New Rivers Press is accepting submissions. Guidelines below.
  • Many Voices Project: Sept. 15 - Nov. 1
  • The American Fiction Prize: Feb. 1 - June 15
  • General submissions: May
  • Electronic Book Series: July 1 - Sept. 1

Many Voices Project

The Many Voices Project is the distinguished annual competition (since 1981) to find new and emerging writers. An emerging writer has not published more than two books of creative writing with a commercial, university, or national small press.

Recent judges include Jack Driscoll, John Dufresne, Leif Enger, Alice Friman, Richard Hoffman, Ann Hood, Michael Hettich, Debra Marquart, David Mason, Antonya Nelson, Jay Parini, Ron Rindo, Lee Ann Roripaugh, Charles Simic, Joyce Sutphen, Tim Seibles, Da Chen, and Katrina Vandenberg.

The submission period for the annual MVP competition, a search for book-length unpublished manuscripts by new or emerging writers, is Sept. 15 - Nov. 1 (postmark). The poetry prize and the prose prize are open to anyone writing in English. There is a $25 entry fee. The two winning titles will be published in the following October by New Rivers Press and distributed nationally through Consortium Book Sales and Distribution. Each winning author will receive $1,000, ten complimentary copies, and a standard book contract.

Simultaneous submissions are fine, but notify NRP immediately of acceptance elsewhere. If you fail to give such notification and your manuscript is selected, your submission gives NRP permission to proceed with publication.

Submission Guidelines
  • Submit between Sept. 15 and Nov. 1.
  • Submit using Submittable and pay the $25 entry fee. Do not include a cover sheet in the manuscript itself.


Submit by postal mail using the entry form below.

New Rivers Press
MVP Competition
1104 Seventh Avenue South
Moorhead, MN 56563

If you are mailing your submission, send it in a plain manila folder. Printed submission manuscripts must be word processed on 8.5" x 11" paper, one-sided, and include a cover sheet with name, address, and manuscript title. All postal mail submissions must include an entry form. See below for form. Include a $25 entry fee for each manuscript, made out to New Rivers Press. Include a self-addressed, stamped postcard for confirmation of receipt of ms. (optional). Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for result notification (optional).
  • You may acknowledge individual poems, stories, and other pieces published in magazines, anthologies, or elsewhere.
  • Notify NRP in writing of address or telephone number changes.
  • Mss. will be recycled.
  • You may submit more than one manuscript, but only if there is no overlap in content.
  • Manuscript pages must be numbered.
  • DO NOT include your name, address or acknowledgments on the manuscript pages; the judging is blind.
Poetry Specs
  • Any eligible writer writing in English is eligible.
  • Manuscript length: 50-90 pages.
  • Single-spaced.
  • No more than one poem per page.
Prose & Creative Nonfiction Specs
  • Any eligible writer writing in English is eligible.
  • Manuscript length: short stories and novellas (or a combination thereof), or personal essays: 100-200 pages. Novels and memoirs: up to 400 pages.
  • Double-spaced.
MVP Competition entry form
(Include one copy of the manuscript and an SASE for notification. Mss. will not be returned. Include $25 entry fee.)

I have read the guidelines for the MVP Project competition and I understand them. Both the Prose Prize and the Poetry Prize are national. Any writer writing in English is eligible.

My creative work qualifies as the work of a new or emerging writer. I have not published more than two books of creative writing with a commercial, university, or nationally distributed small press. (A writer who has won the MVP competition once is eligible again three years after the year in which the winning manuscript was submitted; a writer who has won the competition twice cannot enter again.)

All of the material included in this submission is of my own composition and is free from copyright restrictions. I understand that should I win the competition, I will be responsible for securing releases. I also understand that simultaneous submissions are acceptable and even encouraged, but that I must notify NRP if my manuscript is accepted elsewhere. Otherwise, this entry form grants NRP exclusive rights to publish the winning manuscript.

Your Name:_____________________________


Genre: Poetry Prose (circle one)






Tentative Title of Manuscript:___________________

New Rivers Abroad
Enriching Our Community

New Rivers Abroad is a program that enriches our community with the publication of outstanding literature from or about other countries. Begun in 1969 with the publication of The Early Poems of Pablo Neruda, the New Rivers Abroad series focuses on work that is not available from other sources.These books range from a collection by Portuguese writer Eugenio de Andradeo to an anthology of poetry from the Catalan region of Spain.

Query New Rivers Abroad editor Kevin Carollo before submitting: carollo AT

Titles in this series include:
  • The House on Via Gombito: Writing by American Women Abroad, Second Edition (Madelon Springnether, C.W Truesdale, editors)
  • Reception at the Mongolian Embassy (Nicholas Kolumban)
  • Tanzania on Tuesday (Kathleen Coskran, C. W. Truesdale, editors)

The Many Minnesotas Project
The Many Minnesotas Project is a series of anthologies containing poetry, short fiction, translations, and essays about particular ethnic groups in Minnesota. Begun in 1984, the series now consists of seven books featuring Norwegian-American, Black American, Ojibway, Polish-American, Finnish-American, Czechoslovakian-American, Irish-American, and Native-American writers.

