Juniper Prize for Poetry

Juniper Prize for Poetry

The Juniper Prize for Poetry is awarded annually to two original manuscripts of poems: one first book prize for a previously unpublished author and one prize for a previously published author. The University of Massachusetts Press publishes the winning manuscripts and the authors receive 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 winners 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 for Poetry winners are not eligible.

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

3. Translations are not eligible.

4. Chapbooks are not eligible.

5. Collected works of previously published poems are not eligible.

Submission guidelines

1. Submit your manuscript online through Submittable:

2. Manuscript files must be between 50 and 70 pages in 12-point, standard font, with pages numbered consecutively.

3. 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.

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

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 winners 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].