Juniper Prize for Poetry

Juniper Prize for Poetry

The Juniper Prize for Poetry is awarded annually to two original manuscripts of poems. One prize will recognize a first publication. The second prize will be open to previously published poets as well as poets who have not yet published a book of poetry. University of Massachusetts Press publishes the winning manuscripts and the authors receive a $1,000 award upon publication.

Submissions will only be accepted between August 1 and September 30 yearly. The entry fee is $30. All manuscripts will be judged anonymously by UMass Amherst MFA program professors. The competition is open to all writers in English, whether or not they are U.S. citizens.

We accept submissions electronically or by mail. Please see guidelines below for electronic and mail submissions.

Electronic submission guidelines

Please submit at

1. Manuscript files must be between 50 and 70 pages (12-point Times New Roman preferred) with the pages numbered consecutively. Acceptable file types are doc, docx, rtf, pdf, and odt.

2. Do not include your name on any of the pages of the manuscript file. The first page of the manuscript should include the title of the collection only.

Mail submission guidelines

1. Manuscripts must be between 50 and 70 pages (12-point Times New Roman preferred) with the pages numbered consecutively.

2. Include 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. Include the following along with your manuscript:

a. Paginated contents page

b. A note indicating if this would be a first book for you.

c. All mailed manuscripts must be accompanied by a non-refundable $30 submission fee, check or money order payable in U.S. dollars. Please make checks payable to the University of Massachusetts Press. Please indicate "POETRY/your manuscript title" in the memo field on the check.

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

Ineligible submissions

1. Manuscripts by more than one author.

2. Translations.

3. Manuscripts from current employees and students of the University of Massachusetts, and former Juniper Prize winners.

4. Chapbooks will not be accepted.

5. Collected works of previously published poems. 

Mail submissions to:

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

Manuscripts will not be returned.  Please watch our website in April for announcement of the winner.

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 and an announcement will be placed at UMass Press’s website in early April, with publication slated for the following Spring. No information about the winner will be released before the April announcement, and the Press will not be able to provide feedback on manuscripts submitted for the competition.

If you have questions about the competition, please contact Juniper Prize coordinator, Mary Dougherty, UMass Press Director, at