Prizes & Opportunities for BIPOC Writers, Editors & Publishers

With the help of our member magazines and presses, we’ve gathered this growing list of prizes and opportunities for BIPOC writers, editors, and other members of the literary community. Find more magazines and presses that champion writers of color here. To suggest an addition, please contact us at [email protected].


Book Prizes and Series

Ambroggio Prize
Sponsored by the Academy of American Poets, the $1,000 Ambroggio Prize is given for a book-length poetry manuscript originally written in Spanish and with an English translation. The winning manuscript is published by the University of Arizona Press, which is nationally recognized for its commitment to publishing the award-winning works of emerging and established voices in Latinx and Indigenous literature, as well as groundbreaking scholarship in Latinx and Indigenous studies.

The Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize
Sponsored by Letras Latinas in collaboration with University of Notre Dame Press, this prize is given to support the publication of a first book by a Latinx poet in the United States. 

Ann Petry Award
Sponsored by Red Hen Press and the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance, this $3,000 award, which has no entry fee, is given to support the publication of a prose book by a Black writer.  

Black Caucus of the American Library Association Literary Awards
Sponsored by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, these four $500 awards are given annually for a poetry collection, a first novel, a book of fiction, and a book of nonfiction (including creative nonfiction) by African American writers published in the United States in the previous year. 

Blessing the Boats Selections
Sponsored by BOA Editions, this series spotlights poetry collections by women of color, including poets who identify as cis, trans, and non-binary people who are comfortable in a space that centers on women’s experiences, regardless of citizenship and publication history. The series has free open submission periods.  

The CAAPP Book Prize
Cosponsored by Autumn House Press and the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics, this $3,000 prize is awarded to a first or second book that is, or intersects with, poetry by a writer of African descent and is open to the full range of writers embodying African and African diasporic experience. 

Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize
Sponsored by Cave Canem, this $1,000 prize is given to support the publication by Northwestern University Press of a second book of poetry by a Black poet of African descent. 

Cave Canem Poetry Prize
Sponsored by Cave Canem, this $1,000 first-book prize is dedicated to the discovery of exceptional manuscripts by Black poets of African descent. The winning manuscript is published by Graywolf Press.

Cave Canem Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize
Sponsored by Cave Canem, this $500 chapbook prize supports the publication of the winning chapbook by Jai-Alai Books. The winner also receives a weeklong residency at the Writer’s Room at the Betsy Hotel in Miami, Florida, and gives a reading at the O, Miami Poetry Festival. 

Contemporary Voices of Indigenous Peoples Series
Sponsored by North Dakota State University Press, this series aims to publish the authentic stories, poetry, and scholarly works of Native Americans, First Nations, Maori, Aborigines, Indians, and more to give voice to contemporary Indigenous peoples.

The Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards
Sponsored by the Hurston/Wright Foundation, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards are open to Black writers in America and across the globe and honor full-length books of debut fiction, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, as well as collections of short stories, and collections of essays.

The Kundiman Poetry Prize
Sponsored by Kundiman, this $1,000 prize is dedicated to publishing exceptional work by Asian American poets at any stage of their career and supports the publication of the winning manuscript by Tupelo Press. (Note: Kundiman will not be offering this prize in 2021.)

Letras Latinas/Red Hen Collaborative
Cosponsored by Letras Latinas and Red Hen Press, this collaborative supports the publication of new Latinx titles as part of a curated series and Editor’s Choice Awards. 

The Megaphone Prize
Sponsored by Radix Media, this $1,000 prize supports the publication of debut collections from writers of color.

New Voices Award
Sponsored by Lee & Low Books, this annual $2,000 prize supports the publication of the winning children’s picture book manuscript by a writer of color or Indigenous/Native writer.

The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing
Sponsored by Restless Books, this prize honors outstanding debut literary works by first-generation immigrants, awarding for fiction and nonfiction in alternating years. The winner receives $10,000 and publication by Restless Books. 

Sillerman First Book Prize
Cosponsored by the African Poetry Book Fund and Prairie Schooner, this $1,000 prize is given to support the  publication by University of Nebraska Press of a debut poetry collection by a poet who was born in Africa, is an African national or resident, or whose parents are African. 


Magazine Prizes

James Welch Prize
Sponsored by Poetry Northwest, this prize is awarded for two outstanding poems, each written by an Indigenous U.S. poet, and is open to new, emerging, and established poets who are members of tribal nations within the United States and its trust territories (including American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Chamorros, and American Samoans). Only poets who have not published more than one book-length collection are eligible. Editor’s Prize
For this $500 prize, given in the categories of Poetry, Nonfiction, and Fiction, considers all contributions exploring place—particularly in the context of social, environmental, or climate justice—by writers of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, women, and/or other marginalized communities.

