Whether to Submit a Proposal
One of the first—and most important—decisions an author should make is where to submit his or her proposal. Every publishing house, large or small, has its own strengths. Before submitting your proposal, consider which press has published the books in your field that you admire most. Which publishers' lists include books that are related to yours?
Likewise, please consider the sorts of books a press does not publish. In the case of the University of Iowa Press, we do not publish novels, unrevised doctoral dissertations, conference proceedings or symposium volumes, Festschriften, plays, or manuscripts on topics outside of our acquisitions focus. (For advice on revising your dissertation, please see our guidelines.)
The University of Iowa Press seeks proposals in the following areas: literary studies, including Whitman studies; poetics; food studies; fan studies; literary nonfiction; the craft of writing; book arts; theatre studies; public humanities; the natural history of the Upper Midwest; and regional history, culture, and archaeology. We publish single-author short fiction and poetry through the Iowa Short Fiction Award, the John Simmons Short Fiction Award, and the Iowa Poetry Prize only.
Please refer to the series list on our website for information about submitting proposals in specific series. Some series have their own guidelines for proposals.
To submit a proposal for a book outside the series framework or to ask whether your project would be of interest, contact
James McCoy, Director, email@example.com, for short fiction, poetry, and general trade.
Catherine Cocks, Acquisitions Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org, for book arts, regional history and culture, food studies, fan studies, public humanities, theatre history, and related series: Humanities and Public Life, Impressions, Iowa and the Midwest Experience, Studies in Theatre History and Culture, and Writers in Their Own Time.
Holly Carver, Series Editor, email@example.com, for natural history and related series: Bur Oak Books and Bur Oak Guides.
Some series have their own guidelines. Please check the series description before following the instructions below.
What to Include in a Proposal
Your proposal should give the editors and marketing staff a clear idea of what your book is about, how you came to write this book at this point in your career, and where the work fits within your field. It may be helpful to consider the following questions:
Editors and marketing professionals are also interested in knowing what potential audiences you foresee. Is your book for specialists in your field, or will it appeal to a broader audience? Is this book intended for use by students? Is there potential for classroom adoption? Is this a trade book, intended for general readers?
Proposals should include the following:
Please email or mail your proposal to the appropriate acquisitions editor and series editor. Our typical response time for a preliminary inquiry is about 5 to 6 weeks.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Charlotte M. Wright, Managing Editor
So you've finished your dissertation. Your committee has approved it. Now you can just box it up, send it to a publisher, and receive a book contract, right?
In reality, even the best dissertations must be revised before being accepted for publication. Because they receive so many unrevised dissertations a year, most editors can spot one soon after opening the package. To guard against an immediate rejection, you'll need to spend a lot of time rethinking and reworking your manuscript. The press's acquisitions editor, the expert readers to whom the press sends the manuscript for evaluation, and the editorial board will all be evaluating not only the validity of your argument and the depth of your research, but also the book's potential appeal to a substantial number of educated lay readers outside a narrow field of interest.
The first step for you is to take a look at your topic. Is it interesting to more than just a handful of scholars? Is it unique? Is it timely, but not faddish? Where does it fit with other books published lately in your discipline? Chances are you'll have to broaden it, or narrow it, or take a different angle on it than you did in the dissertation.
Some quick and easy revisions:
Derricourt, Robin M. An Author's Guide to Scholarly Publishing. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996.
Germano, William P. From Dissertation to Book. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.
_____. Getting It Published: A Guide for Scholars and Anyone Else Serious about Serious Books. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001.
Harman, Eleanor, et al., eds. The Thesis and the Book: A Guide for First-Time Academic Authors. 2d ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003.
Lanham, Richard A. Revising Prose. 5th ed. New York: Longman, 2006.
Luey, Beth, ed. Revising Your Dissertation: Advice from Leading Editors. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004.
McMillen, Liz. “A Doctoral Dissertation Is Not Yet a Book, Young Tenure-Seeking Scholars Are Told.” Chronicle of Higher Education, 5 February 1986.
