2017 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prizes

The Tarpaulin Sky Press biennial reading period for manuscripts in any genre


November 30, 2016
December 4, 2016


Two manuscripts will be chosen for publication, one by Bhanu Kapil, the other by TS Press editors. Each author will receive $1000 for book-tour expenses. Books will be published in time for AWP 2018 in Tampa.


1. If time & resources permit, we may choose additional manuscripts for publication. 2. Finalist manuscript titles and authors will be listed on the website, extolling their awesomeness (see 2015 finalists). 3. Unpublished individual works (or excerpts) from manuscript submissions may be considered for publication in our magazine (see “In Utero,” for example, featuring 2015’s finalists).


Manuscripts should be emailed or postmarked between September 1st and November 30th December 4th, 2016. We prefer email submissions (and the trees thank you) but we accept manuscripts via the post office as well.

There is no need to query first, and we’d prefer that you did not. We are not terribly concerned if the manuscript is 48 pages or 480 pages. If you’re curious as to what sort of work we’re after, please peruse the books we’ve already published.

Friends and past students of Bhanu Kapil are welcome to send manuscripts — however, Bhanu will not read them; instead she will forward them to be read by TS Editors.

We accept simultaneous submissions but the entry fee is non-refundable, and we ask that you let us know immediately if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere. Individual pieces from your manuscript may have been previously published in chapbooks, magazines, and anthologies, but the collection as a whole must be unpublished. If sending by post, please note that manuscripts will not be returned; do not send us your only copy.



Though we have never charged reading fees for work submitted to our magazine during the thirteen-plus years that we have been producing it for free, we do charge a fee for the submission of book manuscripts. In return, you not only get our eyes on your manuscript, but you also get to choose a book from our catalog. Just let us know which title you’d like, and enclose with your manuscript submission (or mail separately, if you’ve emailed your submission) a 6.5″x9″ or larger, self-addressed, stamped envelope with $2.61 in postage (current price of media mail). PLEASE NOTE: These rates apply to U.S. shipping only. If you are outside of the U.S., please contact us for postage rates to your country.


Broke? Flush? Pick your price.

Will we read submissions all the same, regardless of what you pay? Absolutely. We’ll be reading your manuscript, not your receipt. This is our second time employing sliding scale, because people seemed to appreciate it last time. If you don’t have a lot of money, we’re right there with you. If you are doing OK and you like what we’re about, and you care to show it, then we’re happy if you send us more. PLEASE NOTE: The buttons below will open at the PayPal site and will not be shown in your “cart” at this website.

As a fourth option, buy our 2016 subscription package — Steven Dunn, Potted Meat (novel); Dana Green, Sometimes the Air in the Room Goes Missing (short fiction); Elizabeth Hall, I Have Devoted My Life to the Clitoris (memoir/essay); Amy King, The Missing Museum (poetry); Kim Parko, The Grotesque Child (novel) — which also allows you to submit a manuscript for free. Yeah. Pretty amazing. You save somewhere between $40 to $50, get free shipping, and get to submit a manuscript. Tough to beat that. [Open to US entrants only.]

$60 = Five Books + MS Entry


After paying the entry fee via PayPal, please email your cover letter and manuscript as a single document to manuscripts2017@tarpaulinsky.com and include your full name and the title of the manuscript in the subject line.

All emailed submissions will receive a reply from an actual human within a week, letting you know that we received your work and that everything is in order (unless it’s not, in which case we’ll give you a heads up). Please note: results of the reading period will not be emailed individually, but will be announced in Spring 2017 on this website, in our newsletter, on Facebook, and on Twitter.



Please include entry fee in the form of a check or money order made payable to Tarpaulin Sky Press. Please mail your manuscript to

2017 Book Prizes
Tarpaulin Sky Press
PO Box 189
Grafton, VT 05146

If you would like to receive acknowledgment of the receipt of your manuscript, please include a stamped, self-addressed postcard. Please note: results of the reading period will be not be mailed individually, but will be announced in Spring 2017 on this website, in our newsletter, on Facebook, and on Twitter.


We look forward to reading your work!