For Authors

Author Guidelines

Welcome to The University of Iowa Press author information page!

Prospective authors

Looking for a publisher? Please check here to see if we publish the kind of book you’ve written. You’ll also find contact information for the acquisitions editors there.

Current authors

If we’ve already accepted your book for publication, you will find instructions for requesting permissions, art guidelines, and formatting the final manuscript here.

Authors under contract may contact Allison Means, Marketing Director, with questions about marketing.

For Prospective Authors

One of the first—and most important—decisions an author should make is where to submit his or her proposal. Every publishing house, large or small, has its own strengths.

Before submitting your proposal, consider which press has published the books in your field that you admire most. Which publishers' lists include books that are related to yours?

Likewise, please consider the sorts of books a press does not publish. In the case of the University of Iowa Press, we do not publish the following: unrevised doctoral dissertations, conference proceedings or symposium volumes, Festschriften, plays, or manuscripts on topics outside of our acquisitions focus. (For advice on revising your dissertation, please see our guidelines.)

The University of Iowa Press seeks proposals in the following areas:

  • book arts and history
  • fan studies
  • fiction
  • food studies
  • literary and general nonfiction
  • literary studies and poetics (only in the Contemporary North American Poetry, Iowa Whitman, and New American Canon series)
  • midwestern history, culture, and archaeology
  • natural history of the Upper Midwest
  • public humanities
  • theatre history and culture

Submitting a proposal


We publish single-author short fiction through the Iowa Short Fiction Award and the John Simmons Short Fiction Award.


We publish poetry through the annual Iowa Poetry Prize. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts for the Kuhl House Poets series.

Who should you contact?

If you are proposing a project for a particular series, please send your proposal to the series editor or editors. That information is available on the series pages.

If your proposal is not intended for a particular series, please send it to James McCoy, Director.

Please note that the Iowa Short Fiction Award and the John Simmons Short Fiction Award have their own submission procedures. The University of Iowa Press does not handle these submissions. Please contact the Iowa Writers’ Workshop with questions about them.

For Current Authors

Note: If you do not have a contract with the University of Iowa Press, please refer to the prospective authors page.

Here are all the documents you need to prepare your final manuscript for submission to the press. Do not submit a full manuscript to the press unless you have been invited to do so.

Before you submit the final manuscript:

  • Contact your acquisitions editor with all questions about peer review, art, copyright, formatting, cover ideas, marketing, and anything else about publishing with us that you are wondering about.

After you have submitted the final manuscript:

  • If you’ve received an email from the managing editor about your project, contact her.
  • If you have not received an email from the managing editor, contact your acquisitions editor.

After you have submitted the author questionnaire:

  • Contact the marketing manager about marketing questions only.
  • Questions about editing, proofing, indexing, and related production issues should be directed to the managing editor.
  • Cover image ideas should go to your acquisitions editor.

After you have won a prize or gotten great reviews:

Let us all know! We will be delighted to hear about it.

Submitting a Proposal

Please refer to the series list on our website for information about submitting proposals in specific series. Some series have their own guidelines for proposals.

Please note that the Iowa Poetry Prize, the Iowa Short Fiction Award, and the John Simmons Short Fiction Award have their own submission procedures. The University of Iowa Press does not handle these submissions. Please contact the Iowa Writers’ Workshop with questions about them.

What to Include in a Proposal

Your proposal should give the editors and marketing staff a clear idea of what your book is about, how you came to write this book at this point in your career, and where the work fits within your field. It may be helpful to consider the following questions:

  • What problems are you setting out to solve?
  • What confusions do you wish to clarify?
  • What previously unknown or neglected story are you planning to tell?
  • Why is this book important?

Editors and marketing professionals are also interested in knowing what potential audiences you foresee. Is your book for specialists in your field, or will it appeal to a broader audience? Is this book intended for use by students? Is there potential for classroom adoption? Is this a trade book, intended for general readers?