The Many Minnesotas Project won the prestigious Twin Cities Mayors' Public Art Award in 1989. The citation in part read: "The Public Art Awards commend New Rivers Press and its Many Minnesotas Project as an occasion for cultural pride and affirmation. It encourages literacy and further creative efforts, brings local and regional writers before a national audience, and encourages contemporary authors to present their work with pride, intelligence, quality and imagination."

Query Alan Davis before submitting: davisa AT

Other Books in the Many Minnesotas Series
  • Boundaries of Twilight (C.J. Hribal, editor)
  • Butterfly (Conrad Balfour, editor)
  • Concert (John Mindczeski, editor)
  • Next Parish Over (Patricia Monaghan, editor)
  • Touchwood (Gerald Vizenor, editor)
  • To Sing Along the Way: Minnesota Women Poets from pre-Territorial Days to the Present (Joyce Sutphen, Thom Tammaro, Connie Wanek, editors)

The American Fiction Prize
The Best Unpublished Short Stories by American Writers

This series, whose first six issues were published by Birch Lane Press/Carol Publishing Group, was called "a must-read collection for all short-fiction enthusiasts" by Booklist. The series moved to New Rivers Press in 1997; editors Alan Davis and Michael White chose previously unpublished stories for inclusion in the first ten volumes. Volumes 11 (2010) and 12 (2012) were edited by Kristen Tsetsi, Bayard Godsave, and Bruce Pratt. A well-known writer serves as guest judge, chooses three prizewinners who receive a cash award, and writes the introduction. In 1998, Writer's Digest chose the series as one of the top fifteen fiction magazines in the United States.

First Prize: $1,000
Second Prize: $500
Third Prize: $250
Entry Fee: $16/story

Previous finalist  judges include Charles Baxter, Ann Beattie, Robert Boswell, Ray Carver, Louise Erdrich, Clint McCown, Antonya Nelson, Josip Novakovich, Joyce Carol Oates, Tim O'Brien, Wallace Stegner, Anne Tyler, and Tobias Wolff.

Contest Guidelines: New Rivers Press will publish approximately twenty short stories in each American Fiction volume, subtitled The Best Unpublished Stories by Emerging Writers. We seek well crafted, character driven literary fiction in any genre with a maximum of 10,000 words per story. Each of the selected story authors will receive national publication and distribution, author discount, and two complimentary copies. $1,750 in prizes will be awarded. ($1,000 for 1st place, $500 for 2nd place, and $250 for 3rd place). The finalist judge for Volume 13 is Michael White. There is a reading fee of $16 for each online submission from Feb. 1 through June 15 at the Submittable website.

Submit electronically:


Mail entries:

American Fiction Prize
New Rivers Press
1104 7th Ave. S.
Moorhead, MN 56563

Mailed entries must include a cover page with your name, story title, mailing address, and email address. Do not include your name on the pages of the story. Please ensure all stories are typed, double-spaced, and that the title and page number appear on each page. Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope and an e-mail address.

We welcome multiple entries ($16/story). For entries outside the U.S., please send entry fee in U.S. currency or money order. While we cannot return manuscripts, we will forward a list of the winning stories to any entrant who includes an SASE and we will e-mail contest updates to anyone who provides an active e-mail address. Entrants retain all rights to their stories. 

Please e-mail any questions to

Electronic Book Series
New Rivers Press is pleased to announce that it will begin publishing popular fiction titles with literary value. For The New Rivers Press Electronic Book Series, the press is seeking manuscripts from new and emerging authors in the genres of Action-adventure, Comic Misadventure, Crime, Detective, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Science Fiction, Slipstream, Spy, Western, and Inspirational, and all sub-genres within and across those categories. Manuscripts will be accepted electronically through Submittable (formerly Submishmash) from July 1 until Sept. 1.

There is a $20 reading fee. Each author selected for publication will receive a $250 honorarium and a standard electronic book contract. All books will be distributed internationally in e-book formats.

The New Rivers Press Electronic Book Series will be administered by Associate Editor Ryan C. Christiansen, a writer, editor, publisher, and educator living in Fargo, ND. Mr. Christiansen received his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing for fiction as well as his Certificate in Publishing from Minnesota State University Moorhead, where he was the managing editor for the literary journal Red Weather. He brings twenty years career experience as a writer and editor to the position, including stints as a small-town newspaper editor, military journalist, technical writer, and trade journal editor.

General Submissions
We read general book-length submissions in May once we've completed screening for our MVP competition. Submit ms. with SASE (or, preferably, e-mail address) for response; we don't return mss. A cover letter does not need to sell your ms. but should describe it with precision. If you're submitting a novel, for example, a one-two paragraph treatment and a cast of major characters can be useful. Also, include a brief up-to-date artistic bio or a web address where we can access such a bio. If you wish to query by e-mail, contact Alan Davis or Suzzanne Kelley. ( or Do not send an electronic submission without querying first.