Switchback Books

The Gatewood Prize

The Gatewood Prize is Switchback Books' annual competition for a first or second full-length (48–80 pp.) collection of poems by a woman writing in the English language. It is named after Emma Gatewood, the first woman to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail.

2014 Judge: Dorothea Lasky

Reading Period: March 15–May 15, 2014

Dorothea Lasky

Dorothea Lasky is the author of three full-length collections of poetry: Thunderbird, Black Life, and AWE, all out from Wave Books. She has also written several chapbooks, including Poetry is Not a Project (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010). Her writing has appeared in POETRY, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Atlantic, and Boston Review, among other places.

General Terms:

Entries that do not meet these terms may be disqualified. Please email Managing Editor Colleen O'Connor at colleen@switchbackbooks.com with any questions.

Manuscript Requirements:


You will be notified of your submission status via email. Winners and finalists will be announced on our blog and website in the fall.

Entry Fee:

Option 1: $20 for reading fee only

Option 2: $28 for reading fee and a book of your choice from our catalog (excluding limited edition FOUR). Please specify which book you would like to receive in the cover letter on the Submittable form; if you do not specify, we will send you a book of our choosing. To ensure a timely delivery, be sure that your mailing address is up-to-date in the Submittable system.

All payments will be accepted via Submittable. We do not accept cash, checks, or money orders.

Submission Form:

Please visit our page at Submittable to submit your manuscript:



Manuscripts will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. on May 15, 2014.

We recommend that you familiarize yourself with our aesthetics before submitting a manuscript to our contest. You can do this by reading sample poems on our website, or checking out the work of previous contest winners and finalists:

2011 Gatewood Prize Results

2010 Gatewood Prize Results

2008 Gatewood Prize Results

2007 Gatewood Prize Results

2006 Gatewood Prize Results

Donations always appreciated!