an annual competition in honor of Vern Cowles, a man who loved literature
Reading Fee: $25 payable through our Submittable page.
Award, contest deadline of April 1, 2020: $2,000 and 30 copies for the author, publication and distribution of a full-length poetry manuscript with a full-color perfect-bound cover.
Manuscripts submitted to the contest will be read and judged anonymously.
- Individual poems in the manuscript may have been published previously in a chapbook, magazines, journals or anthologies, but the work as a whole must be unpublished.
- Translations and previously self-published books are not eligible.
- Open to any living poet writing in English, age 18 or older, regardless of publication history.
- Send 48-100 pages of poetry–any style or theme–with a table of contents and an acknowledgements page for any previously published poems.
- The page count doesn’t include the table of contents or acknowledgements.
- Manuscripts must be typed, each manuscript page numbered, with the following information submitted in the cover letter field on Submittable:
- Contest title
- Manuscript title
- Author name
- Telephone number
- Email (if available)
- Your name and contact information must not appear anywhere else on the manuscript.
- Contestants may submit more than one manuscript, but a separate entry fee must accompany each manuscript.
- If you would like a copy of the winning book, please enclose a total payment of $32 ($7 for the book).
- Please let us know immediately if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere.
- Employees and students of Southeast Missouri State University Press are not eligible.
- Failure to follow these guidelines may disqualify entry.
Submit entries with $25 reading fee to our Submittable page:
Winner and finalists will be announced in the winter following the contest deadline, on our website.
For further information email firstname.lastname@example.org.