Also, various university presses have author guidelines that will help you focus on matters most important to that particular press.
University of Iowa Press
119 West Park Road
100 Kuhl House
Iowa City IA 52242-1000
Before you send your final manuscript to us for copyediting, please check the following list. If you have any questions about a particular requirement, first check the University of Iowa Press website. If you still have questions, please contact me or your acquiring editor. Thank you!
____All the elements in your manuscript should be easy to identify and in the order in which you want them to appear in the book.
____DO NOT embed artwork into your text file.
____Avoid the use of macros of any kind in your manuscript.
____Double-space all text, including table of contents, indented extracts, poetry, bibliography, captions, tables and charts, and endnotes.
____Use 12-point type.
____Do not substitute l (the letter “el”) for 1 (the number one).
____Either italic type or underlining is fine to indicate text that should be set in italics, but do not combine the two.
____To indicate paragraphs,
use an indent rather than an additional hard return. Use the extra space only
where you wish a space break in the book to indicate a major change of
____Make your margins (top, bottom, left, and right) at least 1 inch.
____Type all titles and
subheadings in caps and lowercase (Like This One) rather than in full caps
(LIKE THIS ONE). Note that all prepositions and articles are lowercase except
at the beginning of the title or subtitle (The Fine Art of Subheadings).
____If possible, group your
notes at the back of the book, just before the bibliography. If your book is an
edited collection, in which case the notes can stay with the chapter. In
either case, number the notes starting over from 1 in each chapter. If your word processing program will not group the notes in the back of the book, just make a note in your
cover letter to us and we will handle this here. USE YOUR SOFTWARE’S BUILT-IN ENDNOTES FEATURE so that notes can be easily moved, combined, or deleted without
having to renumber them by hand.
____Number the pages
consecutively throughout the manuscript. If your computer program automatically
renumbers with each chapter, leave off automatic page numbering and
instead hand-number the pages (preferably in the upper-right-hand corner).
____Do not right-justify your text. (Exception: In poetry books, individual poems may be formatted in this way.)
____Do not use headers or footers (other than page numbers).
____Use the same font (both
type and size) throughout the manuscript. Do not assign “styles” to achieve
different formats for subheads, block quotes, paragraph indents, etc.
The default or “normal” style should be the only one in your manuscript.
____Include all parts of the
manuscript that you wish to appear in the completed book: dedication, table of
contents, acknowledgments, appendixes, etc. Do not add page
numbers to the table of contents, as this will obviously change once the book is typeset.
____If a chapter has more
than one level of subhead, differentiate them visually with centering,
underlining, etc. or, preferably, by typing (using angle brackets) <A>,
<B>, <C> at
the beginning of each subhead.
____In a list of references,
for successive works by the same author, use six hyphens (i.e., ------) in
place of the author’s name after the first appearance, and alphabetize the
entries by the title of the book or article.
____Do not include an index. This step will come later.
____Please use your computer’s spell check function. It won’t catch everything, but every little bit helps!
____Once you have correctly formatted your manuscript, save it to your hard drive and print out two copies to submit to us with your electronic files.
We need only ONE copy of the disk or CD, or you can e-mail electronic copy to us as an attachment.
____Put everything in one document, from the title page to the last page of the text. Do not send us separate files for each chapter.
____Once you’ve put the book
files on a disk or CD or e-mailed them to us, do not make any changes to the
hard copy. Your final printed copy must
match the electronic
____Label the disk or CD. Is
it PC or Mac? Which software program have you used? Which version of that
software? Include a printed directory of
the contents for each disk
or CD submitted.
____Include TWO single-sided
copies of the entire manuscript, printed from your FINAL computer files. IT IS
EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT YOU DO NOT MAKE CHANGES
TO THE FILES ONCE YOU HAVE PRINTED OUT FINAL COPY. The electronic copy and hard copy must match exactly.
