Yale Series of Younger Poets Rules

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The Prize

Please note our updated submission guidelines.

The Yale Series of Younger Poets is seeking submissions for its 2024 competition. The Yale Younger Poets Prize is the oldest annual literary award in the United States and the series champions the most promising new American poets. Winners of the Series will receive a $1000 advance and a publication contract from Yale University Press and one of the six writing fellowships offered at The James Merrill House in Stonington, CT. The fellowship provides a furnished living space and daily access to James Merrill’s apartment for a writer in search of a quiet setting to complete a project of literary or academic merit. The winning poetry manuscript will be selected by the series’ current judge, critically acclaimed poet Rae Armantrout.

All submissions will be judged anonymously.

Submission and Eligibility Guidelines

  1. The competition is open to emerging poets who have not previously published a book of poetry and who reside in the United States.
  2. Poets of any age may submit.
  3. Manuscripts with interior images are not accepted.
  4. Submissions must be original, book-length poetry manuscripts written in the English language. Translations are not accepted.
  5. Poets may submit only one manuscript per year. Manuscripts submitted in previous years may be resubmitted.
  6. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable during the submission and reading period. If you have submitted your manuscript to other publishers, we require that you notify us immediately if you have an offer for publication. If your submission is selected as the winner of this prize, you must agree to immediately withdraw the manuscript from consideration elsewhere upon notification of your selection as winner.
  7. Eligibility is further contingent on the poet’s agreeing to the terms of the publishing agreement, all terms of which are non-negotiable.
  8. There is an application fee of $25.00.
  9. The manuscript must be a minimum of 48 numbered pages and a maximum of 64 numbered pages in length. All manuscripts must be paginated. Each new poem must start on a new page.
  10. The manuscript must begin with an unnumbered frontmatter. Please see the separate instructions for Electronic Submissions and Hard Copy Submissions below.
  11. Begin paginating the manuscript after the frontmatter. If your book is divided into parts or has an epigraph, Page 1 will be the first part title or the epigraph. Otherwise, Page 1 will be the first poem.
  12. In formatting the manuscript, please make legibility your first concern. Poems must be typed/word-processed. Please select a standard typeface (such as Bodoni, Garamond, or Times New Roman) in at least 10-point type. Manuscripts may be single-spaced, double-spaced, or 1.5 spaced.
  13. The Yale Series of Younger Poets reserves the right to reject any manuscript for any reason.
  14. The Yale Series of Younger Poets reserves the right of the judge to not choose a winner for any given year of the competition and reserves its right to determine the ineligibility of a winner, in keeping with the spirit and rules of the competition.
  15. The winning submission will be published in a book with a series design. We are happy to consider the winner’s suggestions for an image to be featured on the book cover in conjunction with the unified typographic approach of the series. If we choose to adopt one of the suggested images, the poet will be asked to secure permission to use it.

Electronic Submissions

The Yale Series of Younger Poets competition strongly urges electronic submission. By electronically submitting your manuscript, you will receive immediate confirmation of your successful submission and the ability to check the status of your entry.

Electronic submissions for the 2024 competition must be submitted no earlier than October 1 and no later than November 15 of the current year. The submission window closes at midnight EST.

If you are submitting your manuscript electronically, please omit your name, contact information, biography, and acknowledgements from your manuscript. The manuscript must begin with a title page that lists the title of the collection only and a table of contents. Please enter the title of your manuscript, your name and contact information, and a brief biography where indicated in the electronic submission form. A fee of $25.00, payable by credit card or via PayPal, is also required at the time of submission.

If you would like to submit an electronic copy of your manuscript please go to:

Hard Copy Submissions

The Yale Series of Younger Poets competition strongly urges applicants to submit their manuscripts electronically, but if that is impossible, we will accept hard copies.

Submissions for the 2024 competition must be postmarked no earlier than October 1 and no later than November 15 of the current year.

If you are submitting a hard copy of your manuscript, the manuscript must begin with a title page that shows the book’s title and your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address (if you have one), and page count; and a second title page that lists the title of the collection only, and a table of contents. Please include a brief biography at the end of the manuscript, on a separate page.

Manuscripts may be prepared on a typewriter instead of a word processor. Handwritten manuscripts will not be accepted.

Do not bind or staple the manuscript. Place the loose sheets in a plain envelope of appropriate size.

Do not send the only copy of your work. Manuscripts cannot be returned after the competition. If you wish receipt of your manuscript to be acknowledged, please include an email address on your title page or send a stamped, self-addressed postcard with your submission.

Send the manuscript to:

Yale Series of Younger Poets
P.O. Box 209040
New Haven, CT 06520-9040

Include a check or money order for $25.00 made out to Yale University Press. Please do not send cash.

Contact Us

For more information regarding the Yale Series of Younger Poets, please email ysyp@yale.edu.

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