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Book Publicist Scott Lorenz offers Authors Book Marketing Tips and Techniques on his Blog “The Book Publicist”

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Authors: Contribute to Print Pubs to Promote Your Book

Book Publicist Scott Lorenz Offers Tips on How to Contribute to the New York Times, Huffington Post and Success!

Authors: Contribute to Print Pubs to Promote Your Book

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

Whether you’re a new author or have been around for decades, it’s important to continually promote yourself. The more you build your brand, the more likely you are to get published, sell your works, and meet your goals.

By writing for prominent online publications, you can do just that. Do your research and find several publications that accept entries from authors. Then, follow their editorial guidelines and submit original, compelling articles.

Editorial Guidelines

Each publication has their own unique editorial guidelines so it’s important to write a piece to their target audience. If they say they want a 500-word piece don’t turn in 900-word piece. Simple right?

For example, The Huffington Post says they are “Looking for freelancers who have compelling and unique pitches about TV, film, music, celebrity and internet culture, with an eye toward how pop culture and entertainment trends reflect the world around us.”

A prominent business publication says “We inspire and educate small business owners to start and grow successful businesses.  We also work with large brands that want to reach small businesses.”

Then each publication has their preferred article structure, which often includes information about word count, titles, headings and subheadings, paragraphs, and sentences. The article must conform to their linking policy. (Some allow links to websites, and some do not)

Here’s an example, “Your article length should be from 500 – 1,000 words – give or take. We want to avoid the death wall of text, especially as our posts are seen on mobile devices. Keep paragraphs between 3-5 sentences max.” “Sentences should be no longer than 19 words. Break up long sentences into shorter sentences where you see “but, that and because.”

Add a minimum of two links. Aim to place one around the 50% mark. Have at least one quality internal link that relates to the blog content as well as 1-2 external, authoritative links.”

Most editorial guidelines will also discuss what types of media (images, videos, infographics, etc.) are permitted. In addition, they’ll also mention any SEO preferences and byline submission requirements. Typically, you’ll be able to include your headshot, social media platforms, and a link to your website. This part is almost as important as the actual article so put some thought into it!

Publications Seeking Contributors

There is no shortage of online publications that accept submissions from authors like you. Here are a few options to get you started.

The Bottom Line: Make the effort to contribute to publications. One big hit could propel you and your book to great heights!

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Book Marketing, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Book Marketing approach at https://www.WestwindBookMarketing.com or contact Lorenz at [email protected] or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net.


Ghostwriters, Who Needs Them? YOU DO! Read This Before You Hire One

Ghostwriters, Who Needs Them? YOU DO! Read This Before You Hire One

By: Scott Lorenz
Westwind Book Marketing

Ghostwriters work behind the curtain as narrative architects of the literary world. You’ve probably read a ghostwritten book without knowing it, since their names are rarely credited in the books they write. Some experts estimate that up to 60% of the nonfiction section in your nearest bookstore is ghostwritten.

As a book publicist deeply involved in the world of storytelling, some of my clients seek out ghostwriters to pen their books. Working with a ghostwriter can save you valuable time and energy and give your book a professional edge. But ghostwriters can be hard to vet, and their referrals tend to be word-of-mouth. There are also a few things you should know before you hire one. So, I put together a quick list of my favorite ghostwriters in 2023, as well as the top agencies, and a few tips for hiring a ghostwriter.

Marie Hasty

“The books I write for my clients change lives. That’s what I love about ghostwriting — even more so than personal relationships and getting to learn from healthcare leaders. These aren’t vanity books; they’re deeply impactful career investments.” 

Marie is a concierge ghostwriter and former hospital nurse who writes business books and memoirs for healthcare innovators. Her clients are often busy clinicians and leaders who are focusing on a better future for medicine. Her writing helps build brand authority and audience recognition. She loves elevating these leaders’ influence with the books she writes, as well as seeing her clients succeed as published authors.

To learn more about Marie’s work, visit her website: www.mariehasty.com

Debra Englander

“You need to think about your target audience. Some authors want a book to promote their business or gain more visibility. But you should consider the benefits to the reader. Ultimately, writing a book that provides something tangible — skills, exercises, stories – is the one that will be recommended. As ghostwriter and editor, I help the author communicate his or her message in the most effective way to reach a wide readership. Having worked as an editor at traditional publishers, I have a good handle on what books are likely to succeed.”

Debra Englander has worked as a writer and editor for magazines and publishers; she managed a business book program at Wiley for seventeen years, publishing numerous NY Times and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers.

Learn more about her work at www.linkedin.com/in/DebraEnglander or contact her at: [email protected]

Mike Ball

“We can work with your outline, your rough manuscript, or we can interview you and write your book from scratch.”

Mike Ball is an Erma Bombeck Award-winning author with three books of his own in print, including an Amazon bestseller, “Banjos, Boats and Butt Dialing.” He is a popular speaker at writer’s conferences and retreats and facilitates a number of writers’ groups.

Mike has helped hundreds of authors bring their work into the world, partnering with them in various roles as an editor, writing coach and ghost writer. He most recently penned “MIA’S ODYSSEY.” This 12-time-award-winning book has captivated the hearts and minds of many across the USA for its powerful story about a woman married off by her parents, abused by her husband, homeless all while raising five children. This book is currently in development as a screenplay. He’s ghostwritten several memoirs and a book about “SALES.” CNN has named him a CNN Hero for 2023 for his work with troubled youth using music as an expression of their innermost fears, hopes and dreams. If you have a compassionate, endearing story then Mike is your ghost.

Check out his website: https://www.mikeballonline.com/

Erick Mertz

“Whether I’m working on a memoir or screenplay, my work is focused on bringing the best possible story to the page. I believe we are all natural storytellers. Working with a professional ghostwriter offers the best opportunity to affect your target audience.”

Erick Mertz is a dynamic storyteller who left a career in social work to follow his calling as a full-time professional ghostwriter. He is a native of the Pacific Northwest with dozens of ghostwritten screenplays, television episodes, business books, memoirs and novels to his credit. He especially enjoys working with his clients to discover what it is that makes their story unique.

Visit his website at: www.erickmertzwriting.com

Erick is also the author of How To Hire A Ghostwriter: Your Guide To Finding The Best Pro For Your Writing Project.”

Christina Schweighofer

“From my earliest days as a journalist, I have loved interviewing people, hearing about their experiences and dreams, and making their story come alive on the page. My clients, in turn, feel seen and valued for who they are.”

Christina has a passion for writing that began in her days as a staff journalist and reporter in Austria. She’s an accomplished writer and interviewer, known for her ability to capture the essence of the people she writes for. Christina specializes in personal and business memoirs and has interviewed and portrayed notable names such as John Irving, Lisbeth Zwerger, Wolfgang Puck, and more.

Learn more about Christina and her ghostwriting services at: www.chswriter.com

Pam Gossiaux

My clients are often busy entrepreneurs and CEOs who have a great book idea, but no time to write about it. Entrepreneurs are fearless about change, they love challenges, and are known for creating the future they want. I love being a part of that energy! Handing them a finished book that they can add to their platform is very rewarding for both of us. I love to write and am blessed that I can do what I love for a living!”

Pamela specializes in ghostwriting business books and articles but writes sweet romance fiction on the side. Her clients are USA TODAY and Wall Street Journal bestselling authors and range from budding entrepreneurs to seasoned C-Suite executives.

Explore Pamela’s website at: www.BestsellingBookShepherd.com

Dr. Don Steele

“My Legacy books capture the life of people with stories that need to be told. There’s an African Proverb that says “When a man dies a whole library of life experience turns to ashes”. The Legacy books I write prevent that.”

Dr. Steele has an impressive background in education and as a corporate speaker at the highest levels and has published nine books, three of which have been used as university textbooks. His ‘Moments to Remember’ Legacy book series helps preserve and elevate stories of people who have led fascinating lives. His titles have included Rebel Without Applause, Undefeated, and The Misfit Millionaire: The Life and Times of Terry Duperon.

Find out more about Don on his website: www.performancelearninginc.com/authoring-1

Ghostwriting Agencies

Writer’s groups and agencies can be another great resource for finding a ghostwriter for your next project.

Jenkins Group

With 35 years of custom book publishing and ghostwriting experience, the Jenkins Group has written and produced books for thousands of clients. With the expertise of their professional writers, your ideas and concepts are transformed into polished and engaging content. Working closely with their clients, Jenkins Group understands your goals, voice, and objectives, ensuring that the final product aligns with your vision. Since they are full service, they can also handle the publishing and distribution of your book once its completed. Reach them at: www.JenkinsGroupInc.com

Gotham Ghostwriters

Gotham Ghostwriters, founded by CEO Dan Gerstein, is the first agency dedicated to long-form writing solutions. With a network of over 3,200 skilled writers, Gotham has successfully matched clients with top-tier editorial professionals for over a decade. From business books to white papers, their one-stop solution offers excellent ghostwriting support and expertise.

Between these top agencies and the writers, I mentioned earlier, you should be able to find someone who meets your ghostwriting needs. But what should you know before hiring a book ghostwriter? Let’s talk about it.

