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$25.00 USD

Established in 2015, the Red Hen Nonfiction Award seeks to recognize the art of true storytelling through literary craft. Previously unpublished essay collections, memoirs, research-driven and/or narrative nonfiction are eligible for consideration. The awarded manuscript is selected through an annual submission process which is open to all authors.


Beginning in 2021, the Nonfiction Award will be held every other year on odd-numbered years. The next winner will be for 2021.


The final judge for 2021 will be Deborah Thompson.


Award is $1000 and publication of the awarded manuscript by Red Hen Press. Entry fee is $25.00. 150 page minimum. 


The award is open to all writers with the following exceptions:

A) Authors who have had a full-length work published by Red Hen Press, or a full-length work currently under consideration by Red Hen Press;

B) Employees, interns, or contractors of Red Hen Press;

C) Relatives of employees or members of the executive board of directors;

D) Relatives or individuals having a personal or professional relationship with any of the final judges where they have taken any part whatsoever in shaping the manuscript, or where, for whatever reason, selecting a particular manuscript might have the appearance of impropriety.

Procedures and Ethical Considerations

To be certain that every manuscript finalist receives the fairest evaluation, all manuscripts shall be submitted to the judges without any identifying material. Bios, acknowledgments, and other identifying material shall be removed from judged manuscripts until the conclusion of the competition. 

Please remove all names, bios, acknowledgments, and other identifying material from the submitted manuscript, and include only your name and contact information in the cover letter field of Submittable. 

Red Hen Press is committed to maintaining the utmost integrity of our awards. Judges shall recuse themselves from considering any manuscript where they recognize the work. In the event of recusal, a manuscript score previously assigned by the managing editor of the press will be substituted.

Entries will be accepted via Submittable only. 

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.