$2500 and Publication

Final Judge: Traci Brimhall

See Full List of First Book Award Winners FAQs regarding Judging

Reading Period:

May 15, 2019 to July 15, 2019

Entry Fee

$25.00 per entry. Entry fees will not be refunded for manuscripts withdrawn by the author. All entries must be submitted via Submittable

Please find all our guidelines on our Submittable page

The winner will receive a publication contract with Southern Illinois University Press, and will be awarded a $1000 prize. The winner will also receive $1500 as an honorarium for a reading at Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Submission Details

Submit a single title page with only the manuscript title in your file. The author's name should appear nowhere in your file or in the file name. Your Submittable profile will include your name, address, phone, and e-mail so it should not appear in either your file name or your manuscript.

A first book of poems will be selected for publication from an open competition of manuscripts, in English, by a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or person who has DACA/TPS status who has neither published, nor committed to publish, a volume of poetry 48 pages or more in length in an edition of over 500 copies or available as a print-on-demand title or e-book* (*individual poems may have been previously published; for the purposes of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry, a manuscript which was in whole or in part submitted as a thesis or dissertation as a requirement for the completion of a degree is considered unpublished and is eligible). Current or former students, colleagues, and close friends of the final judge, and current and former students and employees of Southern Illinois University Carbondale and authors who have published a book with Southern Illinois University Press or have a book under contract with Southern Illinois University Press are not eligible. For questions about judging, please refer to Judging FAQs


Manuscripts may be under consideration elsewhere, but the series editor must be informed immediately if a collection is accepted for publication. Entry fees will not be refunded for manuscripts withdrawn by the author.

Entrants are not to contact the final judge under any circumstances; all questions should be directed to Jon Tribble, Series Editor of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry. Visit Our Contact Page