Proposals should include the following:

  • A brief narrative description of the book, including its themes, arguments, goals, and place in the literature.
  • A description of the projected audience and competing titles.
  • A brief statement on how the manuscript fits into a particular series or the areas that the press acquires in.
  • An estimate of the probable length of the book (both a page count and a word count are helpful), numbers of illustrations and tables, and a note on potential permissions issues (reproduction of illustrations or excerpts of poetry or musical lyrics).
  • A table of contents with brief descriptions of each chapter.
  • The introduction and another sample chapter (about 50-60 pages altogether).
  • A current vita for the author(s) or editor(s) summarizing professional experience, past publications, and relevant research.
  • For multiauthored or edited works, please identify which authors have committed themselves to contributing to the book and which are still negotiating. Also note whether any of the material has been previously published, and where.
  • If the manuscript is not complete, please provide a projected completion date.
  • Please email or mail your proposal to the appropriate acquisitions editor and series editor. See the for Prospective Authors page for this information. Our typical response time for a preliminary inquiry is about six to eight weeks.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Revising Humanities Dissertations for Publication

So you've finished your dissertation. Your committee has approved it. Now you can just box it up, send it to a publisher, and receive a book contract, right?

In reality, even the best dissertations must be revised before being accepted for publication. Because they receive so many unrevised dissertations a year, most editors can spot one soon after opening the package. To guard against an immediate rejection, you'll need to spend a lot of time rethinking and reworking your manuscript. The press's acquisitions editor, the expert readers to whom the press sends the manuscript for evaluation, and the editorial board will all be evaluating not only the validity of your argument and the depth of your research, but also the book's potential appeal to a substantial number of educated lay readers outside a narrow field of interest.

The first step for you is to take a look at your topic. Is it interesting to more than just a handful of scholars? Is it unique? Is it timely, but not faddish? Where does it fit with other books published lately in your discipline? Chances are you'll have to broaden it, or narrow it, or take a different angle on it than you did in the dissertation.

Some quick and easy revisions:

  1. Cut the part where you thank your dissertation committee. You can still acknowledge them, but as individual scholars rather than as part of your committee.
  2. Cut the review of literature or, if you feel you must keep some of it, work parts of it into the text at relevant points.
  3. Cut the number of quotations, especially long ones. In general, your book needs more of your own voice and less of others' voices, so utilize paraphrasing and summarizing skills.
  4. Comb through the manuscript and replace the jargon with more fluid and clear language. One easy way to find the clunky language is to read the chapters aloud. Another is to discuss your work with an educated person who is not in your field.
  5. Cut a third to a half of the notes. If the information can't be seamlessly incorporated into the text, dump it!
  6. If you have divided your chapters into sections and subsections, each with their own headings, take out this outline structure and instead work on transitions from one idea to the next. This will make your book more unified and more readable.
  7. Pare down the bibliography. As a student, you wanted to show your committee the depth and breadth of your research. As a book author, to keep from overwhelming your readers, give them just the most pertinent sources. (If you have referred to a source directly, you will need to keep it in the bibliography.)
  8. Chances are you'll need to update your research using the new articles and books that have appeared since you finished your dissertation. Work these ideas into your text and add them to your bibliography.

Selected Bibliography of Books and Articles on Changing a Dissertation into a Book

Derricourt, Robin M. An Author's Guide to Scholarly Publishing. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996.

Germano, William P. From Dissertation to Book. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.

_____. Getting It Published: A Guide for Scholars and Anyone Else Serious about Serious Books. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001.

Harman, Eleanor, et al., eds. The Thesis and the Book: A Guide for First-Time Academic Authors. 2d ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003.

Lanham, Richard A. Revising Prose. 5th ed. New York: Longman, 2006.

Luey, Beth, ed. Revising Your Dissertation: Advice from Leading Editors. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004.

McMillen, Liz. “A Doctoral Dissertation Is Not Yet a Book, Young Tenure-Seeking Scholars Are Told.” Chronicle of Higher Education, 5 February 1986.

Also, various university presses have author guidelines that will help you focus on matters most important to that particular press.

Rights & Permissions

Following these instructions helps us ensure that any previously copyrighted material is properly acknowledged in your book.


According to the contract you signed, you are responsible for getting permission to reprint any copyrighted work used in your book.

Complete photocopies of all grants of permission must accompany the final manuscript when you submit it to the press. The press will not begin copyediting the manuscript until you have submitted all of the permission forms.

