Rising Writer Prize

The 2025 Rising Writer Prize is for a first full-length book of fiction (the 2026 prize will be for a first book of poetry). The Autumn House staff and select outsider readers will serve as the preliminary readers, and the final judge is K-Ming Chang. The winner receives publication of their full-length manuscript and $2,500. The submission period opens on August 15, 2024, and closes on November 15, 2024 (Eastern Time). We will announce the contest’s finalists and the winner by March 15, 2025. 

 

Guidelines for the Rising Writer Prize

  • Must be the author’s first full-length fiction book (previous publications of chapbooks and full-length books in other genres are fine)
  • The winners will receive book publication, a $1,000 honorarium, and a $1,000 travel/publicity grant to promote their book
  • All finalists will be considered for publication
  • Submissions should be approximately 50 – 80 pages
  • The reading fee is $30 (We will waive the submission fee for those undergoing financial hardship or living with limited means. Before you reach out to request a waived fee, please read our full statement and instructions here. If the guidelines are not followed, we will not be able to offer a waived fee.)
  • All fiction sub-genres (short stories, short-shorts, novellas, or novels) or any combination of sub-genres are eligible
  • The book should be previously unpublished
  • We only accept original manuscripts; AI-generated or AI-supported works are not accepted
  • Do not include your name anywhere on the actual manuscript; if your name appears within the body of the text, please omit it or black it out
  • You may include a brief bio in the “cover letter” section of Submittable
  • Do not include an acknowledgments page in the manuscript
  • Feel free to include a table of contents
  • Simultaneous submissions are permitted, but please let us know immediately if your book was accepted elsewhere
  • Friends, family members, and former students of judges or Autumn House editors may not submit to the contest. Students do not include interactions at short-term residencies or fellowships
  • Former employees of Autumn House, including interns, may not submit to the contest

If you have any questions, please check our FAQ page


photo by Andria Lo

K-Ming Chang is a Kundiman fellow, a Lambda Literary Award winner, a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, and an O. Henry Prize Winner. She is the author of the New York Times Book Review Editors’ choice novel BESTIARY (One World/Random House, 2020), which was longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and the Otherwise Award. In 2021, her chapbook BONE HOUSE was published by Bull City Press. Her story collection GODS OF WANT (One World/Random House) won a Lambda Literary Award and was a NYT Editors’ Choice. Her latest novel is ORGAN MEATS (One World, 2023), a Lambda Literary Award finalist, and CECILIA, a novella (Coffee House Press, 2024).


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Winners of the Autumn House Rising Writer Prize 

Year Author Title Genre Judge
2024 Anthony Immergluck The Worried Well Poetry Eduardo C. Corral
2023 Lynn Schmeidler Half-Lives Fiction Matt Bell
2022 Liza Katz Duncan Given Poetry Donika Kelly
2021 John Belk The Gardens of Our Childhoods Poetry Matthew Dickman
2021 Diego Gerard Morrison Myth of Pterygium Fiction Maryse Meijer
2020 Dennis James Sweeney In the Antarctic Circle Poetry Yona Harvey
2019 Eric Tran The Gutter Spread Guide to Prayer Poetry Stacey Waite
2018 S. Brook Corfman Luxury, Blue Lace Poetry Richard Siken
2017 Cameron Barnett The Drowning Boy’s Guide to Water Poetry Ada Limón

 

We strive to run our contests ethically and subscribe to CLMP’s guidelines. We encourage you to reach out if you are uncertain about a potential conflict of interest.