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Submissions

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Graywolf Press publishes about 30 books annually, mostly poetry, memoirs, essays, novels, translations, and short stories.
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Graywolf Press is not currently accepting submissions, and there are no open submission periods currently scheduled.

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.

 

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Prizes

The Graywolf Press African Fiction Prize

The Graywolf Press African Fiction Prize 2022—Announcement of No Award

After careful consideration in coordination with prize judge A. Igoni Barrett, we have decided not to award the African Fiction Prize this year. We were impressed with the quality and range of the submitted manuscripts, but we didn’t feel any were exactly right for our press or the prize. We thank all of the writers who submitted their work, and we’re grateful to all the organizations who helped us get the word out.

We’re also deeply indebted to the editorial insights and unerring instincts of A. Igoni Barrett, who judged the prize for three rounds from 2017-2022 and was instrumental in its inception. Here are some words from him:

“As previously agreed with Graywolf, this was to be my third and final time as the judge of the Graywolf Press Africa Fiction Prize. I’d been looking forward to continuing the winning streak that we all—writers, readers, the publisher—have enjoyed with this pioneering manuscript prize. Our first two winners, Khadija Abdalla Bajaber and Noor Naga, are now debut novelists whose voices have transcended any continental confines. Writers again responded in strong numbers to our submission call, and the Graywolf Press editors fulfilled their commitment to read every manuscript and compile a shortlist. But, after much thought, we took the narrow road by not awarding the prize this year. Our disappointment is nothing in comparison to the hopes of every writer who sent their work to us, for which we are grateful. This prize, despite any good intentions, would not succeed without your courageous and continuing participation. It has been my pleasure and pride, for all three editions of the prize, to read some of the most vital voices coming out of Africa. The prize will return with a new judge next time, and I look forward to reading, as a bystander and devotee, whatever new books emerge from this continent where the past, present, and future are stories still being written.”

We look forward to our next reading period in February 2023. We anticipate making some adjustments to the prize guidelines, but first novels and translations of first novels will continue to be eligible, and it will remain focused on African authors. Please keep an eye on our website for more details closer to that time.

In the meantime, please join us in celebrating the books that won the first two African Fiction Prizes, both now available for purchase: The House of Rust by Khadija Abdalla Bajaber and If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English by Noor Naga. We couldn’t be prouder to have published them.

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.

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The Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize

*We’re currently reviewing the 2022 prize submissions and expect to announce a winner in August. All entrants will be notified in Submittable in due course.*

A $20,000 advance and publication by Graywolf Press will be awarded to the most promising and innovative literary nonfiction project by a writer not yet established in the genre. The winning author will also receive a $2,000 stipend intended to support the completion of their project.

The 2022 prize will be awarded to a manuscript in progress. We request that authors send a long sample from their manuscript, as well as a description of the work, as detailed below. We expect that we will work with the winner of the prize and provide editorial guidance toward the completion of the manuscript.

The Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize emphasizes innovation in form and content, and we want to see projects that test the boundaries of literary nonfiction. We are less interested in straightforward memoirs, and we turn down a large number of them every year. The Graywolf editors are particularly interested in books that explore new approaches to cultural and literary criticism, as well as writing on craft. Before submitting your manuscript for the prize, please look at the books previously published as winners of the prize for examples of the type of work that we are seeking.

The 2022 prize will be judged by the Graywolf Press editors. The editors reserve the right to invite submissions or make exceptions. Agented submissions are also welcome. Manuscripts submitted for previous years’ prizes will not be reconsidered unless resubmission has been specifically requested by the Graywolf editors.

Former Winners on the Impact of the Nonfiction Prize

“[The Collected Schizophrenias] truly wouldn’t have come to be if it hadn’t been for the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize. . . . If Graywolf hadn’t taken it, that would’ve been it; the book would’ve died on the vine. So I’m very, very glad that they did.”—Esmé Weijun Wang, author of The Collected Schizophrenias, from Lit Hub

“Graywolf changed my life. No other way to put it. They believed in a book no one else would have published. Maybe you have a book for them too?”—Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams, via Twitter

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Submission Guidelines

Poetry

Graywolf Press partners with the Academy of American Poets and Cave Canem to publish and promote the work of new and emerging writers.

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Nonfiction

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.

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Fiction

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.

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Recommended Reading

Tony Hoagland
James Longenbach
Benjamin Percy
Claudia Rankine
10th Anniversary Edition
Eula Biss
Charles Baxter
Brenda Ueland, Andrei Codrescu
Robert Boswell

The Craft of Writing

This collection of pieces on the craft of writing are contributed by Graywolf authors and staff members.

Fiona McCrae on First Pages
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Mary Szybist on Visual Poetry
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Jeff Shotts on the Art of Rejection
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Susan Steinberg on Punctuation
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Charles Baxter on the Request Moment
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Sarah Manguso on Connection
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Harryette Mullen on Starting a Tanka Diary
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Tom Sleigh on Haibun, Bashō, the Poet as Journalist as Poet
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Robert Boswell on Having Gravity and Having Weight
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Tony Hoagland on "Image Out of Sound"
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