Book Prize Contests hosted by Prairie Schooner

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

The 2016 Book Prize Contest is currently closed to submissions. We'll announce our prize winners later this summer!

Mark your calendars for our 2017 Book Prize Contest: We'll be open to submissions January 15 - March 15, 2017.


Winners will receive $3000 and publication through the University of Nebraska Press.


The Prairie Schooner Book Prize Series welcomes manuscripts from all living writers, including non-US citizens, writing in English. Both unpublished and published writers are welcome to submit manuscripts. However, we will not consider manuscripts that have previously been published, which includes self-publication. Writers may enter both contests. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but we ask that you notify us immediately if your manuscript is accepted for publication somewhere else. No past or present paid employee of Prairie Schooner or the University of Nebraska Press or current faculty or student at the University of Nebraska will be eligible for the prizes.


A $25.00 reading fee must accompany each submission. Submittable supports multiple currency options. Multiple submissions are welcome, with separate fees.

For more guidelines, please select your genre category below.

You may also visit our website here: for more info.

For additional questions not answered within the guidelines, e-mail Katie Schmid, Book Prize Coordinator, at Please note we may not be able to respond to questions already addressed within the guidelines.

Contest Code of Ethics

Prairie Schooner, as a member of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, subscribes to this code of ethics for our annual book series competition: CLMP's community of independent literary publishers believes that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to 1) conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors; 2) to provide clear and specific contest guidelines -- defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and 3) to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public. This code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage.