Poetry Prizes

Milkweed Editions participates in three annual prizes for poetry, all of which include a cash prize and publication by Milkweed Editions:

  • The LINDQUIST & VENNUM PRIZE FOR POETRY is an annual regional prize, presented in partnership by Milkweed Editions and the Lindquist & Vennum Foundation. Established in 2011 with the aim of supporting outstanding poets from the upper Midwest and bringing their work to a national stage, the prize awards $10,000 and publication by Milkweed Editions. The winner is selected from among five finalists by an independent judge. Eligibility and guidelines will be announced on December 5, 2016. Submissions to the 2017 prize will be open from January 2–February 15. Please do not submit manuscripts until submissions open.
  • The JAKE ADAM YORK POETRY PRIZE for a first or second collection is presented in partnership by Milkweed Editions and Copper Nickel. The inaugural prize, judged by Ross Gay, will award $2,000 and publication by Milkweed Editions in the spring of 2018. Please do not send manuscripts to Milkweed Editions—instead, please refer to Copper Nickel’s submission guidelines for details.
  • Milkweed Editions is one of five participating publishers in the NATIONAL POETRY SERIES, which was established in 1978 to recognize and promote excellence in contemporary poetry. Five winners are selected each year, and each receives a prize of $10,000 and publication. Learn more and submit at

Open Submissions Periods

Milkweed Editions anticipates opening for several submissions periods in 2017. Dates can be found below and are subject to change; please check the website as your intended submission period approaches. Descriptions of each submissions period and what we are looking for in nonfiction, fiction, and poetry can also be found below. Reviewing previous titles published by Milkweed Editions is another excellent resource.

We do our best to respond to submissions in a timely manner. Due to our staff size, however, our review time may take longer. Please be patient while we give your manuscript our full consideration.

  • LITERARY NONFICTION: Milkweed Editions will be open to manuscripts of literary nonfiction from January 15–February 15, 2017. We publish primarily works of literary nonfiction that focus on nature and the environment, a deeply felt sense of place, and/or the relationships between human and natural communities. We publish few works of memoir that do not bear a direct connection to these themes, and we are not interested in literary biographies or in manuscripts written for an academic, business, or scientific audience. Please submit a query letter with three opening chapters (of a full-length book) or three representative essays (of a collection).
  • FICTION: Milkweed Editions will be open to manuscripts of fiction (novels, novellas, and short story collections) from May 1–31, 2017. We are not currently accepting any children’s or YA manuscripts, and any submitted will be automatically declined. We do not publish romance, science fiction, mystery, crime, or westerns. Please submit a query letter with three opening chapters (of a novel) or three representative stories (of a collection).
  • POETRY: Milkweed Editions will be open to single-author collections of poetry from September 1–30, 2017. Manuscripts must be at least 60 pages long. Please submit a query letter along with the complete collection.

How to Submit a Manuscript

Electronic Submissions

Milkweed Editions prefers to receive manuscripts online through Submittable during one of our open submissions periods. A link to our Submittable page will be available once submissions open (see above for dates). NOTE: If you submit a manuscript during the incorrect genre submissions period, it will be automatically declined. 

Paper Submissions

Though we strongly recommend that you use Submittable, we also accept printed submissions. We will only respond to submissions mailed with an enclosed SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope), and will only return submissions if you enclose a mailer stamped with correct postage. If you do not provide a way for us to return the manuscript, we will recycle it.

Please see the above guidelines for each genre. NOTE: We are not currently accepting any children’s or YA manuscripts, and any submitted will be automatically declined.

You may address submissions to:

Nonfiction Reader [or Fiction or Poetry, as appropriate]
Milkweed Editions
1011 Washington Avenue South
Open Book, Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55415