Getting permission to use copyrighted works may take several months. Start early and be persistent.

When Do You Need to Ask Permission?

Permission is required for the use of two kinds of copyrighted materials: your own previously published work (when you no longer hold the copyright) and other authors' copyrighted materials that do not come under the principle of fair use or that are not in the public domain.

If your use qualifies fair use or if the material is in the public domain, you do not need to get the copyright holder’s permission. 

Fair Use

The principle of fair use allows certain uses of copyrighted material without requiring the user to get the permission of the copyright holder. Quoting or reproducing small amounts of an author’s or artist’s work in order to review or criticize it or to illustrate the user’s own argument is fair use.

However, in many cases determining exactly what is covered by fair use depends on the circumstances of use. In law a “rule of reason” determines whether a particular use is fair or not.

Important factors in determining whether a particular use is fair include the following:

  • The nature of the use of the copyrighted material;
  • The nature of the copyrighted work from which the material is taken;
  • The proportion of the copyrighted work being reproduced in the new work;
  • The effect of the use on the commercial value of the work being quoted or reproduced.

The use is probably fair if:

  • the unlicensed use transforms the copyrighted material;
  • the reproduced part of the copyrighted work is used in an educational setting and no one earns money from its use;
  • the copyrighted material was used in an appropriate way; that is, the original meaning was not distorted, the source was cited, and the material is necessary to the user’s argument;
  • only a small part of the copyrighted work (relative to its length or size—a single sentence from a book or essay, a small detail of a painting, a screen shot or film still) was reproduced;
  • the use was reasonable according to the standards of a particular field.

Public Domain

In the United States, copyright exists for a term set by law. After that term expires, everyone may freely use the material—it has entered the public domain.

However, the law changed in important ways in the twentieth century, so figuring out what is in the public domain and what remains protected by copyright can be confusing. Works published in the United States before 1923 are in the public domain. You do not need anyone’s permission to use them.

For more recent works, see the AAUP’s Permissions FAQs.

The AAUP also offers online resources for determining a work’s copyright status.

Some documents are in the public domain from the start, such as those created by the US federal government.

When You Must Get the Copyright Holder’s Permission

In general, you need to obtain written permission for the following items:

  • Quotations from published materials that exceed fair use and are not in the public domain (see above). Stanzas of poetry, letters, song lyrics, diary entries, and other such items that constitute complete entities in themselves usually require permission if they are not being used for purposes of review or criticism. For letters, the writer rather than the recipient holds the copyright, but permission is also needed from the recipient before the letter can be published.
  • Quotations from unpublished documents not your own, e.g., unpublished letters, speeches, or papers, that exceed fair use and are not in the public domain. You may need to get permission from both the archive in which the documents are held and the writer (and recipient, in the case of letters). “Fair use” is defined more narrowly in the case of unpublished documents.
  • Illustrations such as photographs, tables, charts, maps, and graphs that were produced by someone else and are not in the public domain. You may need permission from both the owner of the physical object (a museum, archive, or individual) and the creator (the artist, photographer, cartographer, etc.). For photographs, if private individuals are pictured in private settings, you may need permission from them also.
  • Quotations from interviews that include the interviewee’s name, exceed fair use, or are not in the public domain. Copyright is jointly held by interviewer and interviewee. If you have conducted the interview, you still need written permission from the interviewee, and that form must include permission to publish.
  • Quotations from certain government documents and materials. Although US federal government documents cannot be copyrighted, government agencies may hold copyrighted materials (e.g., items donated to a government archive but still protected by copyright). The archive or other agency should be able to tell you if you will need special permission to use materials in their collections. If not, this information can often be found in the agencies' wording about restrictions on photocopying.
  • Your own previously published materials, unless you retained copyright. If you hold the copyright, please send us a copy of the agreement or a statement from the publisher. Also specify the relevant chapters or portions of your book that were previously published and, for each one, the title under which it was published, the title of the journal or book, and full publishing information (volume number, season or month, year, and page numbers for periodicals; place of publication, publisher, year, and page numbers for books).
  • Song lyrics. Songs often have considerable commercial value and so “fair use” is defined very narrowly.
  • An epigraph or other quotation that is not analyzed in the text.

