Perugia Press Prize: Open & Updates

We opened for submissions to our annual contest on August 1, and we’ll be open through November 15. We are looking for manuscripts from women poets who have not yet published more than one full-length collection. The full guidelines can be read on our contest page, and we use Submittable for accepting submissions. We’ve also made a few changes related to our contest and prize that we’d like you to know about.

Some of our past winners; your book could be next!

One of our priorities is to highlight marginalized voices, which is why we publish women. We welcome and value work by BIWOC, yet we realize such work is underrepresented in our catalog. We’ve added an optional and anonymous demographic question to our entry form in order to better understand this imbalance. We are also expanding how and where we advertise for our contest with the intention of reaching a wider audience.

We plan to achieve more inclusive representation in the folks who read the work entrusted to us. We are actively looking to increase the number of BIWOC who read for and judge our contest. Please write to us using the “Contact” page if you’d like to learn more about what being a volunteer reader or judge entails. We are also revisiting the language and instructions given to our volunteer readers and judges to ensure we are reading expansively and without erasure or misunderstanding.

Regarding language, we updated our tagline from “The Best New Women Poets” to “Publishing New Women Poets since 1997.” We wanted a description that showcases our history and focuses on our mission to publish emerging women poets. While “best” was meant to be a celebration of our poets, and taglines tend toward the hyperbolic, we have intentionally moved away from the term “best.” We publish one poet a year, the winner of our contest, but we don’t claim to define what is “best” since our scope is limited and poetry is boundless.

We’ve added a leadership position to our press that provides support for our incoming poets. One of our poets will serve in the role of Poet Liaison to the Board, which will include mentoring for the winner of our annual contest, as well as provide a conduit between our poets and our board. The inaugural poet to serve in this role is Lynne Thompson, author of Beg No Pardon.

Our press is in a time of both reflection and action regarding antiracism. We are engaged in working toward equity in our contest and beyond, and we intend to share our plans and actions as they develop. We are open to your ideas and feedback anytime – contact us!