The Amsterdam Open Book Prize

 Full details 

he first of its kind in the Netherlands, the biennial Amsterdam Open Book Prize celebrates writers and artists in and beyond our far and wide community. The winning manuscript will join the catalogue of Versal Editions, Amsterdam’s community-centered small press, evolved out of nearly 20 years of the famed international literary and arts journal Versal.

Our upcoming reading period runs October 15 thru December 31, 2021. Follow us or join our newsletter to stay in the loop.

What we’re looking for

We accept chapbook-length to full book manuscripts between 25 and 80 pages. We are open to different genres and forms, including poetry, fiction and nonfiction prose, and especially experimental, hybrid and collaborative pieces. Inventive works that disassemble meaning, rethink artistic and narrative spaces, and create new landscapes visually, sonically or cognitively excite us. Writing that resists and rebels. Manuscripts that are inquisitive, urgent and evocative. Work that is humanizing and radical and necessary in the world. Collections that cohere or fragment; language that takes risks, surprises, entertains and delights us; literary expressions that push boundaries and scatter the universe. Linguistic gatherings, reckonings and cross-pollinations. 

We are happy to consider translations and multilingual work, although English should be the primary language of the manuscript.. Submissions that are art-centered and/or rely on layout and design elements should be accompanied by adequate specifications if these are not obvious in the document itself. Accepted formats include PDF, DOC, DOCX and other standard file types.

Simultaneous submissions are fine but keep us posted. All works should be previously unpublished in their current form. Individual pieces/components within the manuscript may have been published or exhibited elsewhere; in which case, please include an acknowledgements page. 

There are two fee options. Residents of the Netherlands may take advantage of our local discount. Revenue from the fees will be used to finance production and publication of the contest winner's book. Any remaining revenue will be used for future publications and activities of Versal Editions. You may send multiple works, but only as separate submissions and with an entry fee paid for each. Fees are waived for writers who do not have resources to cover cost of submission, please inquire with us directly. 

We encourage writers of all backgrounds to submit. In particular, we welcome writers and artists of color, women, LGBTQ+ and other marginalized and emerging voices in our communities.

Our review process & schedule

All submissions will be reviewed and judged in a collaborative process with Versal Edition's editors, readers and contest judge. A shortlist of finalists chosen by the Versal Editions team will be announced in spring 2022, followed by an announcement of the winner and runner-up as selected by the contest judge. The winning manuscript will be published within one year of acceptance.

Finalists, runner-up and winner 

The winner of the inaugural Amsterdam Open Book Prize receives 10 copies of the limited-edition title and the option to order more at a reduced price. The runner-up receives a copy of the winning book. We will announce the finalists, runner-up, and winner with the explicit aim to celebrate their excellent work. 

Our commitment 

If a conflict of interest arises in the course of the review process, we will address that conflict openly among our team and with the individual(s) involved. If not enough entries are received and no winners can be chosen, all entry fees will be refunded. Should we be delayed in our selection process, in announcing the finalists, or in the publication of the chosen manuscript, we will communicate that delay publicly and in a timely manner. We are committed to transparency and open and respectful dialogue with all of the individuals who send us their work, just as we are committed to giving the winner our full attention in the development of their manuscript into a book. We will make every effort within our power to promote the book on behalf of the author and Versal Editions.

Submissions open October 15, 2021! 



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