The University of Iowa Press has published dozens of anthologies of creative writing on topics ranging from death and dying to boomer babies to housework to patriotism to zeppelins. At some point early in discussions with a potential editor, the phrase "labor of love" comes up. The truth is that you're not going to make any money or advance your professional career and you will spend an enormous amount of time organizing and collating your material. But still there is something satisfying about creating a collection that adds up to more than the sum of its parts, about articulating an idea that is dear to you, about carrying this idea out until it becomes a solid book.
Editing an anthology involves balancing a series of contradictions. Your subject needs to be niche driven enough that you can reach your readers but not so specialized that your audience is too limited. The collection needs to be thematically unified so that we can describe it to potential buyers in one sentence but diverse enough to form a stimulating collection. We're looking for anthologists who can provide an optimistic, compassionate, and meaningful viewpoint to a well-defined audience, for anthologies that can go into high school classrooms, such as Learning by Heart: Contemporary American Poetry about School, or into parenting groups, such as Birth: A Literary Companion, or into medical schools, such as Medical Readers' Theater: A Guide and Scripts, or into civic organizations or religious study groups or graduate Shakespeare courses or writing workshops.
While gathering works, you should remember that the collection needs to connect in diverse ways to diverse readers. Do you have a balance of male and female authors that is appropriate to your subject? A balance of racial and ethnic perspectives? Of different schools of writing? Of both established and younger writers? You need to be in touch with lots of writers and lots of styles and lots of perspectives, but in the end you need to rely on your own good judgment about what constitutes fine writing and what fits your original vision. You must be willing to be ruthless when it comes to tossing out poems or stories or essays that don't really fit into your collection, even if these pieces are quite lovely individually.
As you gather your anthology's poems or stories, keep your introduction in mind. In one sentence, what is the primary theme? Does each piece clearly connect to that theme? Can it be referred to in the introduction in a way that supports the theme?
In general, we prefer a strictly alphabetical arrangement of works by author's last namerather than trying to force them into subject categories. Categories that are perfectly clear to your editorial vision can be less than clear to your readers. Allowing readers to make their own connections—guided by your introduction—works well.
Manufacturing costs are directly related to book prices; thus we urge editors to strive for a short, tightly edited collection. Less is really more when it comes to selecting only those pieces that truly reflect the editorial vision. An anthology more than 200 pages long—containing more than 100 poems or 15 stories—will be too expensive and cumbersome for readers.
Readers and teachers appreciate biographical information, so please prepare short paragraphs about each contributor's publications, awards, and teaching experience. Each note should contain approximately the same amount and type of information as all the rest. Please ask your contributors to review this information before you prepare your final manuscript.
You are responsible for obtaining and paying for all necessary permissions from authors and publishers to reprint the pieces in your collection. Gathering permissions can take several months and can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. Generally, the more famous the author, the more money involved and the more red tape involved. It is often necessary to obtain permission from both the author and the original publisher of the work. Start the permissions process early, as soon as we send you a contract for publication, since all the poems or stories included in your final manuscript must have the necessary written permissions. E-mail permissions are acceptable. Please refer to our permissions guidelines for more information.
Beyond permissions, your most challenging task will involve scanning or rekeying or otherwise transforming the pieces you have selected into a consistently formatted manuscript.Unless each piece's dedication, epigraph, subheads, etc., are a significant part of the work itself, we prefer to treat all these items consistently so that your anthology can be appreciated as a unified book.For poetry, reproducing each poem's style—unusually long lines, justified lines, deep indents—can be challenging for you and for us; see the attached samples for our preferred format. Being able to refer to the original formatting is very helpful, so we require photocopies of the original works—as published or, in the case of new pieces, as they were originally sent to you. Please be aware, however, that is sometimes impossible to reproduce each poem's vagaries exactly.
Before you submit your final manuscript, please send any rekeyed pieces to their authors for review. This precludes having to ask them to review their works in proof and streamlines the publication of your book.
Depending upon how your book is organized, we will ask you to provide an author, title, and/or first line index at page proof stage.
For table of contents, poetry, contributors, permissions, and indexformats, see the attached samples.
