Guidelines: Established Call for Entries

The RCAH Center for Poetry at Michigan State University, in cooperation with the MSU Press, announces reading dates annually for the Wheelbarrow Books (established) Poetry Prize. The winner will receive $1,000 and publication within two years of selection under the Wheelbarrow Books imprint.

The submission period is from mid-August through October 1.

The final judge for the 2020 (established) Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize is Leila Chatti.

NOTE: Submissions are being transitioned to an exclusively online platform. Please check back for details.




  • Manuscripts are eligible for the Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize if the author has published at least one full-length collection of original poetry in English (of 48 pages or more with a press run of at least 500 copies). This competition is not open to first books. Translations are not eligible.
  • Current faculty, staff, and students of Michigan State University are not eligible to submit their work.
  • Multiple submissions are welcome and simultaneous submissions are acceptable (please inform us if the manuscript is accepted elsewhere).
  • The Center for Poetry in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities at MSU reserves the right to consider all entrants for publication; a list of winners and finalists will be posted on the Center for Poetry website ( in early February after the winning author is notified.
  • Publication is contingent upon the poet’s agreeing to the terms of the publishing agreement.


Rules and Submission Guidelines (NOTE: Submissions are being transitioned to an exclusively online platform. Please check back for details.)

  • Manuscripts must be in English and a minimum 64 pages.
  • Manuscripts must be typed in a 12-point font.
  • Manuscripts must be accompanied by two title pages: one with the title of the collection, the author’s name, address, email address, and telephone number; and one with only the title. Include these two title pages in a single PDF file with your manuscript.
  • Submitted poems may have appeared previously in journals, anthologies, or chapbooks, but the collection as a whole must be previously unpublished.
  • Manuscripts will be accepted between August 18, 2020 and October 1, 2020. Early submissions are encouraged.
  • Include the nonrefundable reading fee of $25 with your submission. Submissions received without this fee will not be accepted or considered.