Preparing permission requests

Please use the sample letter as the basis for your requests. When you prepare your permission requests, be sure to ask for:

  • nonexclusive world rights
  • for all editions (including electronic distribution)
  • for the life of the book

Also include in the letter:

  • the working title of your manuscript;
  • the statement that the publisher is the University of Iowa Press, a nonprofit scholarly publisher (many organizations set lower fees for nonprofits);
  • exactly what you are requesting permission to reprint, including page number, archival locator information, negative number, and/or description, etc.;
  • a photocopy or digital photograph of the quotation or image, if possible.

Have all letters of permission sent directly to you. You will need them to type up the permissions section of your book and put the required attribution information in any captions.

Sample Letter

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What to send to the University of Iowa Press

Please send us photocopies of both your request and the response. We need to see complete copies of the permissions forms—including front and back sides and lists of terms and conditions that may be attached—so we can be sure to follow all the conditions of use, including adding correct credit lines, following any cropping instructions, and sending appropriate gratis copies of your book.

Also be sure to send us a list of the names, addresses, and number of copies due to the various museums, libraries, publishers, and writers who have requested them.


If you have further questions or concerns, please contact your acquiring editor.

Publishing Overview

This memo will address the publishing process from the point of view of the editorial and production departments. The marketing department has its own schedule and forms. It is extremely important that you promptly fill out and return any marketing forms, share with them your ideas for people to provide blurbs for your book, and contact them when any marketing opportunities arise.


Soon after you have sent us your complete book project—inclusive of all illustrative material, permissions, appendixes, tables, charts, dedication, etc.—your manuscript will be assigned to a copyeditor, who will work under my direction. I will let you know who the copyeditor is, when you should expect to receive the edited manuscript for review, and when you'll need to send it back to the editor. During this time, you will be working directly with your copyeditor, but if you have any questions he or she can't answer, please don't hesitate to contact me.

In most cases, I will instruct the copyeditor to focus on correcting basic grammatical and mechanical errors, on reading for clarity, and on bringing the manuscript into conformity with Iowa's house style (we follow the Chicago Manual of Style unless you and your acquisitions editor have agreed upon another style manual).

Most manuscripts will be edited by hand: the copyeditor will make corrections directly on the final hard copy you submitted. While working on the project, the copyeditor may contact you with questions and suggestions as he or she irons out the difficulties inherent in shaping your manuscript according to University of Iowa Press guidelines. In order to maintain your book's schedule, please respond promptly to any queries. The copyeditor will send the fully edited manuscript to you, at which time you will be asked to review it carefully and to answer any remaining questions on the text, a critical step in the publication process because it is your last opportunity to make substantive changes. You will have approximately two weeks to make sure the text and references are complete, your quotations are accurate, your wording is final, your writing is clear. We cannot allow rewritings, major deletions or additions, or extensive global changes (such as capitalizing every appearance of a word) after this stage. We assume that once you return the manuscript to the copyeditor for final cleanup, the text is finalized.

After the final cleanup, the copyeditor will return the manuscript to us. As I go through it carefully to prepare it for the designer and typesetter, I may need to contact you if I have any questions or comments.

Design and Typesetting

The design and typesetting stage usually takes two to four months, depending on the complexity and length of the project and the designer's and typesetter's schedules. All copyediting changes will be transferred to the disk by the typesetter. As soon as the page proof date is scheduled, I will contact you with that information, so you'll know when to block out time to read proofs and index your book.

Jackets and Covers

Any ideas you have concerning jacket/cover art should be discussed with your acquisitions editor right away. Often, we need written permission to use artwork, and this process may take us some time. Please be aware that while we appreciate your help and input, the final design is ultimately the decision of the Press. The jacket/cover will utilize the appropriate blurbs from among those we receive for your book. Some blurbs may be edited because of space considerations.