4 Tips for Hiring a Ghostwriter

Know ghostwriting rates.

Many people are surprised at the going rate for ghostwriting. For example, Gotham’s rates start around $30-35k. Many of the top writers’ charge in the six figures. J.D. Moehringer, who ghostwrote Prince Harry’s memoir Spare, was paid a million dollars. If you want a professionally written book, expect to pay at least $25,000.

Know your audience.

It’s essential to know and understand who you want to target before you hire a ghostwriter for your book. Knowing your audience leads to a more successful book launch and a more targeted book. Your ghostwriter won’t intuit your audience, so it’s essential to know this before you work together.

Do some vetting.

Ghostwriters can be difficult to evaluate because many work under strict Non-Disclosure Agreements. But any writer should have samples of work you can view before agreeing to work together. You’ll likely be able to tell after a quick conversation whether they’re experienced or not.

Seek compatibility.

The writing process can be an intimate affair with the author and ghostwriter. Look for someone who is reliable, and who you genuinely like talking to. They should be good listeners and take the time to understand you and your project.

Following these tips will help you find a ghostwriter who will elevate your story, build your brand authority, and above all, make the book-writing process a breeze. If you’ve been thinking about writing a book for more than a year… it’s time to hire a ghostwriter. We’re not getting any younger!

The Bottom Line: Hire a Ghostwriter! A ghostwriter will get the job done faster and probably better than you can write it yourself.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.WestwindBookMarketing.com or contact Lorenz at [email protected] or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net.

Would you like help promoting your book?

If so, tell us a little about your book. What is the title? Do you have a publisher? What is the publish date? How many pages is your book? What is the cost? Do you have web site? What is your specific goal I.E., to make money, raise awareness, get the attention of an agent or publisher, sell the story to a movie or TV studio or something else?

Submit the form below with this information and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you!


Snappy Sound Bites Will Turn a TV Appearance Into A Huge Success Says Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Snappy Sound Bites Will Turn a TV Appearance Into A Huge Success Says Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Book Marketing

Authors seeking to become a TV talk show guest must learn to master the fine art of using sound bites. Local and national television thrives on sound bites, those brief, quotable remarks that will be repeated again and again on television news and talk shows. Sound bites are the pearls that flow out of our mouths into the ears of TV producers and onto the airways.

If you want to be quoted, you must convert the message points in your book into sound bites. To do this remember that analogies, bold action words, emotions and personal examples, attacks and absolutes make good quotes and sound bites. The highly personal, classic sound bite has action, emotion, and attacks; all of these elements will work to make reporters swoon.

My experience as a book publicist and book marketing expert has taught me to compare an author’s book with something else that is better known. For example, one of my clients’ books is a time travel, sci-fi. Here’s the sound bite: “BAD LOVE STRIKES is like Raiders of the Lost Ark meets Goonies.” See how that paints a picture? Another client’s book is about sci-fi alien romance. So we came up with, “If you like the movies ‘Shape of Water’ and ‘Avatar’ you’ll love KAIRN, Mates of the Alliance.”

The sound bite serves the purpose of telling a long story in a few words.

You can tell people who the book is for. “This book is for recent college graduates looking for a job in TECH.”  Or, “This is the perfect book for people who want to know all they can about ChatGPT and AI.”

What about YOU? Are you skilled enough in producing sound bites to earn an interview on local or national TV? If you’ve not had media training, believe me it’s too late once you get the call. You may have to get in a car or on a plane within an hour’s notice. That’s why you need to be prepared before you get the call. When my clients agree to media coaching, my first choice for them is Jess Todtfeld.

Jess is one of the leading authorities on media training in the world. With more than 25 years of media training experience, Todtfeld has trained thousands of CEOs, authors, and experts, including leading government officials in the United States and members of the United Nations.

Another well-known media trainer, TJ Walker came up with several good sound bite creation techniques he’s shared:

  1. Create sound bites that are 10, 15 and 30 seconds.
  2. Work an example into the sound bite.
  3. Use Clichés. Reporters can’t write clichés, but they love quoting other people using them.
  4. Humor can be memorable but only if you are not talking about a serious topic.
  5. One great way to get your message quoted by reporters is to state your ideas in the form of a rhetorical question.
  6. Opposition quotes make good quotes and sound bites. Opposition quotes remain a favorite of reporters but use them only if and when they are appropriate to your message.
  7. Absolutes are absolutely quote worthy. If I say “We will be the next champions!” That has a better chance of landing in the story than “We are hoping to win.” Saying “Our company is the top performer in this field” would be another example.
  8. Recycle your quotes. If one worked well with another media interview in the past, use it again.
  9. Use pop culture references in your quotes.
  10. Put analogies in your answers, use bold, action-oriented words, let your emotions flow freely, and attack your way to the headlines.

