NOTE: Contestants may submit online. Entries will be accepted only if submitted electronically September 15 through November 15, 2013. All manuscripts must be accompanied by a $30 entry fee.
The judge for 2013 was John Ashbery.
- The Walt Whitman Award is given to honor a poet's first book. Contestants must be living citizens of the United States who have neither published, nor committed to publish, a volume of poetry 40 pages or more in length and in an edition of 500 or more copies, either in the U.S. or abroad. Books on a smaller scale, such as chapbooks and limited editions, will not disqualify a poet.
- Manuscripts must be of original poetry, in English, by one poet. There are no restrictions on the style of poetry or subject matter. Translations are not eligible.
- Manuscripts must be between 50 and 100 pages, typed single-spaced (unless the poems are meant to be presented using non-standard spacing). Multiple poems may not appear on a single page. The manuscript itself should not contain any information that would reveal the identity of its author. Illustrations are not accepted. Contestants who have published poems in magazines may include those in the manuscript submitted, along with acknowledgment notes. See Submission Guidelines
- Contestants may submit manuscripts elsewhere simultaneously, but must notify the Academy immediately if a manuscript becomes committed to another press. A manuscript committed to another press is not eligible for the Walt Whitman Award.
- Notification of contest results will be made by email. The Academy expects the judge's decision by April 2014. Louisiana State University Press will publish the winning manuscript in a paperback edition within one year of the judge's decision.
- The winner will receive $5,000 and a one-month residency at the Vermont Studio Center.
- The Academy of American Poets will purchase from the publisher copies of the winning book for distribution to its members. No royalties will be paid to the author on the copies distributed by the Academy. The standard contract of the publisher will govern production, distribution, and royalties for all other copies.
- The Academy of American Poets cannot consider manuscript revisions during the course of the contest. The winning poet will have an opportunity to revise before publication.
- All correspondence concerning the contest should be addressed to the Academy. Any correspondence addressed to the judge will be forwarded to the Academy unread.
- Poets are not eligible to apply if they are close friends or colleagues, were mentored by the judge, or have studied with the judge in full-time accredited courses within the last 5 years.
Guidelines for Submitting
- The decisions of The Academy of American Poets as to eligibility are final. The Academy reserves the right to withhold the Walt Whitman Award in any given year.
- Online submissions (.doc and .pdf files formats) can be made by filling out the entry form at www.poets.org/submit.
- Contestants who have published poems in magazines may include acknowledgment notes in the "Comments" field of the submission form. Do not include an acknowledgements page in your manuscript file.
- One title page is requested and it should list the manuscript title only. The author's name must not appear on any page of the manuscript.
- Each submission requires the payment of an entry fee of $30. Once you have begun the submission process online, you will be given the option to pay by PayPal or credit card.
- The Academy assumes no responsibility for manuscripts not received due to electronic error. Contest applicants can verify the status of their submission at any time by logging back in to the submission manager.
All entrants will be notified of the results by email.
Manuscripts submitted without entry fee will not be considered.
For more information, please contact:
TEL (212) 274-0343 ext. 13
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