Juniper Prize for Creative Nonfiction

Juniper Prize for Creative Nonfiction

The Juniper Prize for Creative Nonfiction is awarded annually to one original manuscript. The University of Massachusetts Press publishes the winning manuscript and the author receives a $1,000 award upon publication.

Competition guidelines

Submissions will only be accepted each year between August 1 and September 30 (11:59pm EDT). The entry fee is $30. All manuscripts will be judged anonymously by a faculty-judge from the distinguished University of Massachusetts MFA program. The winner will be announced at the University of Massachusetts Press website in April, with publication slated for the following spring.


1. The competition is open to all writers in English, whether or not they are U.S. residents. However, current employees and students of the University of Massachusetts and previous Juniper Prize winners are not eligible.

2. While submissions might span memoir, essay, literary journalism, or biography, we seek fresh and innovative projects.

3. Selections of the work that have previously appeared in magazines are eligible, but should be so identified in the cover letter.

4. Self-published works are ineligible.

5. Manuscripts by more than one author are not eligible.

6. Translations are not eligible.

Submission guidelines

1. Submit your manuscript online through Submittable:

2. Manuscript files must be between 150 and 300 pages, double-spaced in 12-point standard font with pages numbered consecutively. Acceptable file types are doc, docx, and pdf.

3. Upload a separate cover letter with complete contact information and acknowledgements or include this information in the cover letter field in Submittable.

4. Do not include your name on any of the pages of the manuscript file; the first page of the manuscript should include only the title of the manuscript. In order to ensure a fair and equitable judging process, please redact, change, or remove any occurrences of your full name in works of autobiography or memoir. (If your manuscript is selected, the full name can, of course, be restored.)

Multiple submissions

You may submit your manuscript to other publishers while it is being considered for this competition, but if it is accepted for publication elsewhere, please notify us immediately.

You may submit more than one manuscript to the competition as long as each submission is accompanied by the $30 fee, meets the eligibility requirements, and does not include material submitted to us in another manuscript.

General information

Manuscripts and entry fees will not be returned.

The University of Massachusetts Press and the University of Massachusetts MFA program will not provide feedback on manuscripts submitted for competition.

The decision of the judge is final. If they find no manuscript that, in his or her estimation, merits publication and the Juniper Prize, no winner may be chosen for that cycle.

The winner will be notified by the end of March and an announcement of the winners will be placed at the University of Massachusetts Press’s website in early April. No information about the winners will be released before the April announcement. (Please note: this timeline may be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.)

Please send questions about the Juniper Prize competitions to [email protected].