A sound bite is only one aspect of a successful television appearance. You must also be concerned about your total message, the knowledge you display, and the self-confidence you demonstrate.

As a book publicist I’ll prepare questions for our clients ahead of time and include those in our press kits sent to the host. Often the interviewer will read those questions right in order. Other times they refer to our questions and include some of them. That’ll help you because you’ll know what to expect and you can respond with the sound bites you’ve already developed.

The Bottom Line: Prepare some snappy sound bites ahead of time, rehearse them every day and you’ll sound like a pro turning your TV appearance into a huge success.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Book Marketing at https://www.WestwindBookMarketing.com or contact Lorenz at [email protected] or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net.

Would you like help promoting your book?

If so, tell us a little about your book. What is the title? Do you have a publisher? What is the publish date? How many pages is your book? What is the cost? Do you have web site? What is your specific goal I.E., to make money, raise awareness, get the attention of an agent or publisher, sell the story to a movie or TV studio or something else? Submit the form below with this information and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you!


How Authors Can Benefit From BookTok

Can BookTok Sell Books?

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

The social media platform TikTok made its debut in 2016. It allows users to create and share short-form video content and slideshows, ranging anywhere from comedy to life advice to product reviews and much more. Today, the social media platform is available in over 150 countries and has over 1 billion users.

BookTok is a community on TikTok where readers discuss their favorite books, series, and authors. Users can create reviews, share their favorite books, show off their book collections, and even promote their own creations. Authors can learn what their readers love, find new fans, and answer questions from both readers and fellow authors.

“#BookTok is an honest and authentic community of readers, authors, and industry professionals who love to talk about and learn about books, writing and all things book related. BookTok is more than just social media word of mouth, it’s a tight community of book lovers where an author can find out in real-time what readers want to read,” says Sheila English, award-winning author of Adam Frankenstein: Dog Fight.

If you’re an author, it’s a good idea to explore BookTok as it can help you grow your audience and share with fans via text and video. It just might give you the type of exposure you need to get published and sell your work, as many users, especially the younger generations, are drawn to organic promotions directly from their source rather than traditional advertising. It gives the readers control over what becomes popular. Users can also form connections with their favorite authors or find books and communities for specific niches.

Publishers and bookstores have also begun to engage with BookTok. Walk into any Barnes and Noble and you will surely see a display with popular BookTok books. The company reported a 14% increase in sales after #booktok launched. Even some shopping websites, such as Books-A-Million and Target, have a category for books that gained popularity through BookTok!

Simon & Schuster marketing and publicity manager Olivia Horrox is quoted in The Guardian, stating, “There’s something about the fact that it is under a minute. People who are consuming this content want stuff that’s quicker and snappier all the time – you watch a 32-second video and someone’s like: ‘This book has LGBTQ romance, it’s really heartbreaking, it’s speculative fiction.’ And then the viewers think: ‘Oh, ok, those are all things that I’m interested in. I’ll go buy it.”

For both established authors and new authors, BookTok allows for organic exposure and a chance to build effective connections with your audience.

Authors: Is It Time To Put BookTok Into Your Book Marketing?

How to Get Started on BookTok

If you are an author looking to establish yourself on BookTok, follow these steps.

1. Download the App and Create an Account

You can link to Facebook, Twitter, or Gmail and download the app. Once you do, choose a catchy username to sign up.

2. Create Your Profile

Add your picture and a short description that explains the type of author you are and what books you write. Prove that you are authentic and passionate about your books!

3. Follow BookTokers

Go to the home page and follow some BookTokers by searching the hashtag #BookTok. This will ensure the TikTok algorithm displays book-related content in your feed. You can also keep up with current trends by paying attention to who and what is popular.

4. Make Your First Video

Now, the fun part begins! It’s time to get noticed by other BookTok users. Hit the + sign at the bottom of the screen, add a sound at the top, and press the red button to record yourself. You can talk about anything related to your books or you as an author. Then, hit next and add the #BookTok hashtag as well as a few others that relate to your genre and target your readers. Additionally, take some time to observe what other authors like you are doing. TikTok thrives on trends, so keeping your content catchy and relevant is key!

As you begin your journey as an author on BookTok, be careful about what kind of engagement you create. You don’t want to start arguments with negative reviewers or be too overbearing. Don’t force yourself on other users; let them come to you. Remember, BookTok is about the readers!

