Fence Books

Launched in 2001, Fence Books publishes poetry, fiction, and critical texts and anthologies, and prioritizes sustained support for its authors, many of whom come to us through our book contests and then go on to publish second, third, fourth books.

The Ottoline Prize, formerly run as the Motherwell Prize and the Alberta Prize, is an annual series, generously endowed by Jennifer S. Epstein, which offers publication to a second book of poems or greater by a woman, as well as a five thousand dollar cash prize. Past winners include Chelsey Minnis, Harmony Holiday, Sasha Steensen, Laura Sims, and Ariana Reines.

Our second prize series is the Fence Modern Poets Series. This contest is open to poets of any gender and at any stage of career, and offers a one thousand dollar cash prize in addition to book publication. Past winners include Joyelle McSweeney, Prageeta Sharma, Geraldine Kim, Macgregor Card, and Paul Legault.

In 2013 we launched the Fence Modern Prize in Prose, a contest for open-form prose projects of any length written in English.  Accepted genres include criticism, hybrid nonfiction, poetics, biography, autobiography, speculation, and anything Other.

From 2007 to 2015, Fence Books was publisher in the National Poetry Series, and through this prize has published books by Rodrigo Toscano, Douglas Kearney, and Jena Osman, among others. Judges have included Marjorie Welish, Catherine Wagner, C. S. Giscombe, and Bernadette Mayer.

Fence and Fence Books are programs of Fence Magazine, Incorporated, a nonprofit organization in the state of New York. Since 2007, Fence Magazine, Incorporated has been affiliated with the University at Albany and the New York State Writers Institute.

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