Submission Closed

Prose Prize/ Guidelines: 

  • $1000 Cash

  • Publication by Nervous Ghost Press

  • 10 Author Copies

  • California Reading Tour (travel expenses paid for in full or in part by the cash prize)

  • Entry Fee: $24

  • Single author manuscript, original, previously unpublished writing between 50,000 and 100,000 words


*All genres considered except for work in translation

Poetry Prize/ Guidelines:

  • $1000 Cash

  • Publication by Nervous Ghost Press

  • 10 Author Copies

  • California Reading Tour (travel expenses paid for in full or in part by the cash prize)

  • Entry Fee: $24

  • Single author manuscript, original, previously unpublished writing between 48 and 128 pages

*All genres considered except for work in translation

General Terms & Conditions:

  1. Submissions are open from October 26, 2020 – January 31, 2021 at 11:59pm PST. All submissions must be submitted by the deadline to be considered.

  2. Entries are welcome from anyone, anywhere in the United States of America. If you are currently living outside of the US, but you have a valid address inside the US, you are eligible to enter (PO boxes/ personal mail boxes are not considered valid addresses).

  3. There is no age limit. However, if you are under the age of 18, you need to ask permission from your parent(s) and/ or legal guardian before submitting any work.

  4. The prizes are open to new and established writers.

  5. Anyone related (relatives, former/ current students, employees, coworkers, employers, friends…) personally or professionally to either final judge are ineligible to enter.

  6. Any intern or employee of Nervous Ghost Press is ineligible to enter. 

  7. Entries must be submitted online via the Submittable link (below).

  8. Entries should be submitted in a simple, 12pt font (Times New Roman, Garamond...), justified left, with 1" margins, and double spaced. Poems with specific formatting is okay. 

  9. Entries should be submitted in PDF format (A Word Doc will be required for the winning manuscript).

  10. Entrants will receive automatic confirmation email of receipt through Submittable. 

  11. The first page of the manuscript should start with the title of the manuscript, followed by a table of contents, and then the work. Part titles and epigraphs may be included. 

  12. Dedications, acknowledgments, or any personal information should not be included.

  13. If a manuscript is later short-listed, a dedication can be added.

  14. Stanza breaks must be clearly indicated (poetry).

  15. Chapter titles must be clearly indicated (prose).

  16. No revisions will be accepted once the application is complete and the manuscript is uploaded.

  17. The author’s name must not appear anywhere in the document or in the name of the digital file (if name is in a poem, please update it to “[author name]”

  18. All other identifying information (address, phone number, email address…) should be removed from the document as well. We will be able to retrieve this information after the judging process is completed.

  19. The file name should follow this format: “NGP_[title of MS]_2021_[Poetry or Prose]
    Ex: “NGP_Collection A_2021_Poetry”

  20. Failure to follow all guidelines will result in immediate disqualification with no refund given.

  21. $24 (USD only) entry fee accepted through Submittable only.

  22. If anyone is unable to include the entry fee, please contact ghosts@nervousghostpress.org and we will work with you. We believe that no one should miss out on opportunities due to financial hardships.  

  23. All submissions must be accompanied by the appropriate submission fee. Payment is easily processed through Submittable. Unpaid entries will be discarded before judging.

  24. Entries will be deemed ineligible if they are under contract to another publisher or organization.

  25. Entries will be removed from long or short-lists if we discover they have been published elsewhere.

  26. Entries must be original works written by an individual author.

  27. Only one submission per author.

  28. Entries must not infringe upon anyone’s copyright.

  29. Entries that are deemed to be works of plagiarism will be disqualified.

  30. Authors of long-listed poems and short-listed will be notified as soon as possible.

  31. Previously published, prize-winning, or broadcasted manuscripts will not be accepted. (Previous online appearances constitute prior publication.)

  32. Individual poems may have been published in chapbooks, journals, anthologies, and should be credited appropriately.

  33. Work in translations are not eligible.

  34. If entrants subsequently withdraw their entries, the entry fee will not be refunded.

  35. Simultaneous submissions are allowed, however, please notify Nervous Ghost Press immediately if your manuscript is accepted somewhere else.

  36. Previous Nervous Ghost Press Book Prize winners should wait at least three (3) years of publication of the winning manuscript before submitting again.

  37. Authors who have had a full-length work published by Nervous Ghost Press, or a full-length work currently under consideration by Nervous Ghost Press are ineligible for the 2021 book prizes.

  38. Short-listed authors may be required to take part in events and other media relations. 

  39. The prize money also covers travel expenses for the CA reading tour (partial or full) if the winning individual(s) so choose. You are in no way obligated to use your winnings in this manner, we just want to give you the option. 

  40. Due to the uncertain nature of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent travel restrictions, if you are uncomfortable with an in-person reading tour, a virtual tour will be set up in its place.

  41. Copyright in the entries remains with the author. The winner will receive a publishing contract from Nervous Ghost Press.

  42. Judging is completely anonymous.

  43. The final judges are Debra Moore Muñoz (prose) and Michale Graves (poetry).

  44. Nervous Ghost Press reserves the right not to award a prize.

  45. A short-list comprising a maximum of six (6) manuscripts will be announced and all short-listed manuscripts will be considered for publication.

  46. The winner will be announced via the website and social media accounts late 2021.

  47. The judges’ decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into about the judgements or the judging process.

  48. Nervous Ghost Press is committed to maintaining the utmost integrity of our prizes. Judges shall recuse themselves from considering any manuscript where they recognize the work. In the event of recusal, a manuscript will be judged by the Nervous Ghost Press Editorial Staff.

  49. By submitting your manuscript, you declare that the work entered in the 2021 Nervous Ghost Press Prize for Prose and the 2021 Nervous Ghost Press Prize for Poetry is your own work and has not been previously published, broadcasted, or awarded anywhere at anytime. You are acknowledging that you have read all the terms and conditions and agree to abide by them.