BookTok may seem daunting at first, but practice makes perfect! Just make more videos, engage with others in the community, and remain enthusiastic about your books!

Successful Authors on BookTok

Here are a few of the many authors who have decided to harness the power of BookTok and found success in doing so.

Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover AKA CoHo is a romance and thriller author that has published more than 20 novels and used BookTok to find loyal fans and readers. As a result of her efforts on BookTok, she gained 1.1 million followers and 14.8 million likes. This helped some of her books, including It Ends With Us earn a spot on the New York Times best seller list. Check out CoHo’s profile here.

Victoria Aveyard

Victoria Aveyard is best known for her novel series The Red Queen and is a popular content creator on BookTok. She frequently gains fans through her posts on upcoming new books, publishing, and general lifestyle content. Check out Victoria’s profile here for advice on writing.

Aiden Thomas

Aiden Thomas, who writes folkloric fantasies such as Lost in the Neverwoods and New York Times best seller Cemetery Boys, jumped on the BookTok bandwagon in 2021. He shares promo videos for his book and memes about being a Trans Latinx fantasy writer. Check out his profile here.

Ayana Gray

Ayana Gray used BookTok to promote the launch of her first book, Beasts of Pray. She shares updates that share her enthusiasm for the process and gives other aspiring authors some inspiration. Check out Ayana’s profile here.

Jennifer Millikin

Through BookTok, Jennifer Millikin creates teasers for her books, such as Our Finest Hour and The Patriot. in an effort to generate excitement. During each teaser, she pretends to be the main character in the book. Check out Jennifer’s profile here.

Fiona Lucas

If you go to Fiona Lucas’ BookTok, you’ll find videos of her that walk you through her process of publishing her first book, The Last Goodbye. Check out Fiona’s profile here.

There are hundreds of authors who have found success through BookTok, and reading their stories is sure to inspire anyone to follow in their footsteps. Caseen Gaines, author of Footnotes: The Black Artists Who Rewrote the Rules of the Great White Way, decided to engage with BookTok. “My first video [about Black suffragettes, Aug. 18, 2021] had over 3,000 views. Once I got that immediate gratification, I was off to the races,” he says.

David Alan Arnold (@davidalanarnold), author of Help From Above, has 1.8 million followers on TikTok. He’s also helicopter cameraman for the Deadliest Catch, Survivor and numerous others shows and newscasts. David started a Facebook Group called How to Grow on TikTok. He offers free advice on the topic. This is a treasure trove of information for authors.

The Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a fresh yet effective way to promote your work as an author, you owe it to yourself to explore BookTok.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book.

He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.WestwindBookMarketing.com or contact Lorenz at [email protected] or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net.

Would you like help promoting your book?

If so, tell us a little about your book. What is the title? Do you have a publisher? What is the publish date? How many pages is your book? What is the cost? Do you have web site? What is your specific goal I.E., to make money, raise awareness, get the attention of an agent or publisher, sell the story to a movie or TV studio or something else? Submit the form below with this information and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you!


Top Poetry Competitions Researched by Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Top Poetry Competitions

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

Are you a poet and nobody knows it?  Get busy and enter poetry competitions and tell the world about your poetry!

One of the best ways to gain exposure for your poetry is to enter your work into various poetry competitions around the United States. The recognition gained for your prose could help launch your career or give you the encouragement to propel you forward to greater heights. Sometimes that third party endorsement of your work is well worth your time.

I’ve researched and compiled this list of poetry contests that offer recognition and in some cases cash prizes. Good luck!

1. Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry, Salt Lake City, UT. Honoring the memory of a celebrated poet and a beloved teacher, the Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry is awarded annually and is sponsored by The University of Utah Press and The University of Utah Department of English. $1,000 Cash Prize and Publication from the Press; $500 and reading in The University of Utah’s Guest Writers Series from The University of Utah Department of English. https://www.uofupress.com/ali-poetry-prize.php

2. Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, Pittsburgh, PA. Established in 1981, the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize is administered by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Named in honor of Agnes Lynch Starrett, the Press’s first director, the prize is awarded for a first full-length book of poems. The prize carries a cash award of $5,000 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press as part of the Pitt Poetry Series. The series is edited by Ed Ochester, who also serves as final judge in the Starrett competition. https://upittpress.org/prize/agnes-lynch-starrett-poetry-prize/

3. Aliki Perroti and Seth Frank Most Promising Young Poet Award, New York, NY. Established in 2013, the Aliki Perroti and Seth Frank Most Promising Young Poet Award recognizes a student poet twenty-three years old or younger, with an annual cash prize of $1,000. https://poets.org/academy-american-poets/prizes/aliki-perroti-and-seth-frank-most-promising-young-poet-award

