15th Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize

Upcoming 15th Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize


The Waywiser Press is now accepting submissions of poetry manuscripts for the fifteenth annual Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize.

Collections may only be submitted online, and the deadline is midnight on December 1st 2019

The Winner Receives

  1. £2,000 or US$3,000, paid in May 2020.
  2. Publication of the winning manuscript by Waywiser both in the UK and in the USA in the autumn of 2020.
  3. A reading with the judge at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, in the autumn 2020.


  1. Entrants should be at least 18 years of age.
  2. Entrants should not have published more than one full-length previous collection of poems, though they may have published an unlimited number of books belonging to other genres.
  3. Individual poems from the collection may have been published in: (a) magazines, journals, or anthologies; (b) chapbooks and pamphlets of 36 pages or less (the count to include poems and exclude back and front matter); or (c) self-published items of 32 pages or less (the count to include poems and exclude back and front matter).
  4. Nobody who has a book published by or forthcoming from Waywiser may enter.
  5. Manuscripts should be in English, and the original work of the entrant, though as much as one sixth of the manuscript may consist of public domain translations (i.e. translations from poems whose authors have been dead for 70+ years).
  6. Entrants who reach the semi-finals of the contest should be able to send the press a hard copy of their manuscript, and this copy, stripped of anything that would identify the author, should otherwise correspond in every particular to the original.
  7. Entrants should be willing to read from their collections at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, in autumn 2020, if they are chosen as the winner.


The final judge’s decision will be made known in April or May 2020, and the news will be posted on this website at that time.


(i) Format

  1. Manuscripts should be a minimum of 48 and a maximum of 88 pages (the count to include poems and exclude back and front matter).
  2. Manuscripts should be typed or word-processed – preferably in 11-point type – on standard document size.
  3. Pages should be numbered consecutively, and a table of contents, as well as a list of acknowledgements (where appropriate), should be included.
  4. The author’s name and contact details (i.e. physical address, phone number and email address) should appear on the front page of the manuscript and nowhere else.
  5. No illustrative material should be sent.
  6. A list of previous poetry book, chapbook or pamphlet publications should be included, and with it a list of the magazines in which you have had poems published.
  7. Entrants may submit a manuscript elsewhere simultaneously, but should immediately notify Waywiser of its withdrawal from the competition if it is accepted for publication by another organization.
  8. Once submitted, a manuscript may not be altered, though the winner of the prize will be given the opportunity to revise before publication.
  9. Waywiser cannot accept responsibility for missing submissions.
  10. If the judge is not satisfied that a high-enough standard has been met, the press reserves the right not to award the prize in a particular year.

The decision of the judge is final.

(ii) Entry Fee

  1. US $27, or the equivalent in whatever currency your card draws on.

(iii) Submission Procedure

  1. Manuscripts should be submitted by midnight on December 1st 2019.
  2. Only single file submissions can be accepted, so if your manuscript is stored in multiple files, they will need to be amalgamated before you upload.
  3. We can accept files in three different formats: Doc, Docx and PDF. Please do not lock the file you submit (i.e. make it impossible for us to print or cut and paste from it).
  4. You will need to have your credit or debit card or PayPal account details ready, since you will only be allowed to submit after the entry fee has been paid.
  5. When you are ready to upload your manuscript, please click on the link below:
  6. If you wish to withdraw your manuscript for any reason, please contact us directly rather than using the submission manager. Entry fees cannot be refunded.

Submit to The Fifteenth Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize

To download a copy of these guidelines

The guidelines set out above can be downloaded from here in PDF format. To view the guidelines in pdf format you must have a suitable pdf reader installed on your device. The Adobe version of the pdf reader can be downloaded free of charge from Adobe’s website by clicking Get Adobe Reader.

For the PDF version of the guidelines please click here.