Lee Smith headshotSubmissions for the Lee Smith Novel Prize are NOW OPEN. We are accepting submissions now through Nov. 30, 2017. Please submit your novel manuscript via Submittable using this link. You can read more information and contest guidelines on the Submittable page.




Submissions for the Bakwin Award for Writing by a Woman are NOW CLOSED. Submissions for this contest will reopen in early 2018. The Bakwin Award honors full-length prose work (novel, short story collection, or memoir) by an author who is a woman. The winner will receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the winning book will be published by Carolina Wren Press. Read the full guidelines and submit electronically hereWe look forward to reading your submissions! We are excited to announce that our final judge for the this year’s Bakwin Award is Tayari Jones.

Final Judge: Tayari Jones

Tayari Jones PhotoTayari Jones was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, where she spent most of her childhood, with the exception of the one year she and her family spent in Nigeria. Although she has not lived in her hometown for more than a decade, much of her writing centers on the urban South. “Although I now live in the northeast,” she explains, “my imagination lives in Atlanta.” Her novels include Leaving Atlanta, The Untelling, and Silver Sparrow, all of which have received several awards and accolades, including the Hurston/Wright Award for Debut Fiction and the Lillian C. Smith Award for New Voices. Jones is a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award in Fine Arts from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and is a graduate of Spelman College, the University of Iowa, and Arizona State University. She has taught at Prairie View A&M University, East Tennessee State University, the University of Illinois, and George Washington University and has led workshops in Portugal, Ghana, Uganda, and Brazil. Currently, she is an Associate Professor in the MFA program at Rutgers-Newark University, where she was awarded with a Board of Trustees Award for Scholarly Excellence, the Presidential Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, and a Leader in Faculty Diversity Award. Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the United States Artists Foundation, and the arts councils of Arizona and Illinois. She spent the 2011-12 academic year at Harvard University as a Radcliffe Institute Fellow, researching her forthcoming novel, Dear History.



Submissions for the Carolina Wren Press Poetry Series are now closed. The winner is Binary Stars by Dana Koster, which will be published in 2017. Please visit the “Contest Results” page for additional details.

Final Judge for the 2016 Carolina Wren Press Poetry Series: Sam Witt

SamWitt photo

SAM WITT was born in Wimbledon, England, and lived there until the age of seven, at which time his family moved to America, where they lived in North Carolina and then Virginia. After graduation from the University of Virginia and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Witt lived and worked as a freelance journalist in San Francisco for several years, publishing in such magazines as Computerworld, the San Francisco Chronicle, Salon, and Wired.

His first book of poetry, Everlasting Quail, won the Katherine Nason Bakeless First Book Prize in 2000, sponsored by Breadloaf. Everlasting Quail was published by UPNE the following year, and he received a Fulbright Fellowship to live and write in Saint Petersburg, Russia, for a year. Witt has participated in poetry festivals at Druskininkai and Vilnius at the invitation of the Lithuanian government; he has been a resident at the Breadloaf  Writers’ Conference and at Yaddo; his poems have been published in Virginia Quarterly, Harvard Review, Georgia Review, Denver QuarterlyColorado Review, Fence, and New England Review, among other journals, and in the anthologies New Young American Poets and the Iowa Anthology of New American Poetries.

Witt has taught  at the University of Iowa, Harvard University, the University of Missouri Kansas-City, Whitman College, and other institutions. He currently teaches creative writing and expository writing at Framingham State University.

His second book, Sunflower Brother, won the Cleveland State University Press Open Book competition for 2006, and was published in 2007.

Sam Witt also serves as the poetry editor for Jaded Ibis Press.

Carolina Wren Press will publish his newest poetry collection, Little Domesday Clock, in Fall 2017.

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