4. Amy Lowell Traveling Poet Scholarship, Boston, MA. The American poet Amy Lowell died in 1925. Her will established an annual scholarship to support travel abroad for gifted American-born poets. The scholarship is administered by the Trustees under her will at the law firm of Choate, Hall & Stewart in Boston, Massachusetts. There is no age requirement, publication requirement, or education requirement. Poets must be of American birth. https://www.amylowell.org/

5. Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award, Pasadena, CA. Established in 1998, in honor of the poet Benjamin Saltman (1927-1999), this award is for a previously unpublished original collection of poetry. Awarded collection is selected through an annual competition which is open to all poets. https://redhen.org/awards/benjamin-saltman-poetry-award/

6. Berkshire Prize for a First or Second Book of Poetry, North Adams, MA. The Berkshire Prize for a First or Second Book of Poetry is open to anyone writing in the English language, whether living in the United States or abroad. Translations are not eligible for this prize, nor are previously self-published books. https://www.tupelopress.org/berkshire-prize/

7. Colorado Prize for Poetry, Fort Collins, CO. The Colorado Prize for Poetry is an international literary contest started in 1995. Since the contest began, over 5,000 book-length poetry manuscripts have been entered. Each year’s prizewinner receives a $2,000 honorarium and publication of his or her book by the Center for Literary Publishing. https://coloradoreview.colostate.edu/colorado-prize-for-poetry/

8. Cowles Poetry Book Prize, Cape Girardeau, MO. Individual poems in the manuscript may have been published previously in a chapbook, magazines, journals or anthologies, but the work as a whole must be unpublished. Translations and previously self-published books are not eligible. Open to any poet writing in English, age 18 or older, regardless of publication history. Send 48-100 pages of poetry–any style or theme–with a table of contents and an acknowledgements page for any previously published poems. The page count doesn’t include the table of contents or acknowledgements. No online submissions. http://www.semopress.com/events/cowles-prize/

9. Elixir Press Annual Poetry Awards, Denver, CO. Elixir Press is sponsoring a poetry contest open to all poets writing in English. There will be a Judge’s Prize of $2,000 and an Editors’ Prize of $1000. Both winning manuscripts will be published by Elixir Press. All entries will be considered for publication. An outside judge, to be announced later, will make the final decision for the first prize. The editors will make the final decision for the second prize. http://elixirpress.com/guidelines/annual-poetry-awards

10. Fugue Annual Writing Contest, Moscow, ID. Fugue’s Annual Writing Contest accepts submissions of both poetry and prose (fiction and nonfiction). Multiple submissions are accepted as long as separate fees are paid. For poetry submissions, please send between 1-3 poems. For prose submissions, please send no more than one short story or one essay. https://fuguejournal.com/general-submissions

11. Iowa Poetry Prize, Iowa City, IA. The Iowa Poetry Prize, open to new as well as established poets, is awarded for a book-length collection of poems written originally in English. Previous winners, current University of Iowa students, and current and former University of Iowa Press employees are not eligible. https://uipress.uiowa.edu/resources/prospective-authors/iowa-poetry-prize

12. Jake Adam York Prize, Denver, CO. The Jake Adam York Prize is a collaboration between Copper Nickel & Milkweed Editions. It is open to all poets in the US who have published no more than one full-length poetry collection. The entries are due October 15. The entry fee is $25 (which includes a year’s subscription to Copper Nickel). The prize is $2,000 plus publication by Milkweed Editions. http://copper-nickel.org/bookprize/

13. May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize, Peterborough, NH. The May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize is named for May Sarton, the renowned novelist, memoirist, poet, and feminist (1912-1995). The winner receives $1000, book publication, and 100 copies of the published book, as well as distribution with our other spring titles through our partner UPNE (University Press of New England). https://bauhanpublishing.com/contests/

14. The Cowles Poetry Book Prize, Cape Girardeau, MO. Prize: $2,000 and 30 copies for the author, publication and distribution of a full-length poetry manuscript with a full-color perfect-bound cover. Manuscripts submitted to the contest will be read and judged anonymously. http://www.semopress.com/events/cowles-prize/

15. Miller Williams Poetry Prize, Fayetteville, AR. A prize of $5,000 and publication by University of Arkansas Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Submit a manuscript of 60 to 90 pages with a $28 entry fee by September 30. Visit the website for complete guidelines. https://www.uapress.com/millerwilliamspoetryseries/

