first book awards

A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize

BOA Editions
Greater than $20
Deadline: 
November 30, 2017

A prize of $1,000 and publication by BOA Editions is given annually for a first book of poetry by a U.S. resident. D. A. Powell will judge. Submit a manuscript of 48 to 100 pages with a $25 entry fee by November 30. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Poetry Prize

New Issues Poetry & Prose
Greater than $20
Deadline: 
December 30, 2017
A prize of $1,000 and publication by New Issues Poetry & Prose is given annually for a first poetry collection. The winner will also receive an honorarium of $500 and travel expenses to give a reading at Western Michigan University in Spring 2018. Poets who have not published a poetry collection of more than 48 pages are eligible. Cathy Park Hong will judge. Submit a manuscript of at least 40 pages with a $25 entry fee by December 30. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Literary Awards

Black Caucus of the American Library Association
No entry fee
Deadline: 
December 29, 2017

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 2017 by December 29. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines and a list of jurors to whom books should be sent.

Cabell First Novelist Award

Virginia Commonwealth University
No entry fee
Deadline: 
January 14, 2018
A prize of $5,000 is given annually for a first novel published during the previous year. The winner and the winner's agent will also receive lodging and travel expenses to attend First Novelist Award Night at Virginia Commonwealth University in Fall 2018. A committee of novelists and critics will judge. Submit three copies of a book published in 2017 by January 14, 2018. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Walt Whitman Award

Academy of American Poets
Greater than $20
Deadline: 
November 1, 2017
A prize of $5,000, publication by Graywolf Press, and a six-week residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Umbria, Italy, is given annually for a poetry collection by a poet who has not published a book of poems in a standard edition. The winning book will also be distributed to 5,000 members of the Academy of American Poets. Joy Harjo will judge. Using the online submission system, submit a manuscript of 48 to 100 pages with a $35 entry fee by November 1. Visit the website for the required entry form and complete guidelines.

Honickman First Book Prize

American Poetry Review
Greater than $20
Deadline: 
October 31, 2017

A prize of $3,000 and publication by American Poetry Review is given annually for a first poetry collection. The winning book is distributed by Copper Canyon Press through Consortium. Gregory Pardlo will judge. Submit a manuscript of at least 48 pages with a $25 entry fee by October 31. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize

Persea Books
Greater than $20
Deadline: 
October 31, 2017
A prize of $1,000 and publication by Persea Books is given annually for a first poetry collection by a woman who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The winner also receives a six-week, all-expenses-paid residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Umbria, Italy. Using the online submission system, submit a manuscript of at least 40 pages with a $30 entry fee by October 31. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Juniper Prizes

University of Massachusetts Press
Greater than $20
Deadline: 
September 30, 2017
Four prizes of $1,000 each and publication by University of Massachusetts Press are given annually for a first poetry collection, a poetry collection, a short story collection, and a short story collection, novella, or novel. The creative writing faculty at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst will judge. Submit a poetry manuscript of 50 to 70 pages or a story collection, novel, or novella of 150 to 350 pages with a $30 entry fee by September 30. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Poetry Prize

Perugia Press
Greater than $20
Deadline: 
November 15, 2017
A prize of $1,000 and publication by Perugia Press is given annually for a first or second poetry collection by a woman. Submit a manuscript of 45 to 85 pages with a $27 entry fee by November 15. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

New Writers Awards

Great Lakes Colleges Association
No entry fee
Deadline: 
July 25, 2017

Three prizes are given annually to a poet, a fiction writer, and a creative nonfiction writer to honor their first published books. The winners are also invited to visit several of the 13 GLCA colleges, where they will give readings, meet with students, and occasionally lead discussions and classes. Travel expenses and an honorarium of at least $500 are provided for each visit. Faculty members of the GLCA colleges will judge. Publishers may submit four copies of a book published between Spring 2016 and Spring 2017 by July 25; each submission is limited to one title per category. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

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