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Department of English

Submit Your Manuscript

Contest opens: July 1, 2021

Deadline: September 30, 2021

Final judge: Carmen Giménez Smith

Award: $2,000 prize and publication by Anhinga Press

Submission Guidelines

Visit our Submittable page to submit your manuscript online.

Please read the complete guidelines before submitting your manuscript.

carmen gimenez smith author photoCarmen Giménez Smith, a 2019 Guggenheim fellow, is the author of seven books including Milk and Filth, a finalist for the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry, and Be Recorder, a finalist for the National Book Award, the L.A. Times Book and the PEN Open Book Award.

She was awarded an American Book Award for Bring Down the Little Birds and the Juniper Prize for Poetry for her collection Goodbye, Flicker. She is publisher of Noemi Press and a Professor of English at Virginia Tech.

The Philip Levine Prize for Poetry seeks previously unpublished, full-length poetry manuscripts and is open to any poet writing in English. Individual poems in a contest manuscript may have been previously published in magazines, journals, anthologies, or chapbooks, but the work as a whole must be unpublished.

Translations are ineligible for this prize, as well as previously self-published books. Current and former faculty and students of California State University, Fresno are ineligible. Close friends and family members of the final judge are also ineligible.

Please include a table of contents and number your pages. Manuscript should be 48-80 pages in length (not including title page, table of contents, etc.). Each poem should start on a new page. If needed, you may attach a ‘Notes’ page.

Please do NOT include the following in your manuscript document: a cover letter; a dedication or thank-you page; an acknowledgements page; any biographical notes; your name or any identifying information.

If you are submitting online: Within the document, please include a single title page with only the title of the manuscript so that your entry remains anonymous. Do NOT include your name or personal information in the file name or in the title of the manuscript. Within Submittable, for our administrative purposes, you can include your contact information (author name, address, telephone number, and email address).

If you are submitting a paper manuscript: Please include two title pages. One title page should include the title of the manuscript only, so that your entry remains anonymous. The second title page, for our administrative purposes, should include the title of manuscript, author name, address, telephone number, and email address.

Simultaneous submissions to other publishers or contests are permitted, as long as you notify Levine Prize staff promptly if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere.

All entries must be certified by Submittable (online) or postmarked (hardcopy) by September 30, 2021.

Via Submittable online: An entry fee of $25 (U.S.) must accompany each online submission. Multiple submissions are accepted so long as a separate entry fee accompanies each submission.

Via postal mail: An entry fee of $22 (U.S.) must accompany each hardcopy submission. Multiple submissions are accepted so long as a separate entry fee accompanies each submission. Checks or money orders can be mailed to the address below, and they should be made payable to “Fresno State – Levine Prize.”

Via Submittable online: Be sure that your document is complete and formatted correctly before uploading. Reminder: Do NOT include contact information in the body of your manuscript, in the file name, or in the title of the manuscript. Include a title page with manuscript title only and enter your contact information separately into Submittable so that the manuscript remains anonymous.

Via postal mail: The Levine Prize encourages online submissions to save paper, but we still welcome mailed manuscripts. Be sure to include your check or money order. You can mail your submission to:

Fresno State, Levine Prize
Department of English
5245 N. Backer Ave., PB98
Fresno, CA 93740-8001

The Philip Levine Prize for Poetry endorses and abides by the Ethical Guidelines of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP):

CLMP’s community of independent literary publishers believes that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to:

  1. Conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors;
  2. To provide clear and specific contest guidelines — defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and
  3. To make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public.

This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contest contributes to a vibrant literary heritage.

Online submissions will receive automated notification of receipt. Please keep these for your records.

To confirm receipt of your paper manuscript, include a self-addressed stamped postcard. Please do not enclose a SASE for return of a manuscript. All paper manuscripts will be recycled at the conclusion of the competition.

Results will be announced in January 2022. We notify all entrants in three ways: via email to those who included an email address with their paper or online manuscript; via postal mail to those who included a SASE with their paper manuscript; and online via our MFA program’s website, social media, and elsewhere.

To receive mailed notification of the winner and finalists, you may attach a SASE with your submission materials.

Mai Der Vang, contest coordinator:

Levine Prize staff: or 559.278.1569