Jacobs/Jones African American Literary Prize
Sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network, this $1,000 prize is given to a Black writer who lives in North Carolina for a short story or an essay that “conveys the rich and varied existence of Black North Carolinians.” The winning entry is considered for publication in the Carolina Quarterly


Fellowships & Mentorship Programs

Black Creatives Fund
Sponsored by Penguin Random House, this We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) initiative features a revisions workshop, a mentorship program, and a marketing symposia, all supporting Black writers and illustrators.

Emerging Writer Fellowship Program
Sponsored by The Georgia Review, this fellowship will support writers from the diasporic communities that have established themselves in the American Southeast since the late twentieth century. Two fellows—one in prose and one in poetry—will receive publication in The Georgia Review, a reading in Athens, Georgia, and a month-long stay at AIR Serenbe.

Emerging Voices Fellowship
Sponsored by PEN America, this fellowship is a five-month immersive mentorship program for early-career writers from communities that are traditionally underrepresented in the publishing world. The program is committed to cultivating the careers of Black writers, and serves writers who identify as Indigenous, persons of color, LGBTQIA+, immigrants, writers with disabilities, and those living outside of urban centers.

The Fresh Voices Fellowship
Sponsored by Epiphany, this year-long fellowship supports one emerging Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, or other writer of color who does not have an MFA and is not currently enrolled in a degree-granting creative writing program. The fellow receives a $2000 stipend, paid publication in Epiphany, and mentorship.

The Kundiman Mentorship Lab
Sponsored by Kundiman, this mentorship program supports three New York City–based writers in creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry, who will take craft classes and workshops and receive one-on-one mentorship. Mentorship Fellows receive a $1000 stipend.

Kweli Fellowship Program
Sponsored by Kweli, this fellowship provides three or more early-stage writers with 11-month writing fellowships. Eligible candidates are based in New York City, are not enrolled in degree-granting programs, and self-identify as POC, Native, and/or Arab American.

Kweli Sing the Truth! Mentorship Program
Sponsored by Kweli, this mentorship program for BIPOC writers of children’s books for children and young adults is affiliated with the Kweli Color of Children’s Literature Conference. The mentorship spans the full year this year beyond this annual conference and webinar series, as mentees attend pre-conference events and participate in a reading series.

The Margins Fellowship
Sponsored by the Asian American Writers Workshop, this $5,000 fellowship offers mentorship, work space, career guidance, and publishing opportunities to four Asian diasporic creative writers based in NYC for a full year. Fellows also receive special residency space at The Millay Colony for the Arts, a seven-acre artists retreat space at the former house and gardens of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Open City Fellowship
Sponsored by the Asian American Writers Workshop, this $2,5000 fellowship offers the opportunity to write narrative nonfiction on the vibrant immigrant communities of New York City, including through skill-building workshops and publishing opportunities in The Margins.

The Shenandoah Fellowship for BIPOC Editors
Sponsored by Shenandoah, this $1,000 fellowship offers editors the opportunity to curate a selection of published work in a genre of their choosing for a single issue of Shenandoah, working with the Shenandoah staff to guide the work to publication. 

Writing for Justice Fellowship
Sponsored by PEN America, this fellowship commissions writers—emerging or established—to create written works of lasting merit that illuminate critical issues related to mass incarceration and catalyze public debate. The fellowship aims to harness the power of writers and writing in bearing witness to the societal consequences of mass incarceration. 


Emergency Funding

Emergency Fund for Diverse Creatives in Publishing
We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) provides emergency grants between $500 and $1,000 each to diverse authors, illustrators, and publishing professions who are experiencing dire financial need.


Conferences & Retreats

The CantoMundo Retreat
CantoMundo’s annual retreat is an opportunity to build community among other Latinx poets and work on poetic craft. All fellows participate in a three-hour generative workshop, attend a keynote lecture, participate in panel discussions, and present their poetry during public readings.

The Cave Canem Retreat
Sponsored by Cave Canem, this week-long retreat is held annually at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and offers workshops, readings, craft talks, and more for Black poets of African descent.

The Kundiman Retreat
Sponsored by Kundiman, this annual retreat offers master classes, mentorship meetings, readings, writing circles, and informal social gatherings for 36 fellows.

The Roots. Wounds. Words. Writers’ Retreat
Sponsored by Roots. Wounds. Words. Inc., this retreat is a multi-day conference for BIPOC adult (21+) literary artists of all experience levels.


Waived or Discounted Submission Fees for BIPOC Writers

The following magazines and presses offer reduced or waived entry fees to BIPOC writers during all or part of their submissions windows: 

Black Ocean

Black Warrior Review

The Common