Main Street Rag’s Annual Poetry Book Award

16 January 2009

NEXT DEADLINE: January 31, 2009
Reading Fee: $20/entry, $25 for those who want to receive a copy of the winning book.

****Notification in April for Winter 2009/2010 publication. ****

Winner receives 50 books and $1000. Runners up also considered for publication.

Send between 48 and 80 pages of poetry, no more than one poem per page, 12 point type in an easily readable font like Arial or Times New Roman. Do not include Table of Contents in page count and print/submit on a letter size sheet of paper.

Include a separate cover letter with manuscript title, author’s name, and all pertinent contact information. Author’s name should not appear anywhere in manuscript.

Our goal is “blind” judging. Do Not Include Dedication and/or Credits/Acknowledgements Pages in entry. For the purpose of fairness, it is important that judges know as little about the author as possible and these pages are not relevant to the judging process. In the past, if these items accidentally slipped through registration, readers were instructed to disqualify manuscripts that arrive with credits, acknowledgements, or author’s name on them anywhere. This year we have changed that rule. Since our primary goal for the MSR Poetry Book Award is to select manuscripts for publication, we will no longer disqualify those who blatantly disregard the rules. They can’t win, but they will still be considered for publication.

For notification of receipt, entries can include a post card, but if they include an email address, we will send a verification of receipt via email the day it arrives. Entries should include a #10 SASE ( This is a standard business size: 4 X 10) for winner notification if they do not choose to be notified by email. Please not not waste postage on a 9 X 12 since no manuscripts will be returned regardless of what size envelope is provided.

No restriction on content style or subject–we’re looking for the best manuscript.

*Although MSR frowns on simultaneous submissions for our magazine, it is acceptable for our book contests. Upon notification, however, winner must immediately withdraw his/her mss from consideration elsewhere.

Mailing Instructions:

All checks should be made payable to Main Street Rag, PO BOX 690100, Charlotte, NC 28227-7001.

We recommend using US Postal Service Media Mail (within the US), but that takes longer to arrive, so DO NOT send it Media Mail if you are mailing it on or near the deadline. Why? because we distribute the LAST manuscripts to first round readers on February 8. Anything that has not arrived by the day before (February 7) will be excluded and the check returned in the SASE (if one has been provided–otherwise, it will be shredded).

DO NOT use clips or binding of any kind. We have THOUSANDS of clips here from years of submissions and we remove anything that comes in a binder and throw away the binder. If you want to pay for a binder
and the shipping to get it here only to have it thrown away, that’s your choice. It will not go to any readers in a binder of any kind.

DO NOT send anything that must be signed for (Signature Receipt or Express Mail) since it means having to stand in line to receive it (and we won’t).

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