WCUPC Donald Justice Prize

Autumn House Press is pleased to partner with the West Chester University Poetry Center for the Donald Justice Poetry Prize. 

The distinguished American poet Donald Justice is recognized as one of the finest poets of the late twentieth century. The recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, Bollingen Prize, and numerous honors for his verse, Justice was a masterful and exacting craftsman, traits that define the prize named in his honor. The prize is made possible through the generosity of the Iris N. Spencer Poetry Award. The Justice Prize welcomes unpublished, original book-length collections of poems that pay attention to form for consideration in the competition. The winner of the competition will receive $1,500 and have their manuscript published by Autumn House Press. Mark Jarman will serve as the judge for the 2023 Donald Justice Poetry Prize.

WCUPC asks that applicants adhere to the following *NEW* guidelines. Please read carefully and reach out to poetry@wcupa.edu with any questions.

  • The annual competition is open to all American poets regardless of whether they have previously published a book-length collection.
  • The suggested length of the manuscript is at least 50 pages but it should not exceed should 100 pages.
  • No more than one-third of the manuscript may consist of permission-secured or public domain translations.
  • Two copies of the manuscript need to be uploaded in the following format:
    • The complete original manuscript as one PDF (preferred) or Word file to contain the title page, author’s name, address, e-mail address, and contact number.  Dedications, references, and acknowledgments are permitted in this copy. The manuscript file format must be: Author last name_author first name_manuscript title
    • The second copy must be a “blind” manuscript with the title, content page, and poems only.  All identifying information must be removed or redacted within the file. The file name for this copy must be the name of the manuscript only.
    • Submit the above as two separate documents to this MANUSCRIPT DROPBOX LINK.
  • After submitting to the Dropbox site, please remit the entry fee of $25 for each manuscript here: MANUSCRIPT PAYMENT FORM.
  • All manuscripts and payments must be received by November 15, 2022.

Notification of contest results will be provided via email.

The winner will receive their prize and give a public reading at the annual West Chester University Poetry Festival in June 2023.

Any questions regarding the DJPP should be directed to the Poetry Center, poetry@wcupa.edu.