History of the Prize
The Yale Series of Younger Poets champions the most promising new American poets. Awarded since 1919, the Yale Younger Poets prize is the oldest annual literary award in the United States. Past winners include Muriel Rukeyser, Adrienne Rich, William Meredith, W.S. Merwin, John Ashbery, John Hollander, James Tate, and Carolyn Forché. Louise Glück was the judge of the Series from 2003-2010, and Carl Phillips is the current judge.
IMPORTANT NOTE: New submission dates below.
Submissions for the 2015 Competition must be postmarked no earlier than October 1, 2014 and no later than November 15, 2014. See Guidelines for Submission below for precise information regarding your entry.
Rules Governing the Competition
Each year, Yale University Press seeks one book-length poetry manuscript to be published in the Yale Series of Younger Poets. The competition is open to any American citizen under forty years of age who has not published a book of poetry (contestants must be under the age of forty at the time they submit the manuscript to the competition). The winner receives royalties when the book is published.
All poems must be original – translations are not accepted. Writers who have had chapbooks of poetry printed in editions of no more than 300 copies are eligible. Only one manuscript may be submitted each year. Manuscripts submitted in previous years may be resubmitted.
There is no application form. Please follow these guidelines in preparing your manuscript:
The manuscript must be a minimum of 48 numbered pages and a maximum of 64 numbered pages in length. All manuscripts must be paginated. Each new poem must start on a new page.
The manuscript must begin with unnumbered frontmatter. Please see the separate instructions for Electronic Submissions and Hard Copy Submissions below.
Begin paginating the manuscript after the frontmatter. If your book is divided into parts or has an epigraph, Page 1 will be the first part title or the epigraph. Otherwise, Page 1 will be the first poem.
In formatting the manuscript, please make legibility your first concern. If you use a word processor, select a standard typeface (such as Bodoni, Garamond, or Times New Roman) in at least 10-point type. Manuscripts may be single-spaced, double-spaced, or 1.5 spaced.
The Yale Series of Younger Poets reserves the right to reject any manuscript for any reason.
The Yale Series of Younger Poets reserves the right of the judge to not choose a winner for any given year of the competition and reserves the right to determine the ineligibility of a winner, in keeping with the spirit of the competition, and based upon the accomplishments of the author.
The Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition strongly urges electronic submission. By electronically submitting your manuscript, you will receive immediate confirmation of your successful submission and the ability to check the status of your entry.
Electronic submissions for the 2015 competition must be submitted no earlier than October 1, 2014 and no later than November 15, 2014.
If you are submitting your play electronically, please omit your name, contact information, and biography from your manuscript. The manuscript must begin with a title page that lists the title of the collection only and a table of contents. Please enter the title of your manuscript, your name and contact information, and a brief biography (optional) where indicated in the electronic submission form. A fee of $25.00, payable by credit card or via PayPal, is also required at the time of submission.
If you would like to submit an electronic copy of your manuscript please go to:
Hard Copy Submissions
The Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition strongly urges applicants to submit their manuscripts electronically, but if that is impossible, we will accept hard copies.
Submissions for the 2015 competition must be postmarked no earlier than October 1, 2014 and no later than November 15, 2014.
If you are submitting a hard copy of your manuscript, the manuscript must begin with a title page that shows the book’s title and your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address (if you have one), and page count; and a second title page that lists the title of the collection only; a table of contents; and (if applicable) a list of acknowledgements. A brief biography may be included at the end of the manuscript, on a separate page, but it is not required.
Manuscripts may be prepared on a typewriter instead of a word processor. Handwritten manuscripts will not be accepted.
Do not bind or staple the manuscript. Place the loose sheets in a plain envelope of appropriate size.
Do not send the only copy of your work. Manuscripts cannot be returned after the competition. If you wish receipt of your manuscript to be acknowledged, please include a stamped, self-addressed postcard. If you wish to be informed by July 2015 of the contest results, please include an email address on your title page.
Send the manuscript to