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Lena Shull Book Award

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Congratulations to Jan Harrington, whose manuscript, Waiting for the Hurricane, won this year’s Lena Shull Book Award.  Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, the contest judge, said, “These honest poems, the kind that remain with you, are about family in all of its complexities, its love-hate world of birthing, of wake keepings and funerals, its deep secrets and unforgitvable sins.”  Her manuscript will be published by Saint Andrews University Press, and she will give a reading and workshop at Poetry Day Hickory in April.  For more information about Harrington’s new collection, click here.

The Lena M. Shull Book Contest is an annual contest for a full-length poetry manuscript (50+ pages) written by a resident of North Carolina. The manuscript must not have been previously published, although individual poems within the collection may have been published elsewhere.

The entry fee is $25. Entrants may submit more than one manuscript, with a fee of $25 for each. The submission period opens September 18, 2016 with a deadline for receipt of manuscripts of October 30, 2016.

$250 prize

The winning manuscript will be published by St. Andrews University Press, and the poet will receive $250, along with fifty copies of the book.  The poet will give a reading and have the opportunity to teach a workshop at Poetry Day at Lenoir-Rhyne University in April 2017.

When you submit, please include the following:

  • Two copies of your manuscript (one by mail, the other electronic).
  • Your name should NOT appear on any page of the manuscript.
  • Two copies of a separate cover page which must include your: name, address, phone number, email address, manuscript title, and number of pages of manuscript.  Do not include acknowledgments.

Please submit the hard copy by mail to:

Tori Reynolds, NCPS
Lena M. Shull Book Contest Director
1518 Echo Rd.
Durham, NC 27707
(919) 699-2643

Please submit a second, electronic copy to: victoriareynolds111(at)

The contest judge (a non-NC resident) will be announced after the winner is chosen. For more information, please contact Tori Reynolds.

For a list of previous winners of the Lena Shull Book Award, click here.

The North Carolina Poetry Society would like to thank St. Andrews University Press for their generous support and collaboration on this contest.

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