book prizes

The OTTOLINE PRIZE—named for Lady Ottoline Violet Anne Morrell (1873–1938), beloved undersung patron of the Bloomsbury Group—awards publication and a cash prize to a book of poems by a woman writing in English who has previously published one or more books of poetry. The Ottoline Prize existed in previous incarnations as the Motherwell Prize, and the Albert Prize before that. See list of past recipients below.

The 2017 Ottoline Prize will be open from November 15 through December 15 (11:59 p.m. EST), 2015.

The Ottoline Prize awards publication and $5,000 to a book-length work of poetry by a woman writing in English who has previously published one or more full-length books of poetry.

The submission fee is $28, and all entrants receive a complimentary subscription or renewal to Fence. The winning manuscript will be published in the Spring of 2017 by Fence Books.

To submit, please go HERE.

Additionally, the 2016 winner, selected by judge Hoa Nguyen, will be announced in the coming weeks. Fence Books is also excited to announce the winner of the 2015 Ottoline Prize. Judge and longtime Fence board member Brenda Hillman chose Stacy Szymaszek’s Journal of Ugly Sites and Other Journals to be published in February of 2016.

STACY SZYMASZEK is a poet, editor and arts administrator. She worked at Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee, WI from 1999-2005. During that time she founded and edited GAM:A Survey of Great Lakes Writing. She is the author of the books Emptied of All Ships (2005) and Hyperglossia (2009), both published by Litmus Press, as well as numerous chapbooks, including Pasolini Poems (Cy Press, 2005), Orizaba: A Voyage with Hart Crane (Faux Press, 2008), Stacy S.: Autoportraits (OMG, 2008) and austerity measures (Fewer & Further Press, 2012).​ Her book, Hart Island, is forthcoming from Nightboat Books. ​​She is a regular teacher for Naropa University’s Summer Writing Program, and Salon Guest for LMCC’s Workspace program. She is the Director of The Poetry Project ​​at St. Mark’s Church in the East Village of Manhattan.


Winners of the Motherwell Prize:

Lauren Shufran (2013)
Harmony Holiday (2011)
Josie Sigle
r (2010) 
Elizabeth Marie Young (2009)
Kaisa Ullsvik Miller (2008)


Winners of the Alberta Prize

Ariana Reines (2006)
Laura Sims (2005)
Sasha Steensen (2004)
Rosemary Griggs (2003)
Tina Brown Celona (2002)
Chelsey Minnis (2001)

Lady Ottoline Morrell, by Cecil Beaton (1927)

© Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, Sotheby’s London