Book Prize Guidelines

River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Book Contest

River Teeth's editors and editorial board conduct a yearly national contest to identify the best book-length manuscript of literary nonfiction. All manuscripts are screened by the co-editors of River Teeth. The contest winner will receive $1,000 and publication by The University of New Mexico Press. All U.S. entrants receive a one-year subscription to River Teeth with their submission fees.

Submissions open August 1. 

Deadline for Submissions: October 31

Final Judge: Bret Lott

About our Judge

Bret Lott is the author of three works of nonfiction, eight novels and three story collections. His work has been translated into eight languages, and has appeared in dozens of anthologies. He has been a Fulbright Senior American Scholar and writer-in-residence at Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv, has spoken on Flannery O’Connor at The White House, and served as a member of the National Council on the Arts from 2006 to 2012. Since 1986—with the exception of 2004 to 2008, when he served as editor and director of The Southern Review at LSU—he has taught in the creative writing program at the College of Charleston, and is currently nonfiction editor of the journal Crazyhorse

General Guidelines:

  1. Manuscripts must be between 150-400 pages long.
  2. Manuscripts must be double-spaced.
  3. On Anonymity: The editors make every effort to screen manuscripts without bias of identifying author details; however, because the contest is nonfiction, it is not always possible to eliminate identifying characteristics about the author from the manuscript. Therefore, please avoid including your name in the header or footer of the manuscript, but otherwise do not fret too much over anonymity.
  4. By submitting to the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Contest, you understand that if your manuscript is chosen as the winner of the contest, it will be published with The University of New Mexico Press.
  5. Self-published works will be considered but please submit these in manuscript format only.
  6. The contest is open to entries outside of the U.S., but because of rising mailing rates, we are sorry to announce that we can no longer offer a free subscription to non-U.S. submissions.
  7. Submissions must be in English.

Submission Guidelines:

  1. Entries must be submitted online through Submittable.
  2. Online submission fee is $27 


Please direct all questions to


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