Switchback Books Gatewood Prize

If you’re a woman and write mad-skilled poetry, you should submit a manuscript to this prize, because the publisher rocks, the judge is one of my favorite poets and the books this imprint has published in the past have been pretty fantastic  (Kathleen Rooney’s “Oneiromance” being an outstanding example).  So why shouldn’t yours be in their company?  Here’s the details, which I copied from Dolly Lemke’s blog about her reading series, “The Dollhouse,” which can be found here.  That should be enough reason to submit, really–Dolly Lemke.  It just gets better and better.  Hopefully you are a woman and a rockin’ writer.  If so, read on:

Switchback Books wants to read your work! Submit to The Gatewood Prize!

The Gatewood Prize

The Gatewood Prize is Switchback Books’ annual competition for a first or secondfull-length (48-80 pp.) collection of poems by a woman writing in the English language. It is named after Emma Gatewood, the first woman to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail.

Click here to download our contest flyer [PDF].

2011 Judge: Harryette Mullen

Reading Period: April 1-June 1, 2011

Harryette MullenHarryette Mullen‘s most recent books are Recyclopedia (Graywolf Press, 2006) and Sleeping with the Dictionary (University of California Press, 2002), a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Mullen was the 2009 recipient of the Academy of American Poets’ Fellowship Award. She teaches African American literature and creative writing in the English Department at the University of California, Los Angeles.

General Terms:

Poet must be a woman; our definition of “woman” is broad and includes transsexual, transgender, genderqueer, and female-identified individuals.

Multiple submissions are acceptable, but each manuscript must be entered under separate cover and fee.

You must let us know immediately if your manuscript is accepted by another publisher while under our consideration.

No revisions to submitted manuscripts will be considered; the winning manuscript may be revised before publication.

Translations ineligible.

Manuscripts by close friends and former students of the judge are ineligible. If the judge would recognize your manuscript for any reason, please wait until next year to enter the contest.

Co-written collections are eligible provided both poets meet all eligibility requirements.

Submissions will be read by Switchback editors and staff members. We will select ten manuscripts to send on to the judge, who will choose the final winner.

Manuscripts remain anonymous until a winner is selected. Please remove any identifying references from your manuscript (including those in the body of the manuscript).

Entries that do not meet these terms may be disqualified. Please email becca [at] switchbackbooks [dot] com with any questions.

Manuscript Requirements:

Manuscripts should be between 48 and 80 pages, paginated.

Please include a cover page with ONLY the title of the manuscript.

Table of contents recommended.

No acknowledgments page.


You will be notified of the winner and finalists of the contest via email.

Entry Fee:

Option 1:$18 for reading fee only

Option 2: $25 for reading fee and a book of your choice from our catalog (a 50% discount). Please specify which book on the Submishmash form; if you don’t specify, we’ll send you a random book.

All payments will be accepted via Submishmash. We do not accept cash, checks, or money orders.

Submission Format:

Please visit our page at Submishmash to submit your manuscript:



Manuscripts will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. on June 1, 2011.



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