We publish: two issues of Passager Journal each year; a number of books of poetry, short stories, and memoir; a biennial book prize for a new poet over 70; and the Pandemic Diaries.

Please see our guidelines below.

Open Issue

Submission period: July 15 – September 15
Publication: January/February
Accepted genres: poetry, memoir, short fiction
Up to 5 poems, 40-line max ea. OR 4,000 words of prose
No reading fee
Not accepting submissions at this time.

Poetry Contest

Submission period: February 15 – April 15
Publication: August/September
Accepted genres: poetry only
Up to 5 poems, 40-line max ea.
$20 reading fee, includes 1-year subscription to Passager*
$1000 prize. Honorable mentions will be published.
Not accepting submissions at this time.

Submission Guidelines

New submissions policy effective 2021: 

Passager has always been about welcoming new voices and giving readers a broad range of the best work by older writers. We wish we could afford to print all the poems and prose we love. Since we can’t, we often (reluctantly!) must make hard choices.  

So, if you have had work in a recent issue of Passager, please read on. 

You may submit to the Poetry Contest without interruption each year. However, if your poem has appeared in the most recent Open Issue or Poetry Contest issue, you will only be eligible to win the prize and become the new Passager Poet. You are not eligible for Honorable Mention (the publication of a single poem).

When submitting to the Open Issue, please wait 2 issue cycles (a year and a half) before submitting again. For example, if you were published in the most recent Open Issue or Poetry Contest issue, you would not submit to the next Open Issue. We’ll be happy to see your work again the year after that.

Writers must be age 50 or older at the time of publication to submit.

We prefer hard copy submissions, but for your convenience, you may also submit online via Submittable. Until further notice, we are requesting that any hard copy submissions be addressed to:

c/o Mary Azrael
5840 Pimlico Road
Baltimore, MD 21209

(Don’t worry if you’ve already sent it to our Park Heights address, we can still pick up mail at the office, just less frequently.)

Include a cover letter and brief bio.

Include your name and contact information on each page (even for the Poetry Contest, or when submitting online).

*Checks for the Poetry Contest reading fee should be made out to “Passager.” Due to the costs of international shipping, submissions outside the U.S. will receive a 1-year digital subscription to Passager.

No previously published work will be considered.

Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere!

No email entries accepted.

Unfortunately, we are unable to return submitted work to you.

Work received outside of the submission period will not be considered.

We urge you to become familiar with Passager before submitting. Read samples of past issues or order sample copies.

Have a question that wasn’t covered here? Please check our FAQs page.

Passager only publishes manuscripts from authors whose work has appeared in Passager Journal. This allows us to build a relationship with our authors and their work. If you have not yet been published in the journal, please see the guidelines for journal submission. We have two reading periods a year. 

For book manuscripts, our next reading period is during the month of February 2022

If you have been published in Passager Journal and have a manuscript of poems, short stories or memoir that you would like us to consider, please send us a query letter describing your book during our February reading period. Include a bio and a sample from the manuscript: for poetry, 10 poems, for prose, 15-20 pages.

Send an electronic copy to editors@passagerbooks.com or a hard copy to :

c/o Mary Azrael
5840 Pimlico Road
Baltimore, MD 21209

Note: We are not considering novels at this time.

The 2022 Henry Morgenthau III First Book Poetry Prize

for a writer age 70 or older

Reading Period: November 1, 2021 – January 30, 2022
Judge: David Keplinger

Submission Guidelines:

Applicant must be a U.S. Resident. 

Applicant must be a living poet, age 70 or older, who has neither published, nor committed to publish a book-length collection of poems (30 poems or more) with a registered ISBN, either in the United States or abroad. 

Here are some more detailed guidelines on the subject of what counts as an eligible manuscript:

  • If a book has been for sale at any venue it is ineligible.
  • If a book has been self-published and sold on the internet (Amazon, for example, or an author’s website) it is ineligible.
  • If some of the poems have appeared in a chapbook, of 25 poems or less, it is eligible.
  • If the poems have been printed by a vanity press and given to family and friends, it is eligible

Manuscript must be of original poetry, in English, by one poet. There are no restrictions on the style of poetry or subject matter. No translations.  

Individual poems may have been previously published in journals or on the web.

Only one manuscript may be submitted per applicant.

Poets are not eligible to apply if they have studied poetry with the judge within the last three years. 

Manuscript must be between 30 and 40 poems, typed single-spaced (unless the poems are meant to be presented using non-standard spacing). Multiple poems may not appear on a single page.

Manuscript must be paginated and contain a Table of Contents.

Online and hard copy submissions are accepted. 

Hard copy manuscripts must use .doc or .docx files. Online manuscripts must be .pdf files.

The entry fee is $25. Hard copy applicants should include a check with their manuscript, made out to Passager/Henry Morgenthau Prize.

To assure anonymity: 

For hard copy submissions: Include two title pages, one with the manuscript title only, and one with the title, author’s name, address, phone and email. The manuscript itself should not contain any information that would reveal the identity of its author. An acknowledgements page may be included.

Please do not include: explanatory statements, autobiographical statements, photographs, illustrations, or artwork.

Hard copy applicants may include a self-addressed postcard with postage