How We Judge Our Contests

Marsh Hawk Press uses a blind judging system to arrive at the contest winner. This is how we do it:

1. After we’ve received your entry, we remove identifying information about you from the manuscript, and assign it a unique number. We also enter your name, address, name of your manuscript and the number we’ve assigned you into our database, in order to keep track of your work. The people who do this preparation do not judge the entries.

2. Once all entries have been received and the contest is closed, we divide the manuscripts into roughly equal piles and assign them to eight senior Marsh Hawk Press editors. The editors meet in teams of two to read each manuscript. Manuscripts are exchanged so that two editors read each entry.

3. When this initial screening process is complete, the 30-70 finalists are announced and the manuscripts are turned over to the final contest judge. Final contest judges must affirm that they have no knowledge of the author of the manuscripts that they are to read. Students, former students, relatives and friends of the judge are automatically excluded.

4. The winner and runners-up are announced approximately one month following the final judge’s receipt of the manuscripts.

Contest winners receive the $1,000 prize and publication of their book the following spring. The diversity and quality of the Marsh Hawk Press titles reflects the integrity and success of the screening and judging process. We invite you to judge for yourself.