Literary magazine Prairie Schooner is currently accepting fiction and poetry manuscripts for its popular annual book prize contest. The winners will each receive US$3000 and publication through the University of Nebraska Press.
Entries must unpublished and fit into one of two categories:
- fiction collections of at least 150 pages comprised either entirely of short stories or one novella along with short stories (novels are not eligible)
- poetry collections of at least 50 pages
The competition is open to writers worldwide writing, and both unpublished and published writers are welcome to enter. Manuscripts which have been previously published, including self-published, are not eligible for this contest.
As then prize coordinator Katie Schmid Henson explained in 2016: “Each year, [Prairie Schooner] brings in different guest judges to advise the Editor in Chief in the final stages of the prize, so perspectives and preferences are constantly changing. This is a strength of our prize – the interests and writing styles of recent winners vary widely. We’re always looking for dynamic, exciting writing and are pleased that, though submissions are read blind, our winners have consistently represented the diverse range of submissions we receive.”
In 2018 the fiction prize was won by Liz Breazeale for her manuscript Extinction Events, chosen by guest judges Bernice McFadden and Jack Driscoll with Editor-in-Chief Kwame Dawes. The poetry prize was won by Aria Aber for her manuscript Hard Damage, chosen by guest judges Glenna Luschei and Hilda Raz with Kwame Dawes.
Many past winners of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize have gone on to further publishing success: 2008’s poetry winner Kara Sandito won the Agha Shahid Ali Prize and 2010’s fiction winner Greg Hrbek is a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice pick for his 2015 novel Not on Fire, But Burning.
Entries for the 2019 Prairie Schooner Book Prize close on Friday 15 March. For full entry details visit the prize’s Submittable page.
Prairie Schooner is also reading general submissions until 1 May. Short stories, poems, imaginative essays of general interest, and reviews of current books of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction will all be considered.