Our editors are looking for high quality literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that combine a distinct voice with a distinct vision. Our editors seek out and solicit promising work from authors that they encounter in the pages of magazines, at writing conferences, and in other venues.
Please note that we do not accept unsolicited submissions outside of open periods and contests.
The Graywolf Press African Fiction Prize
The 2021 submission period is now closed. Please note that we anticipate announcing the winner of the African Fiction Prize by February 2022, and will notify everyone regarding the status of their submission at that time. We appreciate your understanding that we may not be able to respond to inquiries regarding the status of your submission in the meantime, but every eligible submission will be thoroughly considered.
The Graywolf Press African Fiction Prize is awarded for a first novel manuscript by an author primarily residing in Africa. Founded in 2017 to facilitate direct access to publishing in the United States for a new generation of African writers, the prize is awarded every other year. Winners receive publication by Graywolf Press and a $12,000 advance.
Submissions must be full-length, previously unpublished novel manuscripts, either originally written in English or a complete English translation. If the submission is a translation, the translator need not live in Africa and the original-language book may be previously published. Agents are welcome to submit manuscripts for consideration.
The House of Rust by Khadija Abdalla Bajaber is the inaugural winner of the prize, and it will be published by Graywolf Press in October 2021. The next winner, If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English by Noor Naga, will be published by Graywolf Press in April 2022.
A. Igoni Barrett, the prize judge for the 2017–2021 prize cycles, is the author of the acclaimed novel Blackass and the story collection Love Is Power, or Something Like That. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Chinua Achebe Center and the Norman Mailer Center, as well as a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Residency. He lives in Nigeria.
The Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize
Graywolf awards the Nonfiction Prize to a previously unpublished, full-length work of outstanding literary nonfiction by a writer who is not yet established in the genre.
The Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize seeks to acknowledge—and honor—the great traditions of literary nonfiction. Whether grounded in observation, autobiography, or research, much of the most beautiful, daring, and original writing over the past few decades can be categorized as nonfiction.
The most recent winner is Lars Horn for Voice of the Fish. Previous winners include Names for Light: A Family History by Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint, The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang, Riverine: A Memoir from Anywhere but Here by Angela Palm, Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Spaceflight by Margaret Lazarus Dean, The Empathy Exams: Essays by Leslie Jamison, The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness by Kevin Young, Notes from No Man’s Land: American Essays by Eula Biss, Black Glasses Like Clark Kent: A GI’s Secret from Postwar Japan by Terese Svoboda, Neck Deep and Other Predicaments by Ander Monson, and Frantic Transmissions to and from Los Angeles: An Accidental Memoir by Kate Braverman.
The Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize is judged by the Graywolf editors. We accept submissions via Submittable, and agents are welcome to submit manuscripts for consideration. The next submission period will open February 1, 2022 and close on February 28, 2022 (PST). Further details and instructions will be posted on this page.
Graywolf Press partners with the Academy of American Poets and Cave Canem to publish and promote the work of new and emerging writers.
Walt Whitman Award
The Walt Whitman Award is a $5,000 first book publication prize given to an American poet. In addition to publication and promotion by Graywolf Press, the winner receives an all-expenses-paid six-week residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Umbria, Italy, and a trip to New York City to attend the American Poets Prizes ceremony. The Academy of American Poets purchases copies of the winning book to distribute to thousands of its members. For more information please visit the Academy of American Poets website. Submissions are accepted between September 1 and September 30 of each year.
Cave Canem Poetry Prize
Graywolf Press is one of the publishers of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, a first book award dedicated to the discovery of exceptional manuscripts by African American poets. Graywolf publishes every third winner of the prize. More information is available on the Cave Canem website.
Agents may submit nonfiction submissions to the appropriate editor for consideration. Graywolf accepts submissions for the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize every other year; the next open submission period will be in 2022.
The winner of the 2020 Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize is Lars Horn, for Voice of the Fish. Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint was the winner of the 2018 prize for Zat Lun, forthcoming. Previous winners include Esmé Weijun Wang for The Collected Schizophrenias, Leslie Jamison for The Empathy Exams, Kevin Young for The Grey Album, and Eula Biss for Notes from No Man’s Land.
Agents may submit fiction submissions to the appropriate editor for consideration. Graywolf accepts submissions for the Graywolf Press African Fiction Prize every other year; the most recent submission period closed on August 31, 2021.
The winner of the 2019 Graywolf Press African Fiction Prize was If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English by Noor Naga, and the winner of the 2018 prize was The House of Rust by Khadija Abdalla Bajaber. Both winners were selected by A. Igoni Barrett, author of the acclaimed novel Blackass.
The Graywolf Press African Fiction Prize is awarded for a first novel manuscript by an African author primarily residing in Africa. Submissions must be full-length, previously unpublished novel manuscripts, either originally written in English or a complete English translation.
The Craft of Writing
This collection of pieces on the craft of writing are contributed by Graywolf authors and staff members.