Juniper Prizes

Juniper Prize for Poetry

In 1975 the University of Massachusetts Press established the Juniper Prize for Poetry, an annual award for a selected manuscript of poems to be published by the Press. The award is named in honor of the poet Robert Francis (1901-1987), who for many years made his home at Fort Juniper in Amherst. The winning poet now receives a prize of $1,500. All submissions are judged anonymously by a panel of distinguished poets. Submissions are accepted between August 1 and September 30 yearly. For guidelines, click here

Juniper Prize for Fiction

In 2004, in collaboration with the UMass Amherst MFA Program for Poets and Writers, the Press established the Juniper Prize for Fiction to honor and publish outstanding works of literary fiction. The prize is judged each year by a distinguished writer of fiction and carries a cash award of $1,500 upon publication. Submissions are accepted between August 1 and September 30 yearly. For guidelines, click here

Juniper Prize Winners for 2014

David Kutz-Marks is winner of the 2014 Juniper Prize for Poetry. His collection of poems, Violin Playing Herself in a Mirror, will be published by UMass Press in 2015. Kutz-Marks earned an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University in 2009 and a BA in English language and literature from the University of Chicago in 2006. He was recently the featured poet for Verse Daily and The Paris-American, and his poems appear or are forthcoming in Boston ReviewKenyon Review OnlineWestern Humanities ReviewRattleThe Carolina QuarterlyDevil's LakeMeridian, and many other venues. Kutz-Marks lives in Dunmore, Pennsylvania, with his partner and their two children

Sean Bernard is winner of the 2014 Juniper Prize for Fiction. His collection of short stories, Desert, Sonorous, will be published by UMass Press in 2015. Bernard’s debut novel, Studies in the Hereafter, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press. His chapbook novella, Nuclear, was published by CutBank Books in 2013. Bernard’s stories have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous literary magazines, including Santa Monica Review, Glimmer Train, Gigantic, and LIT, and he has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment of the Arts, Poets & Writers, and the University of Arizona Poetry Center. As a faculty member at the University of La Verne in southern California, he directs the undergraduate creative writing program and edits the literary journal Prism Review.

Runners up for the 2014 Juniper Prize for Fiction are Josh Barkan, Məxico: A Collection of Stories, and Leslee Wright, Partial Stranger.