Tupelo Press is now reading submissions of literary nonfiction year-round. Please submit only completed manuscripts for our consideration.
Please keep in mind that this is not a contest. Manuscripts are not read anonymously. We hope to find manuscripts we love and want to publish, but understand, please, that Tupelo Press is under no obligation to publish any of the prose manuscripts submitted to us. Please also bear in mind that Tupelo Press accepts very few works of prose — no more than one or two per year. All manuscripts will be read and all decisions made by the editors of Tupelo Press only.
There is a reading fee of $45 for each prose manuscript submitted. Why a reading fee? We are an independent, nonprofit literary press. Reading fees help defray, but do not by any means cover, the significant time involved in reading works of prose, and the cost of publishing the books we commit to. Before submitting, be deeply thoughtful about whether your manuscript is fully ready for publication. Please don’t send works of prose previously submitted to us, unless specifically asked to do so.
Typically preliminary readers assist with evaluating contest entries, and vote on which manuscripts should be honored as finalists and forwarded on to the judge. We assign each preliminary reader 50 book or chapbook-length manuscripts. While this is an honorary position, we would be pleased to feature a bio with information about your creative work on the Tupelo Press staff page, and provide complimentary Tupelo Press books and broadsides as a token of our appreciation.
Please use this link to submit book-length works of literature in translation. We are open to submissions of both poetry and prose, as well hybrid and experimental work. As you prepare your translation submission, there are a few things to note:
--We pay a $2,500 - $3,000 advance for a book of poetry.
--We pay for rights, however, we expect the translator to have made sure that rights are available.
--Whenever possible, please be sure to include the original language text alongside the English language translation.
--We are particularly interested in works of literature being made available in English for the first time.
Thank you, as always, for thinking of Tupelo Press. We look forward to reading your submission!
Submission Period: August 1 — November 30th, 2021
Final Judge: Chen Chen
Scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page to enter and attach your file. Please read the complete guidelines before submitting your manuscript.
The Sunken Garden Chapbook Poetry Prize is a prestigious national poetry prize for adult writers. Established in 2002, the Prize has drawn submissions from around the country that have been judged by renowned poets such as Martha Collins, Patricia Smith and Tony Hoagland. The winner receives a cash prize, an introductory reading at the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival (www.sunkengardenpoetry.org), and publication of a chapbook. Hill-Stead began partnering with Tupelo Press for the publication of the chapbook in 2013.
The Prize includes a cash award of $1,000 in addition to publication by Tupelo Press, 25 copies of the winning title, a book launch, and national distribution with energetic publicity and promotion. Manuscripts are judged anonymously and all finalists will be considered for publication.
Who May Submit
The Sunken Garden Chapbook Poetry Prize is open to anyone writing in the English language, whether living in the United States or abroad. Translations are not eligible for this prize, nor are previously self-published books. Employees of Tupelo Press and authors with books previously published by Tupelo Press are not eligible. Poets submitting work for consideration may be published authors or writers without prior book publications.
Manuscript Requirements & Ethical Guidelines
Submit a previously unpublished, chapbook-length poetry manuscript with a table of contents. There is no mandatory page count. We suggest in the area of 20 to 36 pages, but all manuscripts will be read and considered with full respect, regardless of length, and no manuscript will be rejected simply because it's shorter or longer.
Please include within your manuscript document a single cover page with the title of the manuscript only, so that your manuscript remains anonymous. Submittable provides fields to fill in your name and contact information.
Individual poems in a contest manuscript may have been previously published in magazines, journals, or anthologies, or chapbooks, but the work as a whole must be unpublished. If applicable, include with your manuscript an acknowledgments page for prior publications.
Simultaneous submissions to other publishers or contests are permitted, as long as you notify Tupelo Press promptly if a manuscript is accepted elsewhere.
Kindly note that poets who have personal relationships, current or recent student-teacher or mentoring relationships with the contest judge, or who have attended a program at the same time that the contest judge served on faculty, are not eligible for this prize. Likewise, poets are ineligible where it is reasonably likely that the contest judge will recognize your work.
Before you submit a manuscript to a Tupelo Press competition, please consider exploring the work of the poets we have published. We’re drawn to technical virtuosity combined with abundant imagination; memorable, vivid imagery and strikingly musical approaches to language; willingness to take risks; and an ability to convey penetrating insights into human experience.
Tupelo Press endorses and abides by the Ethical Guidelines of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP), which can be reviewed here, along with more about Tupelo Press’s ethical considerations for literary contests.
Notifications & Results
Submittable automatically confirms receipt of your manuscript. Beyond this, kindly refrain from requesting an individual response to confirm receipt of your manuscript and/or payment. We receive thousands of manuscripts each year and cannot offer individual acknowledgments. Thank you for your understanding.
Results will be announced in winter 2023 via email and will also be posted on our website.
All entries must be certified by Submittable by midnight of October 30th, 2022.
A reading fee of $25 (U.S.) must accompany each submission. Multiple submissions are accepted, so long as each submission is accompanied by a separate $25 reading fee. Why a reading fee? We are an independent, nonprofit literary press. Reading fees help defray, but do not entirely cover, the cost of reviewing manuscripts and publishing the many books we select outside of our competitions.
Please be sure that your document is complete and formatted correctly before uploading.
We look forward to reading your work!