2007 Prairie Schooner Book Prize Series Competition

The Prairie Schooner Book Prize Series Competition awards $3,000 and publication through the University of Nebraska Press for a book of short fiction and a book of poetry. One runner-up in each category will receive a $1,000 prize.


Contest Code of Ethics

Manuscript Selection Process



The Prairie Schooner Book Prize Series welcomes manuscripts from all writers, including non-US citizens writing in English. Both unpublished and published writers are welcome to submit manuscripts. Writers may enter both contests. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but we ask that you notify us immediately if your manuscript is accepted for publication somewhere else. No past or present paid employee of Prairie Schooner or the University of Nebraska Press or current faculty or student at the University of Nebraska will be eligible for the prizes.


We prefer that fiction manuscripts be at least 150 pages long and poetry manuscripts at least 50 pages long. Stories and poems previously published in periodicals are eligible for inclusion. Novels are not considered; one novella along with stories will be considered  (please don't send single novellas or a collection of novellas).

Xeroxed copies are acceptable. Please do not bind manuscripts with anything other than a binder clip or rubber band. The author's name should not appear on the manuscript. All entries will be read anonymously.

Please send two cover pages: one listing only the title of the manuscript, and the other listing the author’s name, address, telephone number, and email address.

An acknowledgements page listing the publication histories of individual stories or poems may be included, if desired.

No application forms are necessary.

Entry Fee:

A $25 processing fee must accompany each submission, payable to Prairie Schooner.


Please include a self-addressed postage-paid postcard for confirmation of manuscript receipt. Please use a standard postcard -- small index cards will not be accepted by the post-office.

A stamped, self-addressed business size envelope must accompany the submission for notification of results.

No manuscripts will be returned. All non-winning manuscripts will be recycled.

Winners will be announced on this website on or before July 1st, 2007. Results will be mailed shortly thereafter.

Address and Deadlines:

Manuscripts should be mailed with a postmark between January 15th and March 15th, 2007 to:

Prairie Schooner Prize Series
Attn: Fiction or Poetry
201 Andrews Hall
PO Box 880334
Lincoln NE 68588-0334

Any questions, please send an email to kgrey2@unl.edu

For information on submitting to the magazine, please see our submission guidelines.


Contest Code of Ethics:

Prairie Schooner, as a member of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, subscribes to this code of ethics for our annual Book Series Competition:

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.

The Prairie Schooner Book Prize Series Manuscript Selection Process:

We employ a Book Series Coordinator who works for the contest only in an administrative capacity. Her office is far removed from the Series Editor’s office and from the magazine’s editorial offices. She receives all manuscripts, opens and removes identifying information, and assigns each a number. Her data base is confined to a dedicated computer in her locked office. All manuscripts are read anonymously.

We employ a group of experienced, paid screeners that changes from year to year. The Coordinator assigns anonymous, numbered manuscripts to each screener, who receives instruction in ethical selection procedures. No current or former paid employee of Prairie Schooner or the University of Nebraska Press, nor any member of the faculty, nor any student at the University of Nebraska is eligible for the contests. Screeners must return any manuscripts familiar or recognizable to them; such manuscripts will be reassigned to a different screener.

Each screener reads all manuscripts assigned and selects 3 top choices from his/her group of approximately 50. The screener provides evaluative paragraphs about his or her top three choices. The Coordinator receives the returned manuscripts from each screener and forwards the screeners’ top choices to a senior reader.

The top three selections from each screener are given by the Coordinator to one of two senior readers. These senior readers choose up to ten finalists from among the screeners' choices. These manuscripts are sent to members of our national literary board—two are selected each year, in each genre—for further readings. Their ranked responses are sent directly to Hilda Raz, the Senior Editor of the Prairie Schooner Book Series, who makes the final selections in both poetry and short fiction, taking into consideration the comments of the literary board, senior readers, and screeners.

Throughout the screening process and until the winners are selected, only the Book Series Coordinator, who may not serve as a screener, knows the identity of the writers.

Contact Information:

Any questions, please contact Kelly Grey Carlisle at mailto:kgrey2@unlnotes.unl.edu


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