Winner of the 2020 Rising Writer Contest Announced

March 27, 2020

Congratulations to poet Dennis James Sweeney!

Autumn House is pleased to announce that Yona Harvey selected In the Antarctic Circle by Dennis James Sweeney as the winner of this year’s Rising Writer Prize! We are thrilled to publish Dennis’s debut full-length collection in March 2021.

Dennis James Sweeney’s poems have appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Passages North, Quarterly West, and The New York Times, among others. He is a Small Press Editor of Entropy, the recipient of an MFA from Oregon State University, and a former Fulbright fellow in Malta. Originally from Cincinnati, he lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, where he is completing a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Denver. He is the author of the chapbook Ghost/Home: A Beginner’s Guide to Being Haunted, as well as three other chapbooks of poetry and prose.

We’d also like to congratulate the runner-up and finalists for their wonderful manuscripts

This year’s runner-up was In the year of more terrible news by Kabel Mishka Ligot.

The finalists for the 2020 contest were,


0-Six by Sarah Bates

Common Condition by Georgia Dennison

Tapetum Lucidum by James Ellenberger

Swan Hammer: an Instructor’s Guide to Mirrors by Maggie Graber

Hands Pull You Apart by Emily Jaeger

Little Pharma by Laura Kolbe

You’re Lucky to Get Touched at All by Jessica Morey-Collins

Sweet Beast by Gabriella R. Tallmadge

Preferred Internal Landscape by Emma Winsor Wood

Involuntary Hold by Erik Wilbur


Finally, we’d like to thank everyone who submitted a manuscript to us. It was an honor to read so much rich and vibrant work. 
Filed under: Contests