Page Proofs

When I receive page proofs from the typesetter, I will FedEx a set to you for proofing and indexing. You will have approximately two weeks to complete that work and return the proofs to me. I will also be giving a set of proofs to a professional proofreader, along with the original copyedited manuscript. The proofreader will make sure that all the changes on the manuscript were set in type in the proofs. He or she will verify that all textual elements (table of contents, chapter titles, running heads, captions, etc.) have been typeset according to the designer's specifications and that illustrations have been placed appropriately, are consistent in form, and are accurate. Your responsibility will be to read through the text itself and correct any typos, punctuation errors, reversed photographs, switched captions, etc. Page proofs should be read carefully, but changes should be limited to those necessary to correct typographical errors, errors in fact, and editorial inconsistencies. Any nonessential revisions will require the approval of the Press and may be billed to you. No changes can be made that affect page layout. At this point our production schedule is usually tight. Delays in returning proofs and the index are likely to postpone the scheduled release date of your book, which in turn may adversely affect sales.

After I receive your corrected proofs, I will transfer the approved changes to the proofreader's master copy and send it back to the typesetter.


If your contract calls for you to provide an index, I urge you to begin the process even before the page-proof stage by creating an alphabetized list of names, places, and subject terms from your manuscript. Then, when you receive the page proofs, you will only need to add the inclusive page numbers, rather than starting from scratch.

Our guide for indexing is the Chicago Manual of Style. In all cases, the index must be double-spaced, and we need both a digital file and a printout.

If you would prefer that a freelance editor work on the index for your book, please contact me or your acquisitions editor to discuss that option. You would be responsible for paying the freelancer.

You will not receive page proofs of the index.

After you complete your work on the index, relax! The rest is up to us.

Printing and Binding

Making and checking proof corrections, adding and proofreading the index, and coordinating all the other remaining elements of book production usually require several weeks and several trips back and forth between the Press and the typesetter. When everything has been done, your book is sent to the printer, who will in turn send the Press a set of proofs for a final review. These proofs are reviewed by the production and editorial departments to check for continuous pagination and formatting. When the proofs are approved, the books are printed, bound, and sent to the warehouse—which usually takes around two months.

The entire production process, from copyediting to book-in-hand, takes approximately eight to ten months. I look forward to working with you!

Guidelines for Proposals: Humanities and Public Life


This series aims to create a collection of excellent books that document the exciting publicly engaged projects in which artists and humanities scholars, especially in college and university settings, are working with community partners and cultural institutions to produce new knowledge while also contributing to the public good. Series books describe various forms of the humanities in practice and help illuminate how a project or projects challenge and potentially expand both public and academic audiences’ assumptions about the humanities. Books in the series address this issue very directly—reflecting on what “the humanities” does and could mean for the twenty-first century and returning to this question at appropriate moments throughout the text. The tension between academic and public humanities offers one powerful lens through which to examine publicly engaged projects. Below, we outline objectives for our series and offer advice to authors interested in submitting proposals. We look forward to learning more about the many exciting projects underway.

Goals for the Series

  • Share projects that demonstrate innovative expressions of the humanities in public life or show the impact of the humanities within communities.
  • Advance thinking about ways that publicly-engaged projects are influencing humanities disciplines, scholarship, and practices.
  • Present a range of reflective and/or theoretical frames that can contextualize publicly engaged projects—moving from documentation to “big picture” reflection on and analysis of engaged projects and their implications for the humanities.
  • Provide full, complex, unfolding accounts of public humanities initiatives in order to describe the many dimensions of public scholarship.
  • Offer thoughtful assessments of engaged projects that can help establish best practices for collaboration; develop measures for evaluating the impact of such work; and assist students, practitioners, and other colleagues who are developing their own publicly engaged research and teaching projects.

Advice to Authors Submitting Proposals to the Humanities in Public Life Series

We welcome (5-10 page) proposals from scholars and practitioners involved with publicly engaged humanities projects. Strong proposals strike a fine balance between reflection and analysis of the project’s significance and impact, on one hand, and the “story” of the project as it unfolded, on the other hand. We hope authors will develop an argument about the nature and possibilities for the humanities and the role the humanities can play in addressing social issues, strengthening communities, and deepening understanding. In addition, we encourage authors to consider ways to involve multiple partners and a variety of voices that represent the project, but without sacrificing a coherent narrative. We appreciate volumes that include multiple writers but suggest that authors think carefully about how the book will be organized, what role each writer will play, and who will act as the lead writer.

