The Steel Toe Books 2021 Prize in Poetry and Steel Toe Books 2021 Prize in Prose, for fiction and nonfiction are open!

All books submitted to the awards are considered for general publication. In addition to the winner, we look to publish 1-3 other titles in each category. Please click HERE for full guidelines.

Our 2021 Poetry Judge

Kelli Allen’s work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies in the US and internationally. Allen is the Founding Editor of Book of Matches literary journal. She is an award-wining poet, editor, and dancer. She is the recipient of the 2018 Magpie Award for Poetry. Her latest book is Banjo's Inside Coyote (C&R Press, 2019).

Our 2021 Prose Judge, for fiction and nonfiction

Brian Leung is the author of Take Me Home (HarperCollins), which was a recipient of a Willa Award for Historical Fiction. World Famous Love Acts (Sarabande Books), the recipient of both the Mary McCarthy Award in Short Fiction and the Asian American Literary Award for fiction, and the well-received novel, Lost Men (Random House). His latest book is Ivy vs Dogg: With a Cast of Thousands! (C&R Press).

About the Prizes

Each award winner receives book publication, a $500 prize, and a $1000 social media and advertising promotional  package.  All books submitted are considered for publication. In addition to the winner, we will look to publish 1-3 other titles in each category. Our longlist, shortlist, and winners will be announced in October 2021.  We read blind and judges receive 5-10 manuscripts consituting the longlist before selecting one finalist and the short list.


In Addition, we have an open chapbook category which includes an honorarium, copies, and a reading! We will publish 1-3 chapbooks per year.

For more details and for submission guidelines, go to Submittable

All submissions receive response after close of the contest.