The Pen-Pal Book Prize is an award honoring authors of unpublished novels including YA, collections of short fiction, and poetry collections. Authors writing in English—regardless of nationality, residence, or publication history—may enter the competition. Winning manuscripts will be published by Anamcara Press. In addition to a $200 cash prize, a three day writing retreat in Lawrence, Kansas, and publication in each category, the winning writers will split net profits on book sales 50/50 (most commercial publishers give the writer less than 15% of net). Though only one winner and one finalist will be chosen for each category, we may offer to publish other manuscripts submitted to the competition in addition to the prize winners.


  • October 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021.
  • Results will be announced on or before April 1, 2022.


Authors writing in English, regardless of nationality, residence, or publication history may submit to the competition.

Only previously unpublished novels, YA novels, collections of short fiction, and poetry collections are eligible.

  • Poetry manuscripts may be a collection or a single long poem but must include at minimum 60 – 120 pages of poetry.
  • Fiction manuscripts, including collections of novellas, must be 70,000 words minimum.
  • YA must be 50,000 words minimum.

All submissions must be submitted online through the Anamcara Press website. Manuscripts should be formatted 12-point type, double-spaced, and with a decent margin all around (1” is nice).

If your manuscript is accepted by another publisher while under consideration for the Pen-Pal Book Prize , please withdraw it from the competition by notifying Anamcara Press. Entry fees cannot be refunded.

Our books are produced as print-on-demand trade paperbacks and distributed to the trade by Ingram Book Group and its distribution partners at the standard discount. For more information, click here. They are made available to bookstores, libraries, and online retailers everywhere. Additionally, Anamcara Press distributes directly to Amazon, and has wide distribution of both eBooks and Audio books through Draft2Digital, and Dreamscape Distribution.

Fees are used as prize money for the winners, to pay for publication of the winning manuscripts and any other manuscripts chosen for publication, and to pay for promotion. No one establishes a literary press to make money. It’s a labor of love.

We look forward to receiving your submissions. Thank you for your contribution to Anamcara Press!

After paying the $35 entry fee you will be redirected to a page where you can submit your manuscript.