Please keep track of the names, addresses, and e-mail addresses of your contributors. We will ask you to give us a list just before publication so that we can send them complimentary copies.
Your manuscript should include
Please refer to our Author Checklist for more detailed information.
[Note: The labels are for information only. Please do not label each part in your manuscript.]
Cries of the Newsboy [title]
News in the World [subtitle]
Edith M. Thomas [poet]
To poetry anthologists everywhere [dedication]
I hear thee, trumpeter—listening, alert, I catch thy notes.
—Walt Whitman [epigraph]
1. City Ways [section title]
Cruel the roar of the city ways,
Where life on a myriad errands whirled;
But suddenly up from the jarring maze,
Like a rocket thrown high, went a ringing cry:
[When a poem runs onto another page, insert STANZA BREAK or NO STANZA BREAK for clarity]
There wasn’t a glimpse of the sun anywhere;
Up through the streets the sea fog curled;
Grim was the light and leaden the air;
The world looked old, yet that voice rang bold:
The brisk little crier I could not see,
But I treasured the rocket cry he hurled,
And thought, “This is wonderful news to me!
Heigh-ho! Is it true? Is it so to you?
A New Sunny World?”
Kim Addonizio's most recent book, Tell Me, was nominated for the National Book Award in 2000. She is also the author of The Philosopher's Club and the coauthor, with Dorianne Laux, of The Poet's Companion. Her many awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Julia Alvarez's novels include In the Time of the Butterflies, Yo! and In the Name of Salomé. Something to Declare, a book of essays, was published in 1998.
Dorothy Barresi is the author of Rouge Pulp and All of the Above, which won the Barnard New Women Poets Prize. She lives in Los Angeles and is a professor of English at California State University, Northridge.
Hart Crane: Selection from “Cape Hatteras” from Complete Poems of Hart Crane, ed. Marc Simon. Copyright © 1933, 1958, 1966 by Liveright Publishing Corporation. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
Babette Deutsch: “The Flight” and “Going Far Away” copyright © 1927 by the author. Originally appeared in The Spirit of St. Louis, ed. Charles Vale, published by W. W. Norton in 1928. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
Willa Everysong: Untitled poem copyright © 2004 by the author. Reprinted by permission of the author.
David Moolten: “Ode for Orville and Wilbur Wright” copyright © 2001 by the author. Originally appeared in the Southern Review (Winter 2001). Reprinted by permission of the author.
The Afterlife, 152 [poem starting with the word “The”]
Against the Madness of Crowds, 23
Any Holy City, 46
Arsonist and Fireman, 47
An Asian Dying, 125 [poem starting with “A” or “An”]
at the cemetery, walnut grove plantation, south carolina, 131 [poem with lowercased title]
The Ballad of Ravensbrück, 120
Blessing for Malcolm Lowry, 30
A Body of Water, 6
. . . . . . . . .
throwing out the flowers, 25
The 29th Month, 79 [poem alphabetized by how the number would be spelled out]
[untitled], 90, 124 [untitled poems]
Upon My Word, 88
Following these instructions helps us ensure that any previously copyrighted material is properly acknowledged in your book.
According to the contract you signed, you are responsible for getting permission to reprint any copyrighted work used in your book.
Complete photocopies of all grants of permission must accompany the final manuscript when you submit it to the press. The press will not begin copyediting the manuscript until you have submitted all of the permission forms.
Getting permission to use copyrighted works may take several months. Start early and be persistent.
When Do You Need to Ask Permission?
Permission is required for the use of two kinds of copyrighted materials: your own previously published work (when you no longer hold the copyright) and other authors' copyrighted materials that do not come under the principle of fair use or that are not in the public domain.
If your use qualifies fair use or if the material is in the public domain, you do not need to get the copyright holder’s permission.
The principle of fair use allows certain uses of copyrighted material without requiring the user to get the permission of the copyright holder. Quoting or reproducing small amounts of an author’s or artist’s work in order to review or criticize it or to illustrate the user’s own argument is fair use.
