Each year from December 1 - April 1 we accept submissions of full-length poetry (50-100 pp.) and fiction (30,000 word minimum) manuscripts for The Orison Prizes in Poetry and Fiction, judged by different prominent writers each year in an anonymous judging process.
The winning entry in each genre will be awarded publication and a $1,500 cash prize, in addition to a standard royalties contract.
Finalists will be selected by the editorial staff at Orison Books, and the winners will be selected from among the finalist manuscripts by the judges. Current or former students of the judges, or anyone with a close personal relationship with the judges, are not eligible to submit. In the event that a judge in either genre does not select a winner from among the finalists, the Editor will select a winner. The editors also reserve the right to select no finalists, in which case all entry fees will be refunded to the entrants. All finalist manuscripts will be considered for publication under a standard royalties contract.
- Do not include your name anywhere in your manuscript file or file name, but only in your Submittable profile and cover letter.
- Please include an acknowledgments page in your manuscript listing any periodicals where individual pieces from your manuscript first appeared.
- Original English work only; no translations.
- Individual poems and stories or excerpts may have been previously published in periodicals and/or chapbooks, but the manuscript as a whole must not have been published in book form, whether digital or in print. Self-published manuscripts are considered previously published and are not eligible.
- Fiction manuscripts may consist of short stories, a novel, a novella, flash/micro fiction, or any combination of forms, as long as the manuscript meets the 30,000 word minimum.
- Entry Fee: $30.
- Electronic submissions through Submittable only.
- Simultaneous submissions are accepted; please notify us immediately should a manuscript be accepted for publication elsewhere.
- Multiple manuscripts may be submitted; each manuscript must be accompanied by a separate entry fee.
- Orison Books is committed to running ethical and transparent contests. Current or former students of a judge, or anyone with a close personal relationship with that judge, are not eligible to submit in the category in question. Judges also never see author names until after they have made their selections. Orison Books also undertakes never to extend contest deadlines, except in the case of technical problems or other events that would prevent submitters from entering the contest by the original deadline.
Poetry: Eric Pankey
Fiction: Victor LaValle
About the judges:
Eric Pankey is the author of numerous books of poems, most recently Augury and Crow-Work. His poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared widely in such journals and anthologies as The New Yorker, The Kenyon Review, Poetry Magazine, and Best American Poetry. A recipient of the Walt Whitman Award, Pankey has been awarded fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Ingram Merril Foundation. Pankey is a professor of English and the Heritage Chair in Writing at George Mason University.
Victor LaValle is the author of the short story collection Slapboxing with Jesus and four novels, most recently The Changeling, as well as two novellas. He is also the creator and writer of the comic book Victor LaValle’s DESTROYER. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Whiting Writers’ Award, a United States Artists Ford Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Shirley Jackson Award, an American Book Award, and the key to Southeast Queens. He teaches at Columbia University.