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First Book Award for Poetry

Prize: $1,000 and Publication

Deadline: April 1, 2018


• One copy of your manuscript of 48-80 pages.

• An acknowledgments page may be included.

• $20.00 reading fee made payable to Zone 3 Press.*

*Reading fee includes a one-year subscription to Zone 3.


• Submissions to the 2018 Zone 3 Press First Book Award are open.

• Please include one title page with the title only (no personal identification) in your document.

• Click here to complete the submission manager form.

• In the genre field, scroll down to choose "First Book Award in Poetry," and upload your manuscript. 

• You will be directed to another webpage for secure payment.

• Please upload by April 1, 2018.

Eligibility and Additional Considerations

• Anyone who has not published a full-length collection of poems (48 pages or more) is eligible; those with chapbooks may participate.

• The final judge is Jennifer Givhan. 

• Current and former students and faculty of APSU are not eligible to enter. In addition, Zone 3 Press will not accept manuscripts from contestants who have previously studied with or have a personal relationship with the announced judge. 

• Winner will be notified by e-mail or telephone.

• Questions should be addressed to Andrea Spofford or Susan Wallace.


Jennifer Givhan is the author of Landscape with Headless Mama (2015 Pleiades Editors’ Prize) and Protection Spell (2016 Miller Williams Series, University of Arkansas Press). Her honors include an NEA Fellowship, a PEN/Rosenthal Emerging Voices Fellowship, The Frost Place Latin@ Scholarship, the 2015 Lascaux Review Poetry Prize, and The Pinch Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in Best of the Net, Best New Poets, AGNI, Crazyhorse, Blackbird, and Kenyon Review. She is Poetry Editor at Tinderbox Poetry Journal and teaches at The Poetry Barn.


We subscribe to the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) Contest Code of Ethics:

“CLMP’s community of independent literary publishers believes that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to 1) conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors; 2) to provide clear and specific contest guidelines defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and 3) to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public. This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage.”


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