December 15th – July 15th

SFWP Literary Awards

The SFWP Book Award

Seeking fiction and creative nonfiction in any genre.
Grand prize:
$1500 and no-obligation book contract.
Second & third place: $500 and no-obligation book contract.

This year’s judge is Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties.

You do not need to be from or associated with New Mexico or Santa Fe. We publish a wide range of books from authors who live all around the world, and are globally distributed by the Independent Publishers Group.


Enter the Contest

  • The grand prize is $1,500; two runner-ups will receive $500 each
  • Authors retain all rights to their work
  • Winners will be offered a competitive book contract for full-market, frontlist release. There’s no obligation to sign this contract.
  • There is a $30 reading fee.
  • There is no minimum or maximum page limit.

What are we looking for?

All fiction and creative nonfiction will be eligible despite genre, form, subject, or length. So we’ll take full- length manuscripts, collections short or long, excerpts, and essays. We don’t care about what the big presses believe to be “marketable,” we want to see excellence in writing, no matter the form it takes. Past winners have ranged from flash fiction to memoir to magical realism to literary fiction to essays.

The Judge

Carmen Maria Machado

Carmen Maria Machado’s debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Kirkus Prize, LA Times Book Prize Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, the World Fantasy Award, the Dylan Thomas Prize, Brooklyn Public Library Literature Prize, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, and the winner of the Bard Fiction Prize, the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize. In 2018, the New York Times listed Her Body and Other Parties as a member of “The New Vanguard,” one of “15 remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century.”

Her essays, fiction, and criticism have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, GrantaTin House, VQRMcSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, The Believer, Guernica, Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, Best American Nonrequired Reading, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the Michener-Copernicus Foundation, the Elizabeth George Foundation, the CINTAS Foundation, Yaddo, Hedgebrook, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. She is the Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania and lives in Philadelphia with her wife.

Grand prize winners, like 2017 winner Wendy J. Fox, get published!

Read more about If the Ice Had Held.

Or, read more about our other past winners!

Submission Guidelines

Deadline: July 15th, 2019.

  • Multiple entries will be accepted.
  • Entries may include a synopsis, outline, or introductory letter.
  • Do not send personal correspondence to the judge.
  • You may participate in other contests and programs as well as pursue publication during the SFWP 2019 Awards Cycle. There will be no penalties if your work wins another award or is published before the judging begins.
  • Who is eligible? All unpublished work is eligible. Previously published material is also eligible as long as it has not been published by a major press. So you can submit if you have published in zines, lit journals, and with micro presses. Self-published books are eligible, as are books published via Amazon’s CreateSpace, KDP, etc. If you have published with a small press and have not received any marketing support, then your book is eligible. If you have questions, please contact us.

News & Updates 

The SFWP Contest has begun!

See last year’s SFWP Book Awards Finalists (2017)

The finalists from our 2017 Awards Program.