Each year since 2005, thanks to the continued generosity of Linda Bruckheimer, Sarabande Books selects and publishes one work of Kentucky literature. Manuscripts are accepted during the month of July with no entry fee. See below for full details.


Contest is open to any writer of English:

  • who is a native of Kentucky, or
  • who has lived in Kentucky for at least two years, or
  • whose manuscript is set in or about Kentucky.

In addition, writer must be willing and able to travel to or within Kentucky for readings and public events. Employees and board members of Sarabande Books, Inc. are not eligible.

Content Requirements

Submissions may include:

  • a collection of poetry between 48 and 100 manuscript pages.
  • a collection of short stories between 150 and 250 manuscript pages.
  • one or more novellas between 150 and 250 manuscript total pages.
  • a short novel no more than 250 manuscript pages.
  • a collection of essays or creative nonfiction no more than 250 manuscript pages.

Works that have previously appeared in magazines or in anthologies may be included. Translations and previously self-published collections are not eligible. We also do not consider history, scholarly works, children’s literature, plays, genre literature such as romances, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, or crime thrillers. Nor do we accept single stories or poems.

There is no entry fee for the Linda Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky Literature.

Submission by post

We prefer to receive submissions electronically. You may also submit by post during the month of July. To ensure your work is received and recorded properly, please include the following items with your submission:

  • One copy of the manuscript, with the author’s name, address, phone number, and e-mail address on the cover page.
  • Cover letter that specifies your satisfaction of the eligibility requirements.
  • Self-addressed stamped postcard for notification of receipt
  • Self-addressed stamped (#10) business-sized envelope for editor’s decision

Manuscripts must be postmarked during the month of July. Send physical entries to:

Linda Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky Literature
Sarabande Books
822 E. Market Street
Louisville, KY 40206

Please retain a copy of your manuscript. We cannot return manuscripts. Sarabande reserves the right not to publish in the series if no suitable manuscript is found.

Previous Winners

2015: Everywhere Home, essays by Fenton Johnson

2014: The Spoons in the Grass are There to Dig a Moat, poems by Amelia Martens

2013: Model of a City in Civil War, poems by Adam Day

2012: Elegy on Kinderklavier, stories by Arna Bontemps Hemenway

2011: Red Holler: Appalachian Literature, edited by John E. Branscum and Wayne Thomas

2010: Gin & Bleach, poems by Catherine Wing

2009: Small Fires, essays by Julie Marie Wade

2008: The Name of the Nearest River, stories by Alex Taylor

2007: Black Sabbatical, poems by Brett Eugene Ralph

2006: The Motel of the Stars, a novel by Karen McElmurray

2005: The Guyanese Wanderer, stories by Jan Carew