The Juniper Literary Prizes

University of Massachusetts Press and the Juniper Literary Prizes

Celebrating 40 years of the Juniper Prize

Dedicated to bringing distinct, fresh voices to a wide audience, the University of Massachusetts Press—in partnership with the University of Massachusetts Amherst MFA Program for Poets and Writers—awards yearly the Juniper Prize for Poetry and the Juniper Prize for Fiction.

The Juniper Literary Prizes confer two prizes each for poetry and for fiction. For poetry, one prize recognizes a first publication. The second is open to previously published poets as well. For fiction, one prize recognizes a short story collection, the second prize may be a novel or short story collection. Each of the four recipients will be awarded $1,000 and publication.

The Juniper Prize takes its name from Fort Juniper, the house that the poet Robert Francis (1901–1987) built by hand in the woods in western Massachusetts. When UMass Press launched the Juniper Prize for Poetry in 1975, we were one of the first university presses to publish contemporary poetry. We introduced the Juniper Prize for Fiction in 2004 to honor outstanding literary fiction.

Our prize-winning poets include Lucille Clifton, Lynda Hull, Richard Jackson, and Arthur Vogelsang. Our prize-winning fiction writers include Rod Val Moore, Andrew Malan Milward, Dwight Yates, and Lynn Lurie. Please click for the full Juniper Prize for Poetry series, and for the full Juniper Prize for Fiction series.

The Juniper Literary Prizes are open for submissions annually from August 1 through September 30. All submissions are judged anonymously by a panel of distinguished poets. For more information and submission guidelines for poetry click here and for fiction, click here.

The sky is on fire with blue
And wind keeps ringing, ringing the fire bell.
—from “Cold” by Robert Francis

Announcing the winners of the 2017 Juniper Literary  Prizes

Amherst, MA– April 1, 2017–The University of Massachusetts Press in partnership with the University of Massachusetts Amherst MFA Program for Poets and Writers announces the winners of the 2017 Juniper Literary Prizes.

For first publication in poetry: Chelsea Jennings is winner of the 2017 Juniper Prize for Poetry: First Book prize for her collection Transmission Loss. Jennings is a Seattle-based writer and educator.

For poetry: Timothy O’Keefe is the winner of the 2017 Juniper Prize for Poetry with his collection You Are the Phenomenology. He lives in Athens, Georgia.

We had two story prizes this year:

Yang Huang is the winner of the 2017 Juniper Prize for Fiction with her collection of ten related stories My Old Faithful. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and works for the University of California at Berkeley.

Malinda McCollum is the winner of the 2017 Juniper Prize for Fiction with her collection The Surprising Place: Stories. She currently teaches writing at the College of Charleston, in Charleston, South Carolina.

The Juniper Literary Prizes are dedicated to bringing distinct, fresh voices to a wide audience. Congratulations to our winners this year and to the long line of poets and writers who have been recognized by the Juniper Literary Prizes in years past.

We wish to express our thanks to all of the writers who participated in this year’s Juniper Prize competition.