Colorado State University Center for Literary Publishing


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How many pages does my manuscript have to be?

A: Manuscripts must be at least 48 pages and no more than 100 pages. They may be composed of any number of poems.

Q: I don’t understand the two cover sheets (for paper submissions sent by  mail). What do I do?

A: On one piece of paper, put only the title of your manuscript. On another piece, put the title of your manuscript, your name, mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number. Please don’t put your name anywhere else in the manuscript (it shouldn’t appear in running heads, either, please).

Q: Can the poems have been published before?

A: Yes. But the collection itself should be unpublished.

Q: I self-published my book a few years ago. Is it eligible for the Colorado Prize?

A: No. Even self-published books are considered published.

Q: Should I include acknowledgments/publication credits?

A: Please don’t include acknowledgements of poems’ previous publication. We will remove them from your manuscript before the judges see them.

Q: Are religious/western/erotic/etc. poems OK?

A: The contest is open to all themes and genres, though we highly recommend that you read some of the previous winners to gain a sense of the level of craft typical of the Colorado Prize for Poetry.

Q: Are translations OK?

A: Yes. You must, however, secure all permissions before submitting.

Q: My manuscript contains artwork. Is that OK?

A: Yes, as long as the artwork isn’t your only copy; we don’t return manuscripts.

Q: If I send you enough return postage, will you return my manuscript?

A: No.

Q: Do I have to live in Colorado to enter?

A: No.

Q: Do I have to live in the United States to enter?

A: No. But please note that paper subscriptions can be sent only to US addresses. Poets living outside the US, however, may receive a digital subscription, provided they supply a valid e-mail address.

Q: I’m an alum of Colorado State University. May I enter?

A: No, students, alumni, and employees of Colorado State University are not eligible to compete. Nor are friends, colleagues, or students (current or former) of the judge.

Q: What do you mean by “securely bound”?

A: You need to fasten your pages together somehow. You can use a clip, a rubber band, spiral binding—anything as long as the pages aren’t loose.

Q: Are simultaneous submissions OK?

A: Yes. If your manuscript is selected for another prize before our contest ends, please notify us immediately.

Q: If my book wins, who owns the rights?

A: The author retains the copyright, but the Center for Literary Publishing (the publisher) controls the publishing rights.

Q: Will the winning book be a paperback?

A: Yes.

Q: How many copies do you print?

A: Between 500 and 1000.

Q: Will the book be available in bookstores?

A: Yes.

Q: Do I get royalties?

A: Yes. The $2,000 honorarium is an advance against royalties. Once the book sells enough copies to surpass the advance, the author receives 10 percent of the net receipts.

Q: I entered the Colorado Prize last year. Can I submit the same manuscript again?

A: Yes. Each year we have different judges and different entries, so it’s really a different contest every year.

Q: Can I enter more than once?

A: Yes, but each entry must be accompanied by the $25 entry fee (please add $3 for online submissions; the extra $3 goes to Submittable, the good people who run the online submission program). If you do enter more than once, let us know what you’d like to do with the second subscription (send it to someone else or extend the subscription to two years). Please don’t, however, enter twice with the same manuscript—it’s not a drawing.

Q: How many entries do you get?

A: It varies year to year, but generally between 700 and 800.

Q: Who’s the judge this year?

A: Kazim Ali.

Q: Who are the previous winners?

A: Lauren Haldeman, Mike Lala, Catherine Imbriglio, Jack Christian, Eric Baus, Zach Savich, Rob Schlegel, Endi Bogue Hartigan, Craig Morgan Teicher, Jaswinder Bolina, Karen Garthe, Rusty Morrison, G. C. Waldrep, Robyn Ewing, Geoffrey Nutter, Sally Keith, Stephen Burt, Michael White, Catherine Webster, and Dean Young.

Q: Who are the previous judges?

A: Susan Howe, Claudia Keelan, Charles Simic, Charles Wright, Jane Miller, Mark Strand, Jorie Graham, Allen Grossman, Fanny Howe, Donald Revell, Forrest Gander, Cal Bedient, Lyn Hejinian, Paul Hoover, Martha Ronk, John Yau, James Longenbach, Cole Swensen, Elizabeth Willis, and Stephen Burt.

Q: Where do I send my entry?

A: Colorado Prize, Center for Literary Publishing, 9105 Campus Delivery, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-9105.

Q: To whom do I make out the check?

A: Colorado Review.

Q: Can I pay by credit card?

A: Yes, as long as it’s a Visa, American Express, or Mastercard.

Q: Can I send a money order?

A: Yes. It should be payable to Colorado Review.

Q: Can I enter online?

A: Yes. See the online-submission guidelines here.

Q: Why is the entry fee $3 more if I enter online?

A: That $3 goes to Submittable. $1.11 is a credit card fee they have to pay, and $1.89 goes to support their amazing work. In most cases, it will be less expensive for you to submit online than to mail your manuscript. But it’s entirely your choice how to submit; we do not privilege online manuscripts over paper manuscripts (or vice versa).

If your question hasn’t been answered here, e-mail us at creview[at] or give us a call at 970-491-5449.