The 8th Annual Permafrost Book Prize offers publication of a book length work of fiction (novel, or short story/novella collection), $1,000, and distribution through University of Alaska Press.

Judge: Julie Iromuanya

JULIE IROMUANYA is the author of MR. AND MRS. DOCTOR (Coffee House Press, 2015), a finalist for the 2016 PEN/Faulkner Award, the 2016 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, the 2016 Etisalat Prize for Literature, the 2015 National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize for Debut Fiction, along with a San Francisco Chronicle “Best of 2015,” a Star Tribune Critics Choice, and a “Best Minnesota Books 2015.”

Born and raised in the American Midwest, she is the daughter of Igbo Nigerian immigrants. Her creative writing has also appeared in The Kenyon ReviewPassages North, the Cream City Review, and the Tampa Review, among other journals. Most recently, her scholarly-critical work appears or is forthcoming in MeridiansCallaloo, and Afropolitan Literature as World Literature

Iromuanya earned her B.A. at the University of Central Florida and her M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she was a Richard H. Larson Fellow, a Presidential Fellow, and an award-winning teacher.

She is a 2020 George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation Fellow. She was the inaugural Herbert W. Martin Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of Dayton. She has also been a Kimbilio Fellow, a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers Conference, the Jane Tinkham Broughton Fellow in Fiction at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, a Bread Loaf Bakeless Camargo Fellow in France, a Brown Foundation Fellow at the Dora Maar House in France, a Jan Michalski Fellow at the “Treehouses” in Switzerland, and the Eternal Vada Fellow at the Sangam House residency in India. Her work has also been supported by residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, the MacDowell Colony, the Ragdale Foundation, Villa Lena Foundation, and Villa Ruffieux at Chateau Mercier.

Iromuanya is an assistant professor of English (creative writing and Africana literature) and director of undergraduate studies for the Program in Creative Writing at the University of Chicago. She is also affiliate faculty of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture. In the past, she has served on the faculty at the University of Dayton, the University of Tampa, Northeastern Illinois University (Chicago), the University of Arizona’s MFA Program in Creative Writing, and she taught for seven summers at the Johns Hopkins University-Center for Talented Youth, both in the U.S. and in Hong Kong.


The Permafrost Book Prize in Fiction welcomes manuscripts from any writer, including non-US citizens, writing in English. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but we ask that you notify us immediately if your manuscript is accepted for publication elsewhere. No past or present editorial staff members of Permafrost or the University of Alaska Press or current faculty or student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks will be eligible for the prize.

Where to Send

Send all submissions through our Submittable page:

When to Send

The deadline for submitting is March 15, 2021.


We prefer that manuscripts are at least 150 pages long.

All entries will be read anonymously. The author’s name should not appear on the manuscript. Please include two cover pages: one listing only the title of the manuscript, and the other listing the author’s name, address, telephone number, and email address. An acknowledgements page listing the publication history of individual poems may be included, if desired.

Electronic submissions only. Hard copies will not be considered.

Entry Fee

Contest entry fee is $20.


Winners will be notified by June of 2021

Criteria and Code of Ethics

The criteria for choosing final manuscripts will be the best work submitted.

As a member of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP), the Permafrost book prize contest carefully follows the CLMP guide for ethical contests by providing clear contest guidelines and a published transparency of process. The series will ensure that all manuscripts are submitted to judges and reviewers anonymously to avoid conflicts of interest.

Selection Process

The Book Series Coordinator will track all manuscripts and prepare to send them to initial screeners who will read and rank manuscripts. During the first two years, the Coordinator duties will be shared by the Permafrost Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor. The initial screeners may consist of UAF graduate students, adjuncts, faculty, and appropriate community writers including UAF MFA graduates. Screeners will provide a list of top three choices and three alternatives. The top three from each reader in each genre will then be read by the Series Editorial Staff (comprised of Book Series Coordinators, Series Editors, Permafrost Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor and Permafrost Faculty Advisor) and narrowed to between 6-12 manuscripts. These manuscripts will then be forwarded to 2 advisory board members in each genre, who will comment on each manuscript and award ten points as they see fit. These comments and the finalists will then be forwarded to final judge.

For questions, email