Juniper Prize for Fiction

Juniper Prize for Fiction

Since 1976, the University of Massachusetts Press has annually awarded the Juniper Prize for Poetry, publishing the winning collection of poems. Since 1990, it has also published the annual winner of the Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction, in cooperation with the Association of Writers and Writing Programs.  In 2004, in collaboration with the UMass Amherst MFA Program for Poets and Writers, the Press established a third contest—the Juniper Prize for Fiction—to honor and publish outstanding works of literary fiction. The prize carries a cash award of $1,500 upon publication.

Competition guidelines

Submissions will only be only accepted between August 1 and September 30, 2014. The entry fee is $25, and all manuscripts will be judged anonymously by a distinguished writer of fiction. The award winner will be announced at our website in April 2014, with publication slated for the following Spring.


1. The competition is open to all writers in English, whether or not they are U.S. citizens. Employees and students of the University of Massachusetts are not eligible for the award.

2. Novels, novellas, and collections of stories are all eligible. Work that has previously appeared in magazines, in whole or in part, may be included, but should be so identified on the cover sheet.

3. Manuscripts must be at least 150 pages and no longer than 350 pages.

We accept submissions by mail.

Mailed submission guidelines

1. Manuscripts must be typed double-spaced in 12-point type (preferably Times New Roman), with pages numbered consecutively. Clean, legible photocopies are acceptable. Do not send the manuscript in a binder—instead, use two rubber bands and mail it in a padded envelope.

2. Each submission should have two cover pages—one listing the title of the manuscript and the author's name, address, phone number, and e-mail address; and a second page listing only the title. The author's name should not appear after the first cover page.

3. Please include a page with information about any previously published books: title, page count, publisher, and year of publication.

4. All manuscripts must be accompanied by a non-refundable $25 submission fee, check or money order payable in U. S. dollars. Please make checks payable to the University of Massachusetts Press. Please indicate "FICTION/your manuscript title" in the memo field on the check.

5. Mailed manuscripts must have a postmark between August 1 and September 30.

Multiple submissions

1. You may submit your manuscript to other publishers while it is being considered for this competition, but if it is accepted for publication elsewhere, please notify us immediately.

2. You may submit more than one manuscript to the competition as long as each submission is accompanied by a $25 check, meets the eligibility requirements, and does not include material submitted to us in another manuscript.

Mail submissions to:

Juniper Prize for Fiction
University of Massachusetts Press
East Experiment Station
671 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003

Manuscripts will not be returned. If you wish, you may also include a self-addressed, stamped post card for confirmation of receipt.

UMass Press assumes no responsibility for lost or damaged manuscripts, and we suggest that you retain a copy for your protection.  The winner will be notified by the end of March 2013 and an announcement will be placed at UMass Press’s website in early April. No information about the winner will be released before the April announcement, and UMass Press will not be able to provide feedback on manuscripts submitted for competition.

If you have questions about the competition, please contact competition coordinator, Karen Fisk.