Poetry Contest Guidelines

*Due to staffing changes and COVID-related funding cuts, Pleiades Press book contests are currently on hiatus. Please check back in the future.


The Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize for a book-length collection of poetry will open September 15, 2019 and close November 15, 2019. The winning writer will receive $3000 ($2000 prize + $1000 towards book tour expenses) and the winning collection will be published in paperback by Pleiades Press and nationally distributed by Louisiana State University Press. In addition, the winning writer will be invited to the University of Central Missouri, where Pleiades Press is housed, to launch a book tour.

Tiana Clark, award-winning poet and author of I Can’t Talk About the Trees Without the Blood, will judge this year’s award. Learn more about Tiana Clark at: http://www.tianaclark.com/

Colleagues and former students of Tiana Clark are not eligible for this year’s prize.

This contest is open to all writers, regardless of previous publication. Poetry collections must be at least 48 pages. Translations are not accepted, nor are “New & Selected” or “Collected” manuscripts including work from previously published books. Previous journal and chapbook publications are OK.

*Please note that Pleiades Press can only accept submissions through our online submissions manager–please do not mail or email a submission, though if you have an extenuating circumstance, please email press director Jenny Molberg to query. The reading fee is $25 for each manuscript submitted.

Please do not include your name anywhere on the manuscript. Poems previously published in journals, chapbooks, or anthologies are acceptable. If poems in the manuscript have been previously published, enclose an acknowledgements page.

To enter the contest please complete the following two steps:

  1. Go HERE (to the University of Central Missouri online marketplace) to pay your entry fee.
  2. After you have paid your fee, go to pleiadessubmissions.com to upload your manuscript to our submission manager. Please put your order number in the comments fields of the submission manager.


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Lena-Miles Wever Todd (1910-2000), for whom this prize is named, was a 1931 graduate of Winthrop College, where she was a Marshal and editor of The Johnsonian, the college newspaper. She was a lifelong poet, whose work was anthologized and privately published. She lived most of her life in Greenville, South Carolina, where she and her husband, Leonard M. Todd, supported and led numerous cultural organizations. She was also a painter. Her paintings are now in the collection of the Greenville County Museum of Art. Her family and friends created this prize in her honor.