We received many great submissions, a difficult task to select only three. Congratulations to all the finalists, and a great many thanks to all of the writers who submitted their work!

2015 WINNER:

Dan Mancilla, author of All the Proud Fathers.
Interview and sample to come…Congratulations Dan!



Angela Jane Fountas, author of The Good Girl
Julie Stewart, author of Three Sisters

About the contest:

The first annual Sou’wester First Book Award was established to award a previously unpublished author. Awarded book is selected through an annual competition that is open to any writer who has NOT previously published a book. This year’s final judge will be David Abrams, author of Fobbit (Grove 2012).

Award is $1,500 and publication of the awarded title by Dock Street Press, with a standard royalty contract. Entry fee is $20. Name on cover sheet only. Full and completed manuscript with SASE for notification. Submissions will open February 18th- June 15th, 2015. Entries must be postmarked by June 15th (extended deadline!). All entries are considered for publication. Award will be announced August 30th, 2015.


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

a)     Authors who have a book (in any field with the exception of poetry) published in print (E-Books are eligible);

b)    Employees, interns or contractors of Dock Street Press;

c)     Relatives of employees;

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.

To be certain that every manuscript finalist receives the fairest evaluation, all manuscripts will be submitted to the judges without any identifying material.

Bios, acknowledgements, and other identifying material will be removed from judged manuscripts until the conclusion of the competition.

Dock Street Press will not use interns as readers. All manuscripts submitted will be read by Dock Street editors.

Dock Street Press is committed to maintaining the integrity of the press. Judges will recuse themselves from considering any manuscript where they recognize the work. In the event of recusal, a manuscript previously assigned by the editor of the press will be submitted.

No refunds will be given for any materials submitted. No refunds will be given for the entry fee. Dock Street Press reserves the right not to award the prize if no suitable manuscript is found.

Any manuscript written by a previously unpublished author (in the form of a printed book) may submit. There are no category or length restrictions (e.g., story collection, novel, novella, memoir, essays, etc. are all eligible).

For questions or to withdraw a submitted entry, please contact Dane Bahr or Heather Jacobs at