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Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize (Deadline: February 29)

Submissions to the 2024 Graywolf Nonfiction Prize will be open from February 1-29, 2024. A $20,000 advance and publication by Graywolf Press will be awarded to the most promising and innovative literary nonfiction project by a writer not yet established in the genre. The winning author will also receive a $2,000 stipend intended to support the completion of their project. 

The Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize emphasizes innovation in form and content and encourages projects that push the boundaries of literary nonfiction. The Graywolf editors are particularly interested in new approaches to the personal essay, cultural and literary criticism, creative scholarship, and books exploring complex ideas from unexpected angles. They hope to be moved, challenged, and surprised. Please note that they are not interested in straightforward memoirs or journalistic reporting. Before submitting your manuscript for the prize, please look at the books previously published as winners of the prize or other Graywolf nonfiction titles for examples of the type of work that tehy are seeking. 

The prize will be awarded to a manuscript in progress. The editors request that authors send a long sample from their manuscript, as well as a description of the work, as detailed below. The editors expect to work with the winner of the prize and provide editorial guidance toward the completion of the manuscript. 

The prize will be judged by the Graywolf Press editors. The editors reserve the right to invite submissions and make exceptions. Agented submissions are welcome. Manuscripts submitted for previous years’ prizes will not be reconsidered unless resubmission has been specifically requested by the Graywolf editors. Graywolf will only consider one submission per author for each open submission period.

Please submit the following items: 

  • A one-page cover letter containing a short biographical statement and brief description of the project
  • A list of all previous publications
  • A two to ten-page overview of the project, including a description of what is already complete and what work remains to be finished
  • A minimum of 100 pages (roughly 25,000 words) from anywhere within the manuscript, using regular margins, double spacing, and 12-point font

To be eligible, writers must:

  • Live in the United States, regardless of citizenship status
  • Have published at least one piece of nonfiction in a literary journal or magazine; reviews, interviews, reportage, and other similar pieces do not qualify
  • Have not yet authored a book of literary nonfiction; authorship of other kinds of nonfiction books is not disqualifying

Terms of publication: 

  • $20,000 advance 
  • World rights, including translation
  • Format: paperback original 

Former Winners on the Impact of the Nonfiction Prize

“[The Collected Schizophrenias] truly wouldn’t have come to be if it hadn’t been for the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize. . . . If Graywolf hadn’t taken it, that would’ve been it; the book would’ve died on the vine. So I’m very, very glad that they did.”—Esmé Weijun Wang, author of The Collected Schizophrenias, from Lit Hub

“Graywolf changed my life. No other way to put it. They believed in a book no one else would have published. Maybe you have a book for them too?”—Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams, via Twitter

See full submission guidelines and submit here.