The Tupelo Quarterly Prizes in Poetry & Prose


The Editors of Tupelo Quarterly are thrilled to announce that Tracy K. Smith and Adam Johnson will judge the TQ9 Prizes in Poetry and Prose.


The deadline for submissions is December 1, 2015.



TRACY K. SMITH is the author of the memoir Ordinary Light (Knopf, 2015), longlisted for the 2015 National Book Award in Nonfiction, and three books of poetry. Her most recent collection, Life on Mars (Graywolf, 2011), won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and was selected as a New York Times Notable Book. The collection draws on sources as disparate as Arthur C. Clarke and David Bowie, and is in part an elegiac tribute to her late father, an engineer who worked on the Hubble Telescope. Duende (2007) won the 2006 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. The Body’s Question (2003) was the winner of the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize.

Smith was the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers Award in 2004 and a Whiting Award in 2005. In 2014 the Academy of American Poets awarded Smith with the Academy Fellowship, awarded to one poet each year to recognize distinguished poetic achievement. She is currently the Director of Princeton University’s Creative Writing Program.

ADAM JOHNSON is the author of The Orphan Master’s Son, which was published in 2012 by Random House and received the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. Michiko Kakutani, writing in The New York Times, called The Orphan Master’s Son, “a daring and remarkable novel, a novel that not only opens a frightening window on the mysterious kingdom of North Korea, but one that also excavates the very meaning of love and sacrifice.” He is also the author of Emporium, a short-story collection, and the novel Parasites Like Us. His books have been translated into twenty-three languages.

A Whiting Writers’ Award winner, his work has appeared in Esquire, Harper’s, Playboy, GQ, The Paris Review, Granta, Tin House, The New York Times and Best American Short Stories. A 2010 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow and a Guggenheim Fellow for 2013-14, he is Associate Professor of English with emphasis in creative writing at Stanford University.


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To be considered for the Poetry Prize, send up to 5 unpublished poems of any style or sensibility. The author of the winning poem will receive $1,000 and publication in TQ9. Finalists will also be named and published.

To be considered for the Prose Open Prize, submit one piece of short fiction or creative nonfiction, 15 pages or less. Both fiction and nonfiction are eligible; neither genre preferred. The author of the winning piece of short fiction or creative nonfiction will receive $1,000 and publication. Finalists will also be named and published.

Simultaneous submissions are welcome as long as you notify us immediately if any poems are accepted elsewhere. The Tupelo Quarterly Prizes in Poetry & Prose are open to anyone writing in the English language, whether living in the United States or abroad. Translations are not eligible for this contest. Those submitting work for consideration may be published authors or writers without prior book or journal publications. Employees of Tupelo Press are not eligible. If Tracy K. Smith or Adam Johnson is your current or former teacher, or if there is any reason at all that your integrity or ours could be called into question should you win the contest, please do not submit.

A contest entry fee of $20 (U.S.) must accompany each submission to either prize. Multiple submissions are accepted, as long as each submission is accompanied by a separate $20 contest entry fee. All work must be submitted through Submittable. The deadline for all submissions is December 1, 2015.

Thank you for your participation and your support of Tupelo Quarterly.