Submit to the Brittingham & Felix Pollak Prizes in Poetry

Submissions are now open for the Brittingham Prize in Poetry and the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry, awarded by the University of Wisconsin Press. Please read the instructions carefully before proceeding to our Submittable submissions manager. All submissions must be accompanied by a $28 entry fee, payable by credit card. Our submissions deadline is September 15. Winners will be announced no later than February 15, and winning manuscripts will be published in the first few months of 2023.

The Brittingham and Felix Pollak Prizes in Poetry are awarded annually to the two best book-length manuscripts of original poetry submitted in an open competition. Each winning poet receives a $1,000 cash prize. 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.

Only manuscripts uploaded between July 10 and September 15, or postmarked between August 15 and September 15, will be considered. Postal submissions must include a stamped, self-addressed, business-size envelope for notification of results. The manuscript must be previously unpublished in book form.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 Submittable if applicable.

Online submissions are strongly encouraged, though postal submissions will still be accepted this year. All submissions must be typed, in a 8.5″ x 11″ document, single-spaced, and 50–to-90 manuscript pages in length. Pages should be numbered.

Online submissions open on July 10, and will close on September 15. After reading these instructions, you may access the Submittable submissions manager at wicw.submittable.com,. You will be asked to upload a single pdf including a title page, table of contents, your poems, and (if applicable) an acknowledgments page listing any magazines or journals where the submitted poems first appeared. Your name and contact info should not appear anywhere in the document. You will be asked to pay a $28 submission fee.

To submit by mail, please include the materials listed below. Note that online submissions are strongly preferred, and postal 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 50-to-90-page manuscript. Clean photocopies are acceptable.
  • An acknowledgments page, for poems that have appeared previously in journals.
  • A $28 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 self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) for notification of the contest results.

First Class or Priority Mail is preferred for postal submissions. It is not necessary to send your manuscript via a Federal Express or UPS service. Questions not answered on this page may be directed to series editors Ron Wallace or Sean Bishop. 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

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Q: Who is this year's judge?

Our judge remains anonymous until the winners are announced in February of each year. Past judges have included Carmen Giménez Smith, Natasha Tretheway,  Denise Duhamel, Lucia Perillo, Terrance Hayes, Jean Valentine, Cornelius Eady, Robert Pinsky, Marilyn Nelson, Maxine Kumin, and Philip Levine.

Q: Who is eligible to win these prizes?

Anyone. As long as their 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?

No. Every submission is considered for both prizes. Your submission should include just one $28 payment.

Q: I have more than one manuscript—can I submit more than one each year?

Yes. But please upload two separate submissions online, or send your submissions in separate envelopes, with separate checks and separate SASEs.

Q: Will you notify me when my submission is received?

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 postal 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?

The prizes are effectively identical; there is no first and second place.

Q: How are the prizes awarded? How are the manuscripts judged?

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?

We notify all submitters of their status no later than February 15; we appreciate your patience as we make our decisions.

The University of Wisconsin Press has published more than fifty collections of poetry since the inception of the Brittingham Prize in 1985. The Brittingham and Pollak Prizes have debuted many of the most respected names in poetry today, including Olena Kalytiak Davis, Bob Hicok, Tony Hoagland, David Kirby, Nick Lantz, Lisa Lewis, and Brian Teare.

Contact Us

Prize Editors Ron Wallace and Sean Bishop
Program in Creative Writing
Department of English
600 N. Park St, H.C. White Rm 6195
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI 53706