first book awards

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.

A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize

BOA Editions
Entry Fee: 
$25
Deadline: 
November 30, 2019

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

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.

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.

Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize

Persea Books
Entry Fee: 
$30
Deadline: 
October 31, 2019
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 only 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
Entry Fee: 
$30
Deadline: 
September 30, 2019
Five 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, a novella or novel, and a book of creative nonfiction. 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, novella, memoir, book of narrative nonfiction, biography, or essay collection of 150 to 300 pages with a $30 entry fee by September 30. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Honickman First Book Prize

American Poetry Review
Entry Fee: 
$25
Deadline: 
October 31, 2019

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. Li-Young Lee will judge. Submit a manuscript of at least 48 pages with a $25 entry fee by October 31. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Walt Whitman Award

Academy of American Poets
Entry Fee: 
$35
Deadline: 
November 1, 2019
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. Harryette Mullen will judge. Using only 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.

Poetry Prize

Perugia Press
Entry Fee: 
$27
Deadline: 
November 15, 2019
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.

Emerging Poets Contest

Boulevard
Entry Fee: 
$16
Deadline: 
June 1, 2019
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. Using the online submission system, 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.

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