Hobart and William Smith Colleges

The Deborah Tall Lyric Essay Book Prize

Seneca Review Books, in conjunction with the TRIAS writer-in-residence program at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, is continuing its a biennial book series to encourage and support innovative work in the essay.

Cross-genre and hybrid work, verse forms, text and image, connected or related pieces, and "beyond category" projects are all within the ambit of the contest.

Please submit an original manuscript of 48-120 pages.

The prize will be administered by the editors of Seneca Review. The winning manuscript to be selected by this year's judge, Kazim Ali, and will be published by Seneca Review Books in the fall of 2022.

Along with publication the author will receive a $2000 prize and a reading with HWS Colleges. The submission period is June 1 - August 1, 2021 through Submittable.

A decision will be announced by mid-December, 2021.

Submission Guidelines:

Process and Ethics:

Seneca Review and HWS Colleges Press endorse and abide by the Ethical Guidelines of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP): "CLMP's community of independent literary publishers believes that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to 1) conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors; 2) to provide clear and specific contest guidelines–defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and 3) to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public. This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage."

After the submission deadline, manuscripts will be divided among Seneca Review editors, who will select approximately 15 semi-finalist manuscripts. The Seneca Review editors will then work in a classroom setting with an undergraduate Acquisitions Editorial Board to narrow down the manuscripts to five finalists. Kazim Ali will then select, by December 10th, the winning manuscript. We will announce the winner before the end of December.

Past results