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$28.00 USD

The Gournay Prize will select one book length collection of essays each year to receive a cash prize of $1000 and publication in the 21st Century Essays series on Mad Creek Books, an imprint of The Ohio State University Press. Submission window: March 15-April 22. Please note that all manuscripts submitted to the prize will also be considered for the 21st Century Essays series.   

  • The award is open to all writers for first books of essays. Writers may have published books previously in other genres.
  • The award is open to writers in English, whether or not they are citizens of the United States. Translations are not eligible.
  • Prior publication of your manuscript as a whole in any format (including electronic or self-published) makes it ineligible. Individual essays that have been previously published may be included in the manuscript. Each submission must include a list of acknowledgments of previously published work (title and magazine/journal/anthology) included in the manuscript.
  • Manuscripts may also be under consideration by other publishers, but if a manuscript is accepted for publication elsewhere, the submission should be promptly withdrawn from consideration.
  • Authors may submit more than one manuscript to the competition as long as one manuscript or a portion thereof does not duplicate material submitted in another manuscript. An entry fee must be paid for each submission.

Please include as much of the following information as you can when you submit your manuscript materials:

  • Title of your manuscript
  • General description/overview (1-2 pages) of your project as well as target audience
  • Word count of the project (we publish manuscripts that range from 45,000-95,000 words), along with information about any necessary images you plan to include.
  • Explanation of what makes the project unique or important (new form, different subject, new view on an old subject). You can include a round-up of competing books (if any exist), and a brief explanation of the uniqueness of your proposed book. Why would people want to read it? What makes it different and special?
  • Bio, resume, or CV

If you are unsure if your project fits the contest, please contact Kristen Elias Rowley at madcreek@osupress.org

We make every effort to review submissions within 6-8 weeks, so please refrain from sending followup inquiries before the end of that time. Thank you!

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.