Howling Bird Press, the publishing house of Augsburg University’s MFA in Creative Writing, offers an annual prize that results in book publication. As a teaching press, we are staffed by graduate students enrolled in our Publishing Concentration. Our prize alternates genres annually, from poetry to fiction to nonfiction. 

From April 2 through July 31, 2022, we are accepting submissions in nonfiction. The press welcomes innovative, original work from established and emerging authors. The competition is open to all writers in English living in the U.S., whether published or unpublished. Manuscript length should be between 20,000 and 60,000 words. File formats should be either Word .doc or .docx. Pages should be numbered; include author's name and address.

Include a cover letter in the form provided online, and list contact information and a short (100 to 200 word) bio. There is a $25 entry fee. Current and former students of Augsburg's MFA in Creative Writing are ineligible, as are current faculty and staff of Augsburg University. Submitters must be the original author, not an agent of/for the author. The winner is announced in January 2023. The winner receives $2,500 and book publication in fall 2023. 

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Howling Bird Press, the publishing house of Augsburg College’s MFA in Creative Writing, seeks submissions for its 2023 Book Prize in Nonfiction. The press welcomes innovative, original work from established and emerging authors.

The competition is open to all writers in English, whether published or unpublished. Author of the winning manuscript receives a cash award of $2,500, which serves as an advance, with book subsequently published by Howling Bird Press under a standard book contract.

Contest Guidelines

  • Submission period: April 2–July 31, 2022
  • Online submission, including $25 entry fee, should be made through Submittable (this page).
  • Include a cover letter that lists current address, phone number, and email address
  • Only current residents of the U.S. are eligible
  • MFA faculty and publishing students will serve as judges
  • Winner will be announced in January 2023
  • Recommended length is between 20,000 and 60,000 words long; exceptions are permissible.
  • The book should be a single work of long-form nonfiction, or, if a collection of essays, unified in theme.
  • Submit Word doc or docx files only. Preferred font is Times New Roman, 12 pt., double-spaced, with one-inch margins. 
  • Manuscript pages must be numbered.
  • Portions of the book may be previously published. If a single work of long-form nonfiction, the book must be previously unpublished.
  • Include a list of acknowledgments if portions have been previously published. 
  • Table of contents should be included (if applicable).
  • Authors may submit more than one manuscript to the competition for consideration as long as no material is duplicated between submissions. Each submission will require a separate entry fee.
  • Manuscripts under consideration for this competition may be submitted elsewhere at the same time. Please withdraw your manuscript if it is accepted by another publisher and should no longer be considered for the Howling Bird Press competition. Withdrawal can be completed via the Submittable manager website. Entry fees are not refundable.
  • Current and former students of Augsburg's MFA in Creative Writing are ineligible, as are current faculty and staff of Augsburg University.
Howling Bird Press