The Miami Book Fair/de Groot Prize
Eligibility Terms & Conditions

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The Miami Book Fair, the nation’s finest and largest literary gathering, has partnered with The de Groot Foundation to launch the Miami Book Fair/de Groot Prize. Our goal is to discover and encourage talented unpublished authors. The prize will be awarded for a novella, written by an author who has not previously had a book published. A novella is a work of fiction between 17,000-40,000 words.


The winner of the Miami Book Fair/de Groot Prize will receive a $6,000 cash award, publication by Melville House, a critically acclaimed independent press, an expense-paid (hotel, travel, per diem) trip to the Miami Book Fair after publication, and a chance to read/participate in programs at the fair. The two runners-up will each receive $3,000, an expense-paid (hotel, travel, per diem) trip to the 2018 Miami Book Fair, and a chance to read/participate in programs at the Fair. The three winners work will be publicized in print and online media.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS of the Miami Book Fair/de Groot Prize

Please read all the terms and conditions carefully to assure your successful entry into this competition.

A. Eligibility Requirements:

  1. Entrants must:
    • Be an individual. Companies or organizations are NOT eligible.
    • Submit their work using their real name. Pen names are NOT accepted.
    • Be over 18 years of age at the time of submission.
  1. The competition is NOT open to employees of the Miami Book Fair, The de Groot foundation or the reviewers or judges. Family members of the aforementioned are also NOT eligible.
  1. The Miami Book Fair/de Groot Prize is dedicated to discovering and encouraging new voices. Therefore the prize is open to unpublished authors only.
  1. The rules for this competition apply to:
    • Work published under the entrant’s name and his/her pen name.
    • Co-authored works (where the entrant’s name appears on the cover of the book.)
  1. You ARE ELIGIBLE to submit your work if you:
    • Have never had your work published.
    • Your work has only been published in literary journals or anthologies.
    • Have previously published (in print or electronic format) up to 10% (maximum) of the work you plan to submit for this competition.
    • Have commercially published (in print or electronic format) a book in any genre other than fiction (memoir, essays, biography, poetry, politics, journalism history, religion, music, art, photography, film, etc.) with a print run (or with electronic format sales) of LESS than 2,500 copies. This also applies to chap books.
    • Have edited a maximum of two commercially published books (for instance an anthology of poetry).
    • Have published nonfiction works such as:
      • Master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation
      • Technical books
      • Academic nonfiction books
      • Handbooks
      • Manuals
      • Reference Books
      • Dictionaries
  1. You are NOT ELIGIBLE to submit your work if you have:
    • Had a book of fiction (novel, novella, short stories) published commercially.
    • Previously published (in print or electronic format) more than 10% of the work you plan to submit for this competition.
    • Commercially published (in print or electronic format) a book with a print run (or with electronic format sales) of more than 2,500 copies in any genre. This also applies to chap books.
    • Edited three or more commercially published books (an anthology, or book of poetry for example).


B. Novella Manuscript Submission Requirements

  1. Your submitted novella manuscript must be:
    • Your original creation
    • Written in English
    • A sustained narrative with a minimum word count of 17,000 and a maximum of 40,000. Manuscripts over the word limit will not be considered.
    • Specifics about how to prepare your manuscript for submission can be found on the “Submitting your manuscript” page.
  1. Your novella is to be a work of fiction and can be set anywhere in the world and be on any topic.
  1. Your submitted novella manuscript must not infringe upon the right or copyright of any person or entity.
  1. Linked short stories or works aimed at children or young adults will NOT be considered.
  1. Translated submissions:
    • If a translated work is submitted you must note that on your entry and state which language it was translated from.
    • You may not submit a translated work that has been published in another language.
    • If a translated entry is chosen for a prize, the prizes with go to the author and not to the translator.
  1. Novellas under publishing contract are NOT eligible. If you submit a novella for this prize and then receive a publishing contract at any time before November 1, 2021 you must notify the prize administrator and withdraw from the competition.
  1. You may submit more than one novella. You can enter as often as you like. Each entry needs to be submitted as a separate entry and you will need to pay the readers/entry for each submission.


C. Additional Terms and Conditions

  1. Long-listed and short-listed entrants will be notified by email when they have made the list.
  1. Unsuccessful entrants will not be contacted.
  1. No editorial feedback will be provided to entrants.
  1. The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the judging process.
  1. The names of the long-listed and/or short-listed entrants will be posted on the Miami Book Fair website after the Miami Book Fair/de Groot Prize is announced.
  1. Winners must be available to travel to the Miami Book Fair after publication.
  1. Only submissions that meet all the Terms and Conditions of the competition will be considered.
  1. By entering this competition, each entrant agrees to be bound the competition Terms and Conditions.
  1. Prizes are not transferable.

Miami Book Fair’s literary contests adhere to the Council of Literary Magazines & Presses Contest Code of Ethics as stated below.

“CLMP’s community of independent literary publishers believes that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to 1) conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors; 2) to provide clear and specific contest guidelines—defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and 3) to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public. This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage.”

The Miami Book Fair/de Groot Prize for the Novella  utilizes a double blind review process. Screeners do not know the names of the authors of the submissions they review and each entry is read twice by two different screeners at three levels before the finalists are forwarded to Justin Torres, judge for the Prize’s 2019 – 2020 cycle.

The screeners are well-qualified to review the manuscripts. Each must demonstrate a professional background in writing and editing. Miami Book Fair also reviews screeners’ credentials and prefers screeners who have participated as screeners and judges of other writing contests.