16. Raiziss/de Palchi Translation Awards, New York, NY. The Raiziss/de Palchi Translation Awards recognize outstanding translations into English of modern Italian poetry through a $10,000 book prize and a $25,000 fellowship, given in alternating years. To apply, a translator must submit four copies of a proposal describing the work-in-progress, the applicant’s credentials, and how the fellowship money will be used. https://poets.org/academy-american-poets/prizes/raizissde-palchi-translation-awards

17. Rhina Espaillat Poetry Award, Walden, NY. This award honors the achievements of the great Dominican-American poet, translator, and public school teacher Rhina Polonia Espaillat. The Rhina Espaillat Poetry Award will be awarded for an original poem of not more than fifty lines that reflects her lyricism, empathy, and ability to find grace in everyday events of life. https://www.plough.com/en/contact-us/rhina-espaillat-poetry-award

18. Spirit First Poetry Contest, Langley Park, MD. Poetry submissions may be of any length and any style but must have a theme of Meditation, Mindfulness, Silence, Stillness, or Solitude (we are referring to peaceful solitude – not loneliness). Poems may reflect any discipline, any faith, or none. Poems must be previously unpublished. https://www.spiritfirst.org/

19. The Center for Book Arts Poetry Chapbook Competition, New York, NY. The Center’s Poetry Chapbook Competition has been going strong since 1996; past winners have included Ailish Hopper, Jeffrey Skinner, L.B.Thompson, and Rachel Zucker. Poets! Submit your work for this year’s contest; the deadline every year is December 1; current guidelines are up on our site here. https://centerforbookarts.org/calendar/opportunity/2023-poetry-chapbook-contest

20. The Washington Prize, Washington, DC. The Washington Prize, awarded annually to a living American or Canadian poet, is $1,500 and book publication for a manuscript of original poetry in English. Poets at any stage in their career may submit a manuscript of 48 to 80 pages between January 15 and March 15. $25 entry fee. The winner is selected in summer and publication is planned for early the following year. https://wordworksbooks.org/submissions/the-washington-prize/

21. Pushcart Press, Wainscott, NY. Publication in The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses is awarded annually for works of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction published by literary magazines or small presses during the current year. https://www.pw.org/writing_contests/pushcart_prizes

22. Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest, Northampton, MA. Now in its 14th year, this contest seeks today’s best humor poems. No fee to enter. Submit published or unpublished work. $2,000 in prizes. https://winningwriters.com/our-contests/wergle-flomp-humor-poetry-contest-free

23. Joy Bale Boon Poetry Prize, Elizabethtown, KY. Poets and writers can submit 1-3 poems of any style to The Heartland Review Press poetry contest. All submissions must include a cover letter and author bio of 30-40 words. https://elizabethtown.kctcs.edu/community/theheartlandreviewpress/poetry-prize.aspx

24. Marystina Santiestevan First Book Prize. Awarded annually to a poet writing in English who has not yet published a full-length poetry book, the prize is named in honor of a great supporter of young poets, and the grandmother-in-law of the contest’s final judge, Bob Hicok. Prospective entrants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with Conduit, which champions originality, intelligence, irreverence, and humanity. https://www.conduit.org/book-prizes

25. TWFest Poetry Content, New Orleans, LA. Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Literary Festival hosts an annual competition for 2-4 unpublished, original poems of any style, with a combined length of 400 lines. This contest is only open to emerging writers who have not published a book of poetry. However, poets and writers who have published a book in another genre are still eligible. https://tennesseewilliams.net/contests/

26. Robert and Adele Schiff Awards, Cincinnati, OH. The Cincinnati Review invites submissions for the annual Robert and Adele Schiff Awards. One poem, one piece of fiction, and one piece of literary nonfiction will be chosen for publication in our prize issue, and winning authors will receive $1,000 each. All entries will be considered for publication in The Cincinnati Review. https://www.cincinnatireview.com/contests/robert-and-adele-schiff-awards/

27. Maine Artist Fellowship, Augusta, ME. The Maine Arts Fellowships recognize artistic excellence in the careers of Maine artists. Fellowships are not grants but are merit-based awards based on the level of artistic creativity and vision as shown in the artist’s support materials. https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Funding/Individual-Artist-Fellowships

28. Bellevue Literary Review Prizes, New York, NY. The Bellevue Literary Review Prize awards young poets who create work related to the themes of health, healing, illness, the mind, and the body. Winners are published in the Spring 2024 issue of the BLR and receive a $1000 cash prize. Honorable mention is awarded $300. Poetry entries are encouraged to be written vividly with a strong narrative. https://blreview.org/blr-prizes/

29. Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, Claremont, CA. The Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award is an annual poetry contest open to mid-career US poets & writers. The generous cash prize is given to encourage poets to have the freedom to dedicate a year to writing their next book and honing their craft without having to worry about paying bills. https://arts.cgu.edu/tufts-poetry-awards/