However, in many cases determining exactly what is covered by fair use depends on the circumstances of use. In law a “rule of reason” determines whether a particular use is fair or not.
Important factors in determining whether a particular use is fair include the following:
The use is probably fair if:
In the United States, copyright exists for a term set by law. After that term expires, everyone may freely use the material—it has entered the public domain.
However, the law changed in important ways in the twentieth century, so figuring out what is in the public domain and what remains protected by copyright can be confusing. Works published in the United States before 1923 are in the public domain. You do not need anyone’s permission to use them.
For more recent works, see the AAUP’s Permissions FAQs.
The AAUP also offers online resources for determining a work’s copyright status.
Some documents are in the public domain from the start, such as those created by the US federal government.
When You Must Get the Copyright Holder’s Permission
In general, you need to obtain written permission for the following items:
Preparing permission requests
Please use the sample letter as the basis for your requests. When you prepare your permission requests, be sure to ask for:
Also include in the letter:
Have all letters of permission sent directly to you. You will need them to type up the permissions section of your book and put the required attribution information in any captions.
Download PDF* (28 KB)
*This download is a PDF file. If you don't already have Adobe Reader (the application necessary to read PDF files), you can download it free by clicking the button below:
What to send to the University of Iowa Press
Please send us photocopies of both your request and the response. We need to see complete copies of the permissions forms—including front and back sides and lists of terms and conditions that may be attached—so we can be sure to follow all the conditions of use, including adding correct credit lines, following any cropping instructions, and sending appropriate gratis copies of your book.
Also be sure to send us a list of the names, addresses, and number of copies due to the various museums, libraries, publishers, and writers who have requested them.
Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi, Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2011)
Susan M. Bielstein, Permissions, A Survival Guide: Blunt Talk about Art as Intellectual Property (Chicago: University of Chicago, 2006)
Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010)
William S. Strong, The Copyright Book: A Practical Guide, 5th ed. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999)
WATCH (Writers, Artists, and Their Copyright Holders) File
If you have further questions or concerns, please contact your acquiring editor.
If you would like to include photographs, line drawings, maps, charts, or other illustrations in your book, please let your acquiring editor know as early as possible. He or she will let you know the process for submitting illustrations and will ask you to send samples for our design and production manager to evaluate.
You must ensure that your images meet the following standards, or we will refuse to publish them.
What Not to Send
It is critical that the files be of a high enough resolution and an appropriate size for good reproduction. For best results, we recommend that you have scans of prints, slides, or transparencies made by a graphic arts service bureau or by a library or archive that routinely provides electronic files for print reproduction. Electronic files must meet the following requirements:
For each image you supply, we must also have a printout of the electronic file.
Before submitting digital images, please
Art Created for the Book
If you are planning to create art (such as maps or charts) in electronic form for reproduction in your book, it is essential that you or the person who will be creating the art contact our design and production manager before beginning. We must receive a sample file in order to identify any problems early in the process. Please contact Karen Copp, 319-335-2014, firstname.lastname@example.org, to discuss your illustrations.
Adobe Illustrator is our preferred software for charts and graphs. Using this program offers a much higher probability that we can reproduce your files in the book. If you are using another program, save your files as EPS to ensure that we will be able to use them, or provide an EPS version of the file in addition to the application version of the file. If your program does not give you the option to save as an Illustrator file or an EPS file, please indicate on the printout all save or export options available in the program you are using.
Before submitting created digital maps, charts, and other illustrations, please
For more detailed information about electronic art, refer to the Association of American University Presses' Digital Art Requirements for Submission.
We always welcome photographic prints, slides, or transparencies. Label and package them carefully before sending them to us.
Where to Put Art when Submitting a Manuscript
No illustrations—whether photographs, maps, charts, graphs, or tables—should be embedded in the text. Each piece should be submitted as a separate file, named by your last name and figure number (including the chapter number where appropriate, e.g. 1.1, 2.1, and so on). Captions should likewise be listed in a separate document. Only figure callouts should appear in the text approximately where the figure should appear.
