Juniper Prize for Poetry

Juniper Prize for Poetry

The Juniper Prize for Poetry is awarded annually for an original manuscript of poems. The University of Massachusetts Press publishes the winning manuscript, and the author receives a $1,500 award upon publication.

During even-numbered years (2014, 2016, 2018), and THIS is an even-numbered year, the judges will consider only manuscripts by writers who already have published at least one full-length book of poetry. Chapbooks do not count as published books.

During odd-numbered years (2015, 2017, 2019), the judges will consider only manuscripts by writers who have not previously published a book of poetry. 

Submissions will only be accepted between August 1 and September 30, 2014. The entry fee is $25. All manuscripts will be judged anonymously by a panel of distinguished poets. 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

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, 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.

3. To submit online, email Poetry@umpress.umass.edu.

A. In the body of the email include your name, contact information, and submission title. Please include information about your previously published books: title, page count, publisher, and year of publication. Also include a list of acknowledgments for poems in the manuscript that have been published or are slated for publication in literary journals and/or anthologies.

B. Attach your manuscript file to this email, Poetry@umpress.umass.edu.  Manuscript should include a table of contents.

C. Pay the $25 submission fee by credit card using UMass Quickpay. Enter your name, email address, and title of manuscript on the information page, so we can match your payment with your submission. Any manuscript that does not have a corresponding payment will be disqualified.

You may withdraw your submission at any time by sending an email to Poetry@umpress.umass.edu indicating your wish to withdraw.

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. List of acknowledgments for poems in the manuscript that have been published or are slated for publication in literary journals and/or anthologies

c. The following information about any previously published books: title, page count, publisher, and year of publication

d. All mailed 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 "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. Entries of more than one manuscript within the same year (multiple submissions not allowed).

3. Translations.

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

5. Chapbooks will not be accepted.

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 2015 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 competition coordinator, Karen Fisk