NeMLA Annual Book Award

NeMLA awards two Book Prizes every year for:

  • the best unpublished book-length manuscript on any of NeMLA's focal literatures, languages, media, or cultures
  • the best unpublished fiction book in English

Manuscripts cannot be under review at a press.

On this page:

Application Process

For consideration, please email the following to by October 15.

  • A copy of the manuscript
  • An overview of the proposed book (2 to 3 single-spaced pages)
  • A round-up of competing books 
  • A brief explanation of the uniqueness of the proposed project

The NeMLA book committee may opt not to give an award any given year if the manuscripts are not ready for publication.

The prizes include: 

  • A $500 cash prize
  • NeMLA's assistance with contacting presses about the publication of their manuscripts (at the winners' discretion).

The winners will be announced at the Sunday membership business meeting at NeMLA's annual convention.


  • The authors must be current NeMLA members with a demonstrated commitment to NeMLA (a convention participant, or a member for at least one year in the last five years). 
  • Manuscripts must be written in English.
  • Unrevised dissertations and MA theses will not be considered for this award.
  • Manuscripts under review or under contract with a publisher will not be considered for this award.

Creative Writing Judge

Patrick Thomas Henry.

Patrick Thomas Henry is the fiction and poetry editor for Modern Language Studies. His short stories and essays have recently appeared in Carolina Quarterly, West Branch online, JMWW, Sundog, and North Dakota Quarterly, amongst others. His work was also selected for inclusion in Best Microfiction 2020. The manuscript of his short story collection, Practice for Becoming a Ghost: Stories, was selected by Jean McGarry as the winner of the 2022 NeMLA Creative Writing Book Award; the manuscript was also a semifinalist for the 2022 Iron Horse Literary Review/Texas Tech University Press First Book Prize. He is an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Creative Writing in the English Department at the University of North Dakota. Find him online at or on Twitter.

Past Book Award Winners