Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) sponsors the Award Series, 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is open to all authors writing in English regardless of nationality or residence and is available to published and unpublished authors alike.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 screener’s review manuscripts for the judges. Typically, the screeners will select ten manuscripts in each genre for each judge’s final evaluations.
The mission of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) is to foster literary achievement, to advance the art of writing as essential to a good education, and to serve the makers, teachers, students, and readers of contemporary writing. Because literature is a source of awareness and enchantment, it is a medium for wisdom, creativity, and joy. Because literature maps their shared experiences, it is a builder of communities. AWP’s purpose is to cultivate the making and appreciation of contemporary literature along with the attendant virtues: wisdom, creativity, community, empathy, compassion, solidarity, and joy.
As an employer, AWP is dedicated to the creation and nurturing of a workplace environment in which everyone feels valued as a dignified member of the community of writers, regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information. AWP sponsors six contests and also provides an extensive listing of literary grants, awards, and publication opportunities available from organizations and publishers throughout North America.
- Donald Hall Prize for Poetry: $5,500, Publication from the University of Pittsburgh Press
- Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction: $5,500, Publication from the University of Massachusetts Press
- AWP Prize for the Novel: $2,500, Publication from New Issues Press
- AWP Prize for Creative Nonfiction: $2,500, Publication from the University of Georgia Press
How to Apply:
03 March 2019
- 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.
- All nationality or residence are eligible.
- Published and unpublished authors are eligible.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Applicants may submit manuscript to other publishers while it is under consideration by the Award Series, but must notify AWP immediately via Submittable if the manuscript is accepted elsewhere
How to Apply:
- Please upload the applicant’s manuscript to AWP’s submission system as a doc, docx, txt, pdf, or rtf document at awp.submittable.com/submit
- Applicants 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.
- Applicants 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.
- No list of acknowledgements should accompany the manuscript.
03 March 2019