Emily Dickinson First Book Award

The Emily Dickinson First Book Award is designed to recognize an American poet of at least 40 years of age who has yet to publish a first collection of poetry. 

The Poetry Foundation seeks one book-length poetry manuscript to be published as the winner of the Emily Dickinson First Book Award. The competition is open to any American citizen forty years of age or over who has not previously published a book-length volume of poetry. In addition to publication and promotion of the manuscript by Graywolf Press, the winner will receive a prize of $10,000.

Submission Guidelines

Contestants must be 40 years of age or older by February 27, 2017. The contest is open to U.S. citizens or permanent residents with valid tax identification or Social Security numbers. There is no charge to submit for this contest.

Only online submissions will be considered and must be made through this link: poetryfoundation.submittable.com.

All poems must be original. Translations are not accepted. The manuscript must be between 48 pages and 80 pages. Manuscripts must be paginated. Begin paginating the manuscript with the first poem; each new poem must start a new page. Submissions must be in one of the following formats: pdf, docx, or doc.

A brief biography citing any previous chapbook, anthology, or magazine publications should accompany the manuscript. Publishing credits should include title of poem, where published, and when. Writers who have had chapbooks of poetry printed in editions of 300 copies or more are ineligible. A manuscript previously submitted to the Emily Dickinson contest may not be reentered unless it was selected as a finalist.

Submissions are limited to one manuscript per person. All submissions will remain the property of the author. The winner must grant exclusive first publication rights to the Poetry Foundation and its publication partner.

Online submissions will open January 23, 2017 and close February 27, 2017. The winner will be notified by April 30, 2017 and publicly announced at the Pegasus Awards ceremony in June, 2017. The winner will be required to verify age and citizenship or resident status, as well as provide tax identification information before the award can be made.

This is an occasional contest that is not held annually.

Other Information

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