30. Los Angeles Review Literary Award, Los Angeles, CA. Los Angeles Review awards four first-place-winning writers a $1000 prize for the annual literary competition. Using their online submission, poets can submit up to three poems of no more than 50 lines each. First place will also be published in the new LAR Online and included in the annual best-of-print edition. Only previously unpublished poems are considered for this award. https://losangelesreview.org/awards/

31. Barrow Street Press Prose Book Award, Kingston, RI. Barrow Street’s 2023 Poetry Book Prize has an annual poetry collection prize of $1500 that will be awarded to the first-place winner. Writers and poets must submit a manuscript or book of poetry of 50 to 80 pages to be judged. The poetry must be in English and include a table of contents and an acknowledgment of any previously published poems. https://barrowstreet.org/press/submit/

32. New Writers Awards, Ann Arbor, MI. Now entering its 55th year, the New Writers Award confers recognition on promising writers who have published a first volume in one of the three genres: Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Non-fiction. Judges of the New Writers Award are faculty members of creative writing and literature at GLCA’s member colleges. https://www.glca.org/faculty/new-writers-award/

33. Akron Poetry Prize, Akron, OH. The University of Akron Presson awards a first-place prize of $1500 for an English poetry manuscript of at least 48 pages and no longer than 90. Manuscripts must be submitted using the online portal, and all entries need to adhere to the guidelines available on their website. Online unpublished works are eligible, but individual posts that may have appeared in literary magazines are acceptable. As well as winning the cash prize, the first-place winner’s book will be published as a part of the Akron Series in Poetry. https://uakron.edu/uapress/akron-poetry-prize/

34. 42 Miles Poetry Award, South Bend, IN. The 42 Miles Press Poetry Award was created in an effort to bring urgent and original voices to the poetry reading public. The prize is offered annually to any poet writing in English, including poets who have never published a full-length book as well as poets who have published several. New and Selected collections of poems are also welcome. https://42milespress.com/contest/

35. Omnidawn Poetry Contests, Richmond, CA. Omnidawn Publishing hosts an annual poetry competition awarding first-prize $1000 and publication with 20 author copies. Manuscripts must be in English, and editors encourage a wide range of styles, forms, diversities, and aesthetics (for example: prose, haiku, lyric, and experimental verse). https://www.omnidawn.com/contests/omnidawn-poetry-contests/

36. Townson University Prize for Literature, Towson, MD. Townson University hosts an annual literary prize for a poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction book. Books published within the past three years or scheduled for publication in 2023 are eligible. Publishers, institutions, or individuals can submit three copies of a book or manuscript. It’s important to note that only residents of Maryland who have lived in the state for at least three years can apply. https://www.towson.edu/cla/departments/english/documents/towson_prize_for_literature_rev.pdf

37. Poetry Nation Poetry Contests. Enter your poem for a chance to win up to $2,000 in cash and prizes! Our semi-annual poetry contests award a multitude of prizes to deserving poets. Your poem can be on any topic, using whatever style you prefer. There is no fee to enter our contests, so you have nothing to lose. https://www.poetrynation.com/contest/

38. Oklahoma Poem Contest, Locust Grove, OK. To celebrate National Poetry Month and Oklahoma, the Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry conducts an annual Oklahoma Poem Contest, with cash prizes for the winners. Poems must honor or celebrate Oklahoma in some way. Look at the previous winners below to get an idea of what this means. https://rompoetry.com/oklahoma-poem-contest/

39. The Donald Justice Poetry Prize, West Chester, PA. The Donald Justice Poetry Prize is part of the Spencer Poetry Awards, which Kean W. Spencer created in honor of his mother, Iris N. Spencer. The prize recognizes the distinguished American poet, teacher, and Pulitzer Prize winner, Donald Justice. The WCU Poetry Center welcomes submissions of unpublished, original book-length manuscripts that pay attention to form for consideration in this competition.
The winner of the competition will receive $1,500, and have their manuscript published by Autumn House Press. https://www.wcupa.edu/arts-humanities/poetry/contestAwards.aspx

40. Milton Kessler Memorial Prize for Poetry, Binghamton, NY. They accept submissions of 1-3 poems per reading period–no more than 5 pages total. Please send no more than one poetry submission per reading period. We prefer poems with a strong lyric voice and sense of urgency. https://harpurpalate.submittable.com/submit

The Bottom Line: If you are poet and nobody knows it then it’s time to get busy and enter poetry competitions. Do it TODAY!

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers.

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