2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards

Our biennial reading period for manuscripts in any genre is now closed, and we are (slowly, as ever) making our way through submissions and sending notices of receipt to authors, which we hope to finish by the end of December. Our sincere thanks to all who sent manuscripts. Reading new work, being privy to texts that are still largely “secret” to most mere mortals, this is one of the best parts of our job. 


November 30, 2018


Good evening and welcome, even if it is daytime: we live in darkness, shining our little light, believing it is our work in the world to illuminate manuscripts hitherto occulted, and to help each chosen author to alchemize a manuscript into its rightful form as Codex Immortalis, or what we commonly call The Book.

A lot of people have said nice things about the work we do, but we’ll keep it simple: Since 2003, many brilliant stars have gathered under the canopy of Tarpaulin Sky. Every two years, new members appear. Will you join us?


Two manuscripts will be chosen by the editors of Tarpaulin Sky Press. Each author will receive $1000, half of which will be allocated to travel expenses for author events. Books will be published in March 2020. We consider submissions from writers at any stage of their career. New voices and historically marginalized voices are strongly encouraged to send work. Recent winners include debut authors Steven Dunn, Elizabeth Hall, and Piper J. Daniels, as well authors such as Jennifer S. Cheng and Amy King. A full list of our authors may be found in our website menu.

More good news: 1. If time & resources permit, we may choose additional manuscripts for publication, as we have done in the past. 2. Finalist manuscript titles and their authors will be listed in Spring 2019 on the Tarpaulin Sky Press website, extolling their awesomeness. 3. Unpublished individual works (or excerpts) from manuscript submissions will be also be considered for publication in our magazine.


Manuscripts should be emailed or postmarked between October 1st and November 30th, 2018. 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 prefer that you do 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.

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 fifteen-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 $2.66 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 third time employing sliding scale, because people seem to appreciate it. If you don’t have a lot of money, we’re right there with you. If you are doing okay and you like what TS Press is about, and you care to show us, then we’re happy if you send us more. (Please note: the buttons below will open at the PayPal; they are not a “cart” purchase.)

As a fourth option, you can buy a 2018 subscription package and submit a manuscript for free. You’ll receive Rebecca Brown’s short stories, Not Heaven, Somewhere Else; Jennifer S. Cheng’s hybrid text, Moon: Letters, Maps, Poems; Piper J. Daniels’ debut collection of essays, Ladies Lazarus; and Steven Dunn’s novel, water & power — all for 25% off cover prices, with free shipping and free submission of your manuscript. Yeah. Pretty amazing. (Free shipping for US entrants only; international shipping will incur standard international rates; please email rdaily@tarpaulinsky.com for details.)

$60 = Four Books + MS Entry


We do not use a submissions service. We ask that you email your work to us directly. After paying the entry fee via PayPal, please email your cover letter and manuscript as PDF, Word, Pages, or RTF documents to manuscripts2019@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 four weeks, 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 2019 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

2019 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 2019 on this website, in our newsletter, on Facebook, and on Twitter.


We look forward to reading your work!