We are not currently accepting any new submissions for trade creative works under the Nebraska imprint (this does NOT include African Poetry Book, American Indian Lives, or the Outdoor Lives series; submissions for these series are still open). We will reopen submissions for trade creative works on August 1, 2023. 

The Backwaters Prize in Poetry

The Backwaters Prize in Poetry submission period is April 1 – May 1.

The winner will be awarded a $2,000 cash prize and the honorable mention will be awarded a $1,000 cash prize. Both winners will be awarded the publication of their book by the University of Nebraska Press under its imprint, The Backwaters Press. The judge for the 2023 contest is Hilda Raz.

Zero Street Fiction

Submissions to the series are accepted annually November 1 – April 1.

Zero Street invites submissions of novels and short story collections, from LGBTQ+ authors new and established, that feature LGBTQ+ characters and/or themes. We are particularly interested in BIPOC authors, trans authors, and queer authors over 50. Zero Street is committed to literary fiction with commercial potential, and to providing marginalized authors opportunities for a wide readership in the trade fiction market. We are seeking literary fiction of all kinds, from stories of modern life to innovations on traditions of genre.

Submissions must include the full manuscript, working title, brief description (max 250 words), type of submission, short biographical statement, and email address.

Submissions for literary translations must include the original and translated title, brief description, biographical statements for both author and translator, sample translation (15-20 pages uploaded under "Full Manuscript"), original publisher information and English language rights availability, and email address.

Zero Street Fiction submissions must be submitted separately via this link.

We publish contemporary poetry in established series only. Please refer to our submission guidelines for more information.