Paul Engle Prize is Open/ How to Apply (Prize: $20,000)

Paul Engle Prize is currently accepting nominations for people who have contributed to the betterment of the world through the literary arts.

The Paul Engle Prize is an annual literary prize organized by the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature to honor an individual who, like Paul Engle, represents a pioneering spirit in the world of literature through writing, editing, publishing, or teaching, and whose active participation in the larger issues of the day has contributed to the betterment of the world through the literary arts.

The Paul Engle Prize is made possible through the generous support of the City of Coralville, which is home to 11 permanent sculptures with artistic and literary ties to Iowa. The sculptures all have ties to work found in The Iowa Writers’ Library, housed in the Coralville Marriott, which features about 800 books written by former students, graduates and faculty of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Paul Engle (October 12, 1908 – March 22, 1991), though best remembered as the long-time director of the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and founder of the UI’s International Writing Program, also was a well-regarded poet, playwright, essayist, editor and critic.

This prize does not recognize one work, nor is it solely limited to reflecting literary achievement. Rather, the award seeks to recognize a writer, like Engle, who makes an impact on his or her community and the world at large through efforts beyond the page. It also seeks to raise awareness about Engle and his works.

Submission Guidelines for the Paul Engle Prize

  • Only Nominations are accepted.
  • Nominations may be submitted to [email protected]
  • It should include the author’s name, a list of work highlights, and a statement about why the author meets the unique criteria for this award.
  • Self-nominations are not accepted. 
  • The prize is not awarded for a specific work, nor does the prize involve publication.
  • Winners are selected by a panel assembled by the City of Literature board of directors and are recognized at a ceremony in Iowa City, typically during the Iowa City Book Festival.



An award of $20,000 is given to the winning individual. 


Nominations for each year’s prize run from Nov. 1 through March 31. 

To read more on the prize and especially about Paul Engle, visit the website

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: