25
Deadline: 
April 30, 2020
A prize of $5,000 and publication by University of Pittsburgh Press is given annually for a debut poetry collection. Submit a manuscript of 48 to 100 pages with a $25 entry fee between March 1 and April 30. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Antivenom Poetry Award

Elixir Press
Entry Fee: 
$30
Deadline: 
March 31, 2020
A prize of $1,000 and publication by Elixir Press is given annually for a first or second poetry collection. Sarah Kennedy will judge. Submit a manuscript of at least 48 pages with a $30 entry fee by March 31. All entries are considered for publication. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

First Book Award for Poetry

Zone 3 Press
Entry Fee: 
$20
Deadline: 
April 1, 2020

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Zone 3 Press is given biennially for a debut poetry collection. Using only the online submission system, submit a manuscript of 48 to 80 pages with a $20 entry fee by April 1. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Literary Awards

Black Caucus of the American Library Association
Entry Fee: 
$0
Deadline: 
December 31, 2019

Four prizes of $500 each are given annually for a poetry collection, a first novel, a book of fiction, and a book of nonfiction (including creative nonfiction) by an African American writer published in the United States in the previous year. The awards honor books that depict the “cultural, historical, and sociopolitical aspects of the Black Diaspora.” Publishers may nominate books published in 2019 by December 31. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines and a list of jurors to whom books should be sent.

Levis Reading Prize

Virginia Commonwealth University
Entry Fee: 
$0
Deadline: 
February 1, 2020
A prize of $5,000 and an all-expenses paid trip to give a reading at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond is given annually for a first or second book of poetry published during the previous year. Students and faculty of the MFA program in creative writing at Virginia Commonwealth University will judge. Publishers or writers may submit three copies of a book of at least 48 pages published in 2019, and a brief author bio, by February 1. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

California Book Awards

Commonwealth Club of California
Entry Fee: 
$0
Deadline: 
December 15, 2019

Five prizes are given annually for a poetry collection, a book of fiction, a first book of fiction, a book of creative nonfiction, and a book of fiction or nonfiction that relat

Cabell First Novelist Award

Virginia Commonwealth University
Entry Fee: 
$0
Deadline: 
December 30, 2019
A prize of $5,000 is given annually for a first novel published during the previous year. The winner and two additional guest panelists (usually the winner’s agent and editor) will also receive lodging and travel expenses to attend the First Novelist Award Night at Virginia Commonwealth University in fall 2020. A committee of novelists and critics will judge. Submit five copies of a book published in 2019 by December 30. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

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