The Gatewood Prize is Switchback Books’ annual competition for a first or second full-length (48-80 pp.) collection of poems by a woman writing in the English language. It is named after Emma Gatewood, the first woman to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail.
2012 Judge: Brenda Shaughnessy
Reading Period: April 15-June 15, 2012
Brenda Shaughnessy is a poet and editor. Her most recent book, Human Dark with Sugar(Copper Canyon, 2008), won the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her first book, Interior with Sudden Joy(FSG, 1999) was a finalist for the Lambda Award, Norma Farber Award, and the PEN/Joyce C. Osterweil Award. She is the poetry editor of Tin House Magazine, has been a Radcliffe Institute Fellow and a Japan-US Friendship Commission fellow. She teaches at Princeton, NYU, The New School and other institutions and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son.
Poet must be a woman; our definition of “woman” is broad and includes transsexual, transgender, genderqueer, and female-identified individuals.
Multiple submissions are acceptable, but each manuscript must be entered under separate cover and fee.
You must let us know immediately if your manuscript is accepted by another publisher while under our consideration.
No revisions to submitted manuscripts will be considered; the winning manuscript may be revised before publication.
Manuscripts by close friends and former students of the judge are ineligible. If the judge would recognize your manuscript for any reason, please wait until next year to enter the contest.
Co-written collections are eligible provided both poets meet all eligibility requirements.
Submissions will be read by Switchback editors and staff members. We will select ten manuscripts to send on to the judge, who will choose the final winner.
Manuscripts remain anonymous until a winner is selected. Please remove any identifying references from your manuscript (including those in the body of the manuscript).
Only include cover letters in the appropriate box in the online form; do not upload a cover letter as the first page of your manuscript.
Entries that do not meet these terms may be disqualified. Please email editors at switchbackbooks dot com with any questions.
Manuscripts should be between 48 and 80 pages, paginated.
Please include a cover page with ONLY the title of the manuscript.
Table of contents recommended.
No acknowledgments page.
You will be notified of your submission status via email. Winners and finalists will be announced on our blog and website in early October.
Option 1: $18 for reading fee only
Option 2: $28 for reading fee and a book of your choice from our catalog (excluding limited edition FOUR). Please specify which book you would like to receive in the cover letter on the Submittable form; if you do not specify, we will send you a copy of the contest winning book. To ensure a timely delivery, be sure that your mailing address is up-to-date in the Submittable system.
All payments will be accepted via Submittable. We do not accept cash, checks, or money orders.
Please visit our page at Submittable to submit your manuscript:
Manuscripts will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. on June 15, 2012.