The Word Works

Type Of Organization
Mission Statement / Editorial Focus
We have published over 150 titles since 1975, among which are four specialized imprints: The Washington Prize, the Hilary Tham Capital Collection (open to poets who volunteer to further the cause of literature), The Tenth Gate Prize (for mid-career poets), and International Editions (contemporary translations). We support our poets with generous author and review copies and by encouraging authors to return to us with their subsequent manuscripts. A proud member of CLMP, we launch our new titles each year at AWP. Our Mission Statement is and has always been: "THE WORD WORKS is a nonprofit literary and educational organization dedicated to the support and perpetuation of contemporary poetry and literature for the cultural enrichment of humankind. It is a volunteer organization operating without discrimination regarding gender, race, color, religion, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or any classification protected by State or Federal discrimination laws. The Word Works carries out its mission through book and World Wide Web publication, competitions, special projects, and public programs. Developing audience for poetry is a critical goal in its effort to promote and support outstanding literary work."

Social Media Platforms Used
facebook, instagram, twitter
Is Your Group Affiliated With A University, Portal Or Other Agency?
Primary Editor/Contact Person
Nancy White
Contact Title
Representative Authors
Fred Marchant, Frannie Lindsay, B. K. Fischer
Submissions Policy
We publish full-length poetry books under a range of imprints, and are open to all voices and styles. Each imprint has its own eligibility requirements and selection process, but in general we ask poets to submit paper or electronic ms with $25 fee and no identifying information beyond cover letter. We copyright each book in the name of the author, and legal authority over the individual poems (such as permission to reprint a poem in an anthology) revert to the author upon publication. Limited use of larger portions of the book are allowed to the author in other media or in collaborations with other artists.
Accepts Unsolicited Submissions
Simultaneous Submissions Accepted
Reading Period
From 01 / 15 - 3 / 15
Reporting Time
04 - 05 months
Author Payments
cash, copies
The Word Works Washington Prize (since 1979)
Number Of Unpaid Staff
Year Founded
SPD, Ingram, Baker & Taylor
Number Of Books Published Per Year
Titles In Print
Average Price Per Book
Average Price Per E-Book
Nancy White
What Is The Staff Structure At Your Magazine/press?
Volunteers serve in a wide variety of roles, from readers to reading series organizers, to promotional experts. The Washington Prize is a blind reading process with three tiers of judging.
How Are Submissions Processed In Your Magazine/press?
The Washington Prize manager reviews all ms to remove and store identifying info, then distributes these to readers in three phases. 4-5 judges meet to debate finalists in July. Feedback from readers is offered to all finalists and semi-finalists.
What Do You Look For In A Submission?
Originality, craft, music, and courage. We look for no one style or school of work; our backlist contains every approach to poetry imaginable. Some books are themed, others not. Some are experimental, others narrative, others lyrical. Some transcend
Who Is Your Ideal Reader?
Any person who wants a jolt, a rush, a comfort, a question, a moment of recognition coming in through word, image, music.