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Established in 2020, the Dzanc Books Diverse Voices Prize seeks brilliant, daring, and imaginative book-length manuscripts of fiction or nonfiction by writers from minority, underrepresented, or marginalized communities. The winning  submission will be awarded a $2,000 advance and publication by Dzanc Books. Finalists will be assembled in house and then passed along to our guest judges: Charles Johnson (Middle Passage, The Words and Wisdom of Charles Johnson), Chaya Bhuvaneswar (White Dancing Elephants), and Robert Lopez (Kamby Balongo Mean River, All Back Full).

Novels, short story collections, memoir, essay collections, and cross-genre works are all welcome. In consideration of the fact that reading fees can be a burden on financially disadvantaged writers, who are disproportionately writers of color, this contest has no reading fee.

This contest is open to new, upcoming, and established writers alike.  Agented submissions are also eligible, and we ask that you include all agency  contact information with the application. All submitted works must be  previously unpublished book-length manuscripts and should include a brief  synopsis, author bio, and contact information. The full work should be formatted  as a Word .doc or .docx file or a PDF.

We will accept submissions from April 13th, 2020 through midnight on September 30th, 2020. (Note: we will not accept physical entries.) The winning submission and a  short list of finalists will be announced on the Dzanc web page by January 2021.    


Dzanc Books is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. All contest fees will go toward funding the prize as well as supporting Dzanc’s commitment to producing quality literary works, providing creative writing instruction in public schools through the Dzanc Writers-in-Residence program, and offering low-cost workshops for aspiring authors.  Active and former Dzanc authors and employees are not eligible for the prize.   


We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.