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The Kevin McIlvoy Book Prize

In honor of Kevin "Mc" McIlvoy, who passed away suddenly on September 30, 2022, WTAW is pleased to establish the annual Kevin Mc McIlvoy Book Prize for an unpublished book of prose (novel, memoir, narrative nonfiction, collection of stories or essays, hybrid forms).


Submissions will open September 30, 2023 and run through November 15, 2023. The winner will receive book publication with a standard publishing contract that pays royalties, a $2500 prize, and 25 copies of their book. All submissions will be considered for publication. There is a nonrefundable $28 fee. Nina McConigley, Joan Silber, and Peter Turchi will serve as final judges.

Mc was the author of One Kind Favor, a novel he said he knew was the most important work of his life. During six decades of commitment to his art, he published five other novels: At the Gate of All Wonder (Tupelo) , Hyssop (TriQuarterly Press), Little Peg (Antheneum/Macmillan), The Fifth Station (Algonquin Books), and A Waltz (Lynx House Press); a short story collection, The Complete History of New Mexico (Graywolf); a book of short fictions and prose poems, 57 Octaves Below Middle C (Four Way Books); and, most recently, numerous poems. His short fiction appeared in Harper’s, Southern Review, Ploughshares, Missouri Review, and many other literary magazines.

WTAW published Kevin McIlvoy's last work of fiction IS IT SO? GLIMPSES, GLYPHS & FOUND NOVELS on November 7, 2023. 


Read Mc's testimony about his experience publishing with WTAW Press.

Find Kevin McIlvoy's One Kind Favor and more great books in our bookshop.

Guidelines for the Kevin McIlvoy Book Prize

We welcome submissions of full-length books of prose (novels, memoirs, narrative nonfiction, collections of stories or essays, hybrid prose) from new, emerging, and established voices and from writers of all backgrounds.

Entries must be submitted through our submission manager from September 30 — November 15, 2023.

Identifying information for the author must not be included anywhere on the manuscript, including the name of the file or the title field in the submission manager. Manuscripts containing identifying information in any way will be automatically disqualified and the entry fee forfeited.
A manuscript in its entirety must be previously unpublished. It may contain some previously published portions, but it should contain a majority of new work. 

Any previous published material contained in the manuscript must be credited in the cover letter (see more about the letter below).

 Acknowledgements of any previously published material may not be included in the manuscript file. Manuscripts containing acknowledgments will be automatically disqualified.

All material must be the author’s own, original composition and free from copyright restrictions. We do not accept submissions generated by AI tools or language models.
Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but the writer must agree to notify WTAW immediately if the manuscript is accepted elsewhere for publication and to withdraw it from our submission manager.

Multiple submissions are accepted with each accompanied by a separate entry fee. Note: each submission must be unique.
Submissions cannot be edited once they are submitted. Manuscripts selected for publication will go through an editing process with the editors.
Manuscripts should be submitted as a .doc or. docx file in a 12-point standard font such as Times New Roman, double-spaced, with at least 1 inch margins, and paginated. Include a title page with a total word count and a table of contents, as applicable.

Cover letters must be entered into the appropriate field on the submission manager. They may not be included in the submission file itself. Submission files that contain a cover letter will be automatically disqualified.
Cover letters must include the following information

  • Author contact information (address, phone, email)

  • The work’s title, genre, and word count

  • List of credits for any previously published portions

  • A brief synopsis of the work (short paragraph)

  • A brief author biography with publishing history, if applicable, and that includes author website address and social media handles

  • Indication if the manuscript is submitted simultaneously and pledge to withdraw it if accepted elsewhere

  • Where you heard about the Kevin McIlvoy Book Prize

Any submission that doesn’t follow the guidelines will be disqualified and the submission fee forfeited.
WTAW responds to every submission it receives through the submission manager at the email address furnished with the submission.


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