When submitting a proposal, please include the following information.

Project Narrative

General description of the book’s purpose and content, including description of the project and its impact. Please keep these questions in mind as you draft this section.

  • How would you describe the project—very literally, what did you do and why? When and where did the project unfold?
  • Why is this a “humanities” project? What does the category “humanities” mean in the context of your project? Did you engage with traditional humanities disciplines or methods? What questions about the history, form, content, values, or approaches of humanities disciplines were central to your project—how and why?
  • What were the objectives and how did they change along the way?
  • What individuals or groups partnered in this project? What did each contribute and how did the participation of each partner affect the process?
  • What individuals, groups, or "publics" participated in the project and/or were served by the project?

Impact—audiences, outcomes

  • What was the impact of the project—long-term and short-term? How was this impact measured?
  • What successes and failures did you encounter during the process and what did you learn from both that would help others undertaking publicly engaged research and teaching?
  • Ultimately, how were you able to define the “success” of this project?
  • If you are a faculty member or practitioner, what role did this project play in your career? How did it speak to expectations of your discipline, department, and institution?
  • If you work at a community organization, what role did this project play in your career? How did it speak to the criteria used to evaluate you and your organization? Did this project contribute to the organization’s continued viability or improve its standing in the community?
  • How were you, other participants and partners, and your organization(s) challenged and even changed by this project?

The Book

The series welcomes authors’ ideas for innovative design and format elements. Describe the format, audience, length, and special features, including illustrations (projected number, black and white or color).


  • Provide an outline and brief description of your chapters.
  • Provide a sample chapter.
  • Do you imagine a digital counterpart for your book (for example, do you have or are you planning a website, podcasts, video, or other digital means of documenting your project)?
  • Estimate the probable length of the book (both a page count and a word count are helpful), the likely number of illustrations and tables, and a note on potential permissions issues (reproduction of illustrations or excerpts of poetry or musical lyrics).

Market for the Book

  • Who is the primary audience for this book?
  • Are there scholarly or professional organizations whose members would be especially interested in the book? Is there potential for classroom use or recommended reading lists?
  • Are there similar books and if so, how will yours differ from them?

Timetable for Completion

Please comment explicitly on your timeline. At what stage are you in the process of writing the book? When do you anticipate having a completed manuscript available for review?


Please include a two-page vitae or resume for the principal authors.


Provide a list of possible expert readers, with an email address for contacting them, if possible. Please note their qualifications and previous association with you, if any.

Guidelines for Proposals: The New Neuroscience


Understanding how the nearly 100 billion cells in each of our brains can give rise to our unique behaviors, memories, emotions, and personality traits is one of the grand challenges at the frontiers of scientific knowledge. Disorders of the brain are devastating to millions of patients and their families, and, though neuroscience research continues to make advances, our ability to understand and treat these psychiatric and neurological disorders remains lacking. A recent acceleration in the development of new molecular tools has allowed neuroscientists to manipulate and image neural circuitry, monitor patterns of gene expression, and edit the genome itself. Such progress has propelled the field of neuroscience to the leading edge of the life sciences, but the link between exciting new discoveries and the subjective, lived experience of patients can be difficult to trace. Through this new series of shorter-length books, we offer insightful surveys of key topics in modern neuroscience, written to be enjoyed by researchers outside the field and by interested laypeople. The series also includes memoirs and commentary by professionals whose lives and careers have been touched by personal experience with brain disorders. Our hope is that by thinking broadly and conceptually about how our brains create our shared experiences, we can build bridges between scientists, patients, and caregivers, and provide a platform for an inclusive discussion about what it means to be human. 

Proposal Guidelines

Submitting a Proposal (From:

Please refer to the series list on our website for information about submitting proposals in specific series. Some series have their own guidelines for proposals.

What to Include in a Proposal

Your proposal should give the editors and marketing staff a clear idea of what your book is about, how you came to write this book at this point in your career, and where the work fits within the field of neuroscience. It may be helpful to consider the following questions:

  • What key topic in neuroscience does your book seek to elucidate? Why is it important historically and/or going forward?
  • Does your book address controversies or confusions within the field that you wish to clarify or expound upon?
  • What previously unknown or neglected personal or scientific story are you planning to tell?
  • What will make your book of interest to the lay audience, researchers, caregivers and patients?

Proposals should include the following:

  • A brief narrative description of the book, including its themes, arguments, goals, and place in the literature.
  • A description of the projected audience and any known competing titles.
  • A brief statement on how the manuscript fits into this particular book series.
  • An estimate of the numbers of illustrations or tables, and a note on potential permissions issues (reproduction of illustrations or excerpts of poetry or musical lyrics).
  • A table of contents with brief descriptions of each chapter. Books in this series should be ~128 pages in length as printed.
  • The introduction and another sample chapter (about 50-60 pages altogether).
  • Your current C.V. summarizing professional experience, past publications, and relevant research.
  • Please provide a projected completion date.
  • Please email or mail your proposal to Ted Abel ( and Joshua Weiner ( Our typical response time for a preliminary inquiry is about six to eight weeks.

We look forward to hearing from you.

The Iowa Poetry Prize


The Iowa Poetry Prize, open to new as well as established poets, is awarded for a book-length collection of poems written originally in English. Previous winners, current University of Iowa students, and current and former University of Iowa Press employees are not eligible.


Manuscripts should be 50 to 150 pages in length. Put your name on the title page only; this page will be removed before your manuscript is judged. Poems included in the collection may have appeared in journals or anthologies; poems from a poet's previous collections may be included only in manuscripts of new and selected poems.


The winning manuscript will be published by the University of Iowa Press under a standard royalty agreement.


Please submit only via Submittable. Hard copies of manuscripts sent to the Press will not be accepted.

Manuscripts must be submitted during the month of April. Please note that the the Submittable form opens at 12:00 am CST on April 1st, and closes at 11:59 pm CST on April 30th.

A $20 reading fee is payable to the University of Iowa Press Poetry Fund. We consider simultaneous submissions but ask that you notify us immediately if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere. Only the winners will be notified. The results will be posted on our Facebook page and Twitter account.




The Iowa Short Fiction Award & John Simmons Short Fiction Award


Any writer who has not previously published a volume of prose fiction is eligible to enter the competition. Previously entered manuscripts that have been revised may be resubmitted. Writers are still eligible if they have published a volume of poetry or any work in a language other than English or if they have self-published a work in a small print run. Writers are still eligible if they are living abroad or are non-US citizens writing in English. Current University of Iowa students are not eligible.


The manuscript must be a collection of short stories in English of at least 150 word-processed, double-spaced pages. We do not accept e-mail submissions. The manuscript may include a cover page, contents page, etc., but these are not required. The author's name can be on every page but this is not required. Stories previously published in periodicals are eligible for inclusion. There is no reading fee; please do not send cash, checks, or money orders. Reasonable care is taken, but we are not responsible for manuscripts lost in the mail or for the return of those not accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. We assume the author retains a copy of the manuscript.


Award-winning manuscripts will be published by the University of Iowa Press under the Press's standard contract.


Manuscripts should be mailed to:

Iowa Short Fiction Award
Iowa Writers' Workshop
507 North Clinton Street
102 Dey House
Iowa City IA 52242-1000

No application forms are necessary. Entries for the competition should be postmarked between August 1 and September 30; packages must be postmarked by September 30. Announcement of the winners will be made early in the following year on our Facebook page and Twitter account.

Previous Winners

Potential entrants wishing to read stories by previous winners may order The Iowa Award: The Best Stories from Twenty Years and The Iowa Award: The Best Stories, 1991ñ2000, both selected by Frank Conroy.

Ordering Books

We do not sell books from our Iowa City office. Order books from our distributor at:

Chicago Distribution Center
11030 South Langley Avenue, Chicago, IL 60628
Phone: 800-621-2736 or International: 773-702-7010
Fax: 800-621-8476 or International: 773-702-7212

Please state that you are a UIP author while ordering and you will receive the contractual discount, and can pay with credit card or check. You will be asked to pay for your order at the time that you place it.

If you need copies of your book for an upcoming event, please place your order with CDC at least two weeks in advance to ensure timely delivery.