Charlotte M. Wright, Managing Editor
This memo will address the publishing process from the point of view of the editorial and production departments. The marketing department has its own schedule and forms. It is extremely important that you promptly fill out and return any marketing forms, share with them your ideas for people to provide blurbs for your book, and contact them when any marketing opportunities arise.
Soon after you have sent us your complete book project—inclusive of all illustrative material, permissions, appendixes, tables, charts, dedication, etc.—your manuscript will be assigned to a copyeditor, who will work under my direction. I will let you know who the copyeditor is, when you should expect to receive the edited manuscript for review, and when you'll need to send it back to the editor. During this time, you will be working directly with your copyeditor, but if you have any questions he or she can't answer, please don't hesitate to contact me.
In most cases, I will instruct the copyeditor to focus on correcting basic grammatical and mechanical errors, on reading for clarity, and on bringing the manuscript into conformity with Iowa's house style (we follow the Chicago Manual of Style unless you and your acquisitions editor have agreed upon another style manual).
Most manuscripts will be edited by hand: the copyeditor will make corrections directly on the final hard copy you submitted. While working on the project, the copyeditor may contact you with questions and suggestions as he or she irons out the difficulties inherent in shaping your manuscript according to University of Iowa Press guidelines. In order to maintain your book's schedule, please respond promptly to any queries. The copyeditor will send the fully edited manuscript to you, at which time you will be asked to review it carefully and to answer any remaining questions on the text, a critical step in the publication process because it is your last opportunity to make substantive changes. You will have approximately two weeks to make sure the text and references are complete, your quotations are accurate, your wording is final, your writing is clear. We cannot allow rewritings, major deletions or additions, or extensive global changes (such as capitalizing every appearance of a word) after this stage. We assume that once you return the manuscript to the copyeditor for final cleanup, the text is finalized.
After the final cleanup, the copyeditor will return the manuscript to us. As I go through it carefully to prepare it for the designer and typesetter, I may need to contact you if I have any questions or comments.
The design and typesetting stage usually takes two to four months, depending on the complexity and length of the project and the designer's and typesetter's schedules. All copyediting changes will be transferred to the disk by the typesetter. As soon as the page proof date is scheduled, I will contact you with that information, so you'll know when to block out time to read proofs and index your book.
Any ideas you have concerning jacket/cover art should be discussed with your acquisitions editor right away. Often, we need written permission to use artwork, and this process may take us some time. Please be aware that while we appreciate your help and input, the final design is ultimately the decision of the Press. The jacket/cover will utilize the appropriate blurbs from among those we receive for your book. Some blurbs may be edited because of space considerations.
When I receive page proofs from the typesetter, I will FedEx a set to you for proofing and indexing. You will have approximately two weeks to complete that work and return the proofs to me. I will also be giving a set of proofs to a professional proofreader, along with the original copyedited manuscript. The proofreader will make sure that all the changes on the manuscript were set in type in the proofs. He or she will verify that all textual elements (table of contents, chapter titles, running heads, captions, etc.) have been typeset according to the designer's specifications and that illustrations have been placed appropriately, are consistent in form, and are accurate. Your responsibility will be to read through the text itself and correct any typos, punctuation errors, reversed photographs, switched captions, etc. Page proofs should be read carefully, but changes should be limited to those necessary to correct typographical errors, errors in fact, and editorial inconsistencies. Any nonessential revisions will require the approval of the Press and may be billed to you. No changes can be made that affect page layout. At this point our production schedule is usually tight. Delays in returning proofs and the index are likely to postpone the scheduled release date of your book, which in turn may adversely affect sales.
After I receive your corrected proofs, I will transfer the approved changes to the proofreader's master copy and send it back to the typesetter.
If your contract calls for you to provide an index, I urge you to begin the process even before the page-proof stage by creating an alphabetized list of names, places, and subject terms from your manuscript. Then, when you receive the page proofs, you will only need to add the inclusive page numbers, rather than starting from scratch.
Our guide for indexing is the Chicago Manual of Style. In all cases, the index must be double-spaced, and we need both a digital file and a printout.
If you would prefer that a freelance editor work on the index for your book, please contact me or your acquisitions editor to discuss that option. You would be responsible for paying the freelancer.
You will not receive page proofs of the index.
After you complete your work on the index, relax! The rest is up to us.
Making and checking proof corrections, adding and proofreading the index, and coordinating all the other remaining elements of book production usually require several weeks and several trips back and forth between the Press and the typesetter. When everything has been done, your book is sent to the printer, who will in turn send the Press a set of proofs for a final review. These proofs are reviewed by the production and editorial departments to check for continuous pagination and formatting. When the proofs are approved, the books are printed, bound, and sent to the warehouse—which usually takes around two months.
The entire production process, from copyediting to book-in-hand, takes approximately eight to ten months. I look forward to working with you!
Advice to Authors on Submitting Proposals to the Series “Humanities in Public Life”
This series aims to create a collection of excellent books that document the exciting publicly engaged projects in which artists and humanities scholars, especially in college and university settings, are working with community partners and cultural institutions to produce new knowledge while also contributing to the public good. Below, we outline objectives for our series. In preparing a proposal, we encourage you to explain how your project will help meet the series goals as you respond to the questions below. We look forward to learning more about the many exciting projects underway.
Please submit a short, detailed proposal of 5–10 pages (12 point type and single-spaced) with a CV for each author of no more than 5 single-spaced pages. Please include CVs and the proposal together in a single PDF file. Be sure that your name(s) and contact information appear on the first page of the proposal.
As we review proposals, we are especially interested in the following questions:
The Iowa Poetry Prize, open to new as well as established poets, is awarded for a book-length collection of poems written originally in English. Previous winners, current University of Iowa students, and current and former University of Iowa Press employees are not eligible.
Manuscripts should be 50 to 150 pages in length. Put your name on the title page only; this page will be removed before your manuscript is judged. Poems included in the collection may have appeared in journals or anthologies; poems from a poet's previous collections may be included only in manuscripts of new and selected poems. Manuscripts will be recycled; please do not include return packaging or postage.
The winning manuscript will be published by the University of Iowa Press under a standard royalty agreement.
Manuscripts should be mailed to:
The Iowa Poetry Prize
University of Iowa Press
119 West Park Road
100 Kuhl House
Iowa City IA 52242-1000
Submissions must be postmarked during the month of April.
A $20 reading fee is payable to the University of Iowa Press Poetry Fund. We consider simultaneous submissions but ask that you notify us immediately if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere. Only the winners will be notified. The results will be announced on our website in the summer.
Any writer who has not previously published a volume of prose fiction is eligible to enter the competition. Previously entered manuscripts that have been revised may be resubmitted. Writers are still eligible if they have published a volume of poetry or any work in a language other than English or if they have self-published a work in a small print run. Writers are still eligible if they are living abroad or are non-US citizens writing in English. Current University of Iowa students are not eligible.
The manuscript must be a collection of short stories in English of at least 150 word-processed, double-spaced pages. We do not accept e-mail submissions. The manuscript may include a cover page, contents page, etc., but these are not required. The author's name can be on every page but this is not required. Stories previously published in periodicals are eligible for inclusion. There is no reading fee; please do not send cash, checks, or money orders. Reasonable care is taken, but we are not responsible for manuscripts lost in the mail or for the return of those not accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. We assume the author retains a copy of the manuscript.
Award-winning manuscripts will be published by the University of Iowa Press under the Press's standard contract.
Manuscripts should be mailed to:
Iowa Short Fiction Award
Iowa Writers' Workshop
507 North Clinton Street
102 Dey House
Iowa City IA 52242-1000
No application forms are necessary. Entries for the competition should be postmarked between August 1 and September 30; packages must be postmarked by September 30. Announcement of the winners will be made early in the following year.
Potential entrants wishing to read stories by previous winners may order The Iowa Award: The Best Stories from Twenty Years and The Iowa Award: The Best Stories, 1991ñ2000, both selected by Frank Conroy.