Enter to Win the 2015 Dorset Prize, Judged by Former US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky
Submission period: September 1 — December 31, 2015
Final Judge: Robert Pinsky
A $3,000 cash prize and a week-long residency at MASS MoCA worth $1,500 in addition to publication by Tupelo Press, 20 copies of the winning title, a book launch, and national distribution with energetic publicity and promotion. Manuscripts are judged anonymously and all finalists will be considered for publication. Please read the complete guidelines before submitting your manuscript.
The final judge for the 2015 Dorset Prize will be former US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, who has asked to read not the usual 12 to 15 finalists’ mss, but all 100 of our “top” submissions!
We’re absolutely delighted that Mr. Pinsky will be so closely involved in the selection process this year, and we look forward to the world of possibilities his extraordinary generosity opens up.
Robert Pinsky was born and raised in Long Branch, New Jersey. He graduated from Long Branch High School, as had his parents, and went on to college at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and then to graduate work at Stanford, where he held a Stegner Fellowship.
His Selected Poems (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux) was published in 2011. His previous books of poetry include Gulf Music (2008), Jersey Rain (2000), The Want Bone (1990) and The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems 1966-1996. His best-selling translation The Inferno of Dante (1994) was a Book-of-the-Month-Club Editor’s Choice, and received both the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award. His prose books include The Life of David (2005), The Situation of Poetry (1976) and The Sounds of Poetry (1998).
The CD PoemJazz, with Grammy-winning pianist Laurence Hobgood, is released by Circumstantial Productions. Robert has also performed reading poems with Ben Allison, Bobby Bradford, Vijay Iyer, Mike Manieri, Stan Strickland and other jazz musicians.
Among his awards and honors are the William Carlos Williams Prize, the Harold Washington Award from the City of Chicago, the Italian Premio Capri, the PEN-Volcker Award and the Korean Manhae Prize. He recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the PEN American Center.
Robert Pinsky founded The Favorite Poem Project, including the videos that can be seen at www.favoritepoem.org, while serving an unprecedented three terms as United States Poet Laureate.
Who May Submit
The Dorset Prize is open to anyone writing in the English language, whether living in the United States or abroad. Translations are not eligible for this prize, nor are previously self-published books. Employees of Tupelo Press and authors with books previously published by Tupelo Press are not eligible. Poets submitting work for consideration may be published authors or writers without prior book publications.
We continue to be impressed by the quality of work we see and generally receive many, many more worthy manuscripts than we are able to publish. In addition, each of our contests and reading periods has a different team of editors, guest editors, esteemed readers, and final judge. And of course our tastes and needs evolve from year to year with each production schedule. For all of these reasons and more, please know you are welcome to submit your manuscript even if you have already entered it in one or more of our contests or reading periods in the past, and even if you have a manuscript pending in a recent submission opportunity. Thank you for honoring us with your work — we’re excited to see what wonders arrive over the transom.
Manuscript Requirements & Ethical Guidelines
Submit a previously unpublished, full-length poetry manuscript with a table of contents. There is no mandatory page count. We suggest in the area of 48 to 88 pages of poems, but all manuscripts will be read and considered with full respect, regardless of length, and no manuscript will be rejected simply because it’s shorter or longer.
If you are submitting a manuscript online, within the document include a single cover page with the title of the manuscript only, so that your manuscript document remains anonymous. Submittable provides fields to fill in your contact information: name, address, telephone number, and email address.
If you are submitting a paper manuscript, include two cover pages: one with the title of the manuscript only, the other with title of manuscript, name, address, telephone number, and email address. Cover letters or biography notes are optional; if included, these will not be read until the conclusion of the contest.
Individual poems in a contest manuscript may have been previously published in magazines, journals, or anthologies, or chapbooks, but the work as a whole must be unpublished. If applicable, include with your manuscript an acknowledgments page for prior publications.
Simultaneous submissions to other publishers or contests are permitted, as long as you notify Tupelo Press promptly if a manuscript is accepted elsewhere.
Before you submit a manuscript to a Tupelo Press competition, please consider exploring the work of the poets we have published. We’re drawn to technical virtuosity combined with abundant imagination; memorable, vivid imagery and strikingly musical approaches to language; willingness to take risks; and an ability to convey penetrating insights into human experience.
Tupelo Press endorses and abides by the Ethical Guidelines of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP), which can be reviewed here, along with more about Tupelo Press’s ethical considerations for literary contests.
Notification of Receipt
To confirm receipt of your paper manuscript, include a self-addressed stamped postcard.
The online Submittable system automatically confirms receipt.
Beyond these notifications, kindly refrain from requesting an individual response to confirm receipt of your manuscript and/or payment. We receive thousands of manuscripts each year and cannot offer individual acknowledgments. Thank you for your understanding.
Please do not enclose a SASE for return of manuscript. All paper manuscripts will be recycled at the conclusion of the competition, except those under consideration for future publication.
Notification of Results
To receive mailed notification of the winner and finalists, send a self-addressed stamped envelope.
Results will be announced in Spring 2016. We notify all entrants in three ways:
- Via postal mail to those who included a SASE with their manuscript.
- Via email to those who included an email address with their contact information.
We post the results on our website.
All entries must be postmarked or certified by Submittable by midnight (EST) of December 31, 2015.
A reading fee of $28 (U.S.) must accompany each submission. Multiple submissions are accepted, so long as each submission is accompanied by a separate reading fee. Why a reading fee? We are an independent, nonprofit literary press. Reading fees help defray, but do not entirely cover, the cost of reviewing manuscripts and publishing the many books we select outside of our competitions.
If you are submitting your manuscript online, you will be prompted to pay via Submittable.
If you are mailing your manuscript to us, please enclose a check or money order for the reading fee, payable to Tupelo Press.
Submit Your Manuscript Now
There are two ways to submit your manuscript:
- Via Submittable: Submit Beginning on September 1
Be sure that your document is complete and formatted correctly before uploading.
- Via postal mail. Tupelo Press encourages online submissions to save paper but we still welcome mailed manuscripts.
Be sure to include your check or money order.
Mail your domestic submission to:
Tupelo Press Dorset Prize, PO Box 1767, North Adams, MA 01247
Mail your international submission to:
Tupelo Press Dorset Prize, 243 Union Street, # 305, North Adams MA 01247 USA