Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize
A winning manuscript for the 2014 prize has been selected and will be announced in January 2015.
A $12,000 advance and publication by Graywolf will be awarded to the most promising and innovative literary nonfiction project by a writer not yet established in the genre.
The next 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 project. The Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize emphasizes innovation in form, 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. 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.
Brigid Hughes, founding editor of A Public Space, will judge the prize. 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. Submissions to the prize might span memoir, biography, or history.
From 2005-2012, the prize was judged by Robert Polito, author of Hollywood & God, Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson, Doubles, and A Reader’s Guide to James Merrill’s The Changing Light at Sandover, and formerly director of the graduate writing program at the New School in New York City. He is currently president of the Poetry Foundation in Chicago.
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
Frantic Transmissions to and from Los Angeles: An Accidental Memoir by Kate Braverman
Eligibility: Any writer who has published at least one previous book (in any genre) and resides in the United States is eligible. We will consider one submission per person. Graywolf’s editors and the prize judge reserve the right to invite submissions. Agented submissions are also welcome. Manuscripts submitted for previous years’ prizes will not be reconsidered unless resubmission has been specifically requested by Graywolf’s editors or the judge.
Timeline: Only electronic submissions will be considered. The online submission manager will be open for Nonfiction Prize submissions during the submission month only. The last submission month for the prize was May 2014. A winning manuscript for the 2014 prize has been selected and will be announced in January 2015. The next submission period will be posted once that announcement has been made.
Procedure: Upload your manuscript file to our online submission manager. Please include the required materials as the initial pages of your manuscript file. Online submissions should follow these formatting guidelines: twelve-point font, double-spaced text, numbered pages. Note that we only accept PDF or Word files (.doc and .docx). When submitting, please select "Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize" as the submission genre. The online submission manager allows you to check the status of the manuscript and streamlines the process of submitting. It will be open for Nonfiction Prize submissions during the submission month only.
Required materials: All required materials should be included as the initial pages of your manuscript file. Incomplete submissions will not be considered. Please submit the following items:
• A one-page cover letter containing a one-paragraph biographical statement and brief (2-4 sentence) description of the project. Please include any previous publications in the biographical statement.
• A two to ten-page overview of the project, including a description of what is already complete and what work remains to be finished.
• A minimum of 100 pages (25,000 words) from the manuscript. All required materials should be included as the initial pages of your manuscript file.
Notification for submissions: All submissions will receive an email response after the winner has been chosen. We cannot answer any queries about the status of manuscripts.
The winner will be notified directly, and public announcement of the winner will be made on our web site. All decisions are final, and the judge cannot comment on individual submissions.