$2,500 + Publication
Deadline: May 18, 2020

Enter online via Submittable

Please include with each submission:

  • One cover sheet stating the genre and title of the essay. For poetry, please list the titles of each poem.  Your personal information should not appear anywhere on the manuscript. 
  • The name of the file you upload should be the title of your manuscript.

Rules & Notes:

  • Essay entries are not to exceed 8,000 words. 
  • Manuscripts may not be substituted or revised once uploaded.
  • Refunds will not be given for withdrawn manuscripts.
  • Entries must be previously unpublished.
  • Multiple entries are welcome with appropriate fees.
  • First entry includes a one-year subscription to New Letters.
  • Entries from outside the United States receive all contest privileges except the subscription.
  • Current students and employees at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and current volunteer members of the New Letters and BkMk Press staffs are not eligible.

Previous final judges for the New Letters Literary Awards include Philip Levine, Ellen Bass, Benjamin Percy, Joyce Carol Oates, Kathleen Norris, Mary Jo Salter, Kim Addonizio, Carolyn Forche, Cornelius Eady, and Margot Livesey.