SFWP Awards Program

Submission period opens: January 20th, 2017

Deadline: July 20th, 2017


  • Open to everyone over the age of 18. International entries welcome. You and your entry do not need to be associated with New Mexico, we publish a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction globally.
  • What are we looking for? All fiction and creative nonfiction will be eligible despite genre, form, subject, or length. So we’ll take full- length manuscripts, collections short or long, excerpts, and essays. We don’t care about what the big presses believe to be “marketable,” we want to see excellence in writing, no matter the form it takes. Past winners have ranged from flash fiction to memoir to magical realism to literary fiction to essays.
  • The grand prize is $1,500, and two runner-ups will receive $1,000 each.
  • Authors retain all rights to their work.
  • Winners will be offered a competitive book contract for full-market, frontlist release. There’s no obligation to sign this contract.
  • There is a $30 reading fee.
  • This year’s judge is Benjamin Percy. See below for more details.
  • SFWP will not keep submissions on file or use them for any purpose without the permission of the respective authors. We do not share personal contact information with any individual, organization, or marketing agency.
  • Deadline: July 20th, 2017.
  • Multiple entries will be accepted.
  • Entries may include a synopsis, outline, or introductory letter. Do not send personal correspondence to the judge.
  • You may participate in other contests and programs as well as pursue publication during the SFWP 2017 Awards Cycle. There will be no penalties if your work wins another award or is published before the judging begins.
  • Who is eligible?

    • All unpublished work is eligible.
    • Previously published material is also eligible as long as it has not been published by a major press. So you can submit if you have published in zines, lit journals, and with micro presses.
    • Self-published books are eligible, as are books published via Amazon’s CreateSpace, KDP, etc.
    • If you have published with a small press and have not received any marketing support, then your book is eligible.
  • If you have questions, please contact us.

First time here? What’s this all about?
Since 2000, the SFWP Literary Awards Program has recognized excellence in writing, judged by National Book Critics Circle Award-winner and NBA finalist Jayne Anne Phillips, two-time NEA fellow and Hemingway Award finalist Richard Currey, Granta “best novelist under 40? and Guggenheim fellow Chris Offutt, popular essayist Ayun Halliday, Pulitzer prize-winner Robert Olen Butler, NPR’s “Voice of Books” Alan Cheuse, and the “Queen of the Zines,” Pagan Kennedy. In 2013, the judges were David Morrell and Lee Gutkind. (And, no, you do not have to live in Santa Fe. The program is open to everyone, everywhere in the world.)

Winning the Grand Prize for the Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Awards Program launched the best year of my professional life. SFWP is a first class organization, one that actually uses its program to promote writers.
K.L. Cook, author of Last Call and The Girl from Charnelle

The Judge

benjaminpercyBenjamin Percy is the author of three novels, the most recent among them The Dead Lands (Grand Central/Hachette, 2015), a post-apocalyptic reimagining of the Lewis and Clark saga. He is also the author of Red Moon (Grand Central/Hachette, 2013), and The Wilding(Graywolf Press, 2010), as well as two books of short stories, Refresh, Refresh (Graywolf Press, 2007) and The Language of Elk (Grand Central/Hachette, 2012; Carnegie Mellon UP, 2006).

His craft book, Thrill Me: Essays on Fiction, will be published by Graywolf Press in October 2016. His next novel, The Dark Net, is due out in 2017 with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

His fiction and nonfiction have been read on NPR, performed at Symphony Space, and published by Esquire, GQ, Time, Men’s Journal, and many more. He also writes the Green Arrow and Teen Titans series at DC Comics.

Learn more about Benjamin Percy at his website here. 

Past Winners