The Backwaters Prize
In 2012, the Backwaters Press revives the Backwaters Prize. Our judge
for the 2012 prize will be David Clewell. The submission period begins
April 1, 2012 and concludes May 31, 2012. Manuscripts must be submitted
electronically. We adhere to the CLMP code of ethics for administering a
Submit your manuscript to the prize here.
The submission fee must be paid online, at the time of submission.
For more information about the prize and for a list of past winners, please visit the Backwaters Prize page.
What you win
The prize is a $1,000.00 cash prize plus publication of your manuscript
plus some beautiful object commemorating your achievement. The next
award will be announced in September 2012.
This contest is open to anyone writing in English, whether the poet has previous book publications or not.
Full-length manuscript, (between 60 & 85 pages, not including
credits, title page, contents page) original poetry in English (no
May be a collection or a single long poem.
Use standard poetry format; that is, single-spaced, with double-spacing between stanzas.
No identification of poet anywhere in MS, including in the text of the
poems. Manuscripts in which poet's name is included anywhere in the text
will be disqualified. If the poet needs to refer to or uses his/her own
name in poems, a pseudonym must be used in the text.
Winner will be allowed to make changes to text.
Do not include photos or drawings in the manuscript. Do not send
manuscript correctionswinner will be allowed to make manuscript
changes. The title page may have no identification of the poet on it.
There is a reading fee of $25.
The 2012 Judge for the Backwaters Prize
David Clewell is the author of eight collections of poetrymost
recently, Taken Somehow By Surprise (University of Wisconsin Press,
2011)and two book-length poems. His work regularly appears in a wide
variety of national magazines and journalsincluding Poetry, Harper's,
The Georgia Review, New Letters, The Kenyon Review, and Boulevardand
has been represented in more than fifty anthologies. Among his honors
are several book awards: the Felix Pollak Poetry Prize (for Now We're
Getting Somewhere), National Poetry Series selection (for Blessings in
Disguise), and the inaugural Four Lakes Poetry Prize for Taken Somehow
By Surprise. He is currently the poet laureate of Missouri.