Submit to the Brittingham
& Felix Pollak Prizes in Poetry
The University of Wisconsin Press awards the Brittingham Prize in Poetry and the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry. Each winning poet receives a $1,000 cash prize. The prizes are awarded annually to the two best book-length manuscripts of original poetry submitted in an open competition. All submissions will be considered for both prizes. There are no restrictions on the kind of poetry or subject matter, although translations are not acceptable. The winners will be announced and the prizes awarded in February of each calendar year, with publishing contracts to follow soon thereafter.
Only manuscripts postmarked September 1 through September 30 will be considered. The manuscript must be previously unpublished in book form. Poems published in journals, chapbooks, and anthologies may be included, but must be acknowledged. No changes in the manuscript will be considered between submission and acceptance. Simultaneous submissions to other contests are permitted provided the poet agrees to inform the Series Editor of the manuscript's acceptance for publication elsewhere, and to withdraw the manuscript via the submissions manager if applicable.
Online submissions are strongly encouraged, though postal submissions will still be accepted in September, 2013. All submissions must be typed, in a 8.5" x 11" document, single-spaced, and 60–to-90 manuscript pages in length. Pages should be numbered.
To submit online, go to the submissions manager and follow the instructions to create an account. If you applied for a Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing fellowship last year, you do not need to create a new account for the Brittingham and Felix Pollak Prizes in Poetry; use the same user ID and password you used to apply for the fellowship. You will be asked to upload a single pdf including a title page, table of contents, the manuscript itself, and an acknowledgments page listing any magazines or journals where the submitted poems first appeared. Your name and contact info should not appear anywhere on the document. Once you have successfully submitted, you will be redirected to our secure pay portal, where you can pay the $25 submission fee. You will then receive two emails: one acknowledging receipt of the submission, and one acknowledging your payment.
To submit by mail, please include the materials listed below. Note that manuscripts will not be returned; do not enclose return packaging.
- Two title pages: one with the title, author's name, address, e-mail, and phone number, and one with the title only. The author's name shouldn't appear anywhere in the manuscript except on the first title page.
- Your 60-to-90-page manuscript. Clean photocopies are acceptable.
- An acknowledgments page, for poems that have appeared previously in journals.
- A $25 non-refundable reading fee. Please make your check or money order payable to "The University of Wisconsin Press." Do not send cash or stamps. Foreign entries: please remit reading fee in U.S. funds drawn on a U.S. bank.
- A stamped, self-addressed, business-size envelope for notification of results (no postcards please).
First Class or Priority Mail is preferred. It is not necessary to send your manuscript via a Federal Express service. Questions not answered on this page may be directed to series editor Ron Wallace. Send all other correspondence and submissions to:
Brittingham and Pollak Poetry Prizes
c/o Ronald Wallace, UW Press Poetry Series Editor
Department of English
600 N. Park Street
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI 53706
Brittingham & Pollak FAQ
- Q: Who is this year's judge? A: Our judge remains anonymous until the winners are announced in February of each year. Past judges have included Terrance Hayes, Jean Valentine, Cornelius Eady, Robert Pinsky, Marilyn Nelson, Maxine Kumin, and Philip Levine.
- Q: Who is eligible to win these prizes? A: Anyone. As long as his or her manuscript meets the criteria outlined above, any author may win either prize. Previous winners of either the Brittingham or Pollak are not eligible to win the same prize twice, but may be awarded the other prize for a second collection. Previous winners of either prize may also be considered for the Four Lakes Prize in Poetry.
- Q: Do I need to send two manuscripts, or two checks, to be considered for both prizes? A: No. Every submission is considered for both prizes. You submission should include just one $25 check.
- Q: I have more than one manuscript—can I submit more than one each year? A: Yes. But please send your submissions in separate envelopes, with separate checks and separate SASEs.
- Q: Will you notify me when my submission is received? A: Unfortunately we cannot. If you wish to make sure your submission is received, we recommend you use our online submissions manager, which will allow you to log back in to check the status of your submission. Alternately, if you need reassurance that your submission has been received, you may send it via certified mail.
- Q: What's the difference between the Brittingham Prize and the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry? A: The prizes are effectively identical; there is no first and second place.
- Q: How are the prizes awarded? How are the manuscripts judged? A: The University of Wisconsin Press and series editor Ron Wallace employ a team of readers which changes each year, though this team typically consists—in part—of University of Wisconsin Creative Writing faculty and Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing fellows. Every manuscript is read by at least two different screeners, and manuscripts that make it to the semi-finalist and finalist rounds are read by at least three different screeners. Twenty to thirty manuscripts are then given to the judge, who chooses two winners.
- Q: When can I expect a response? A: We notify all submitters of their status no later than February 15; we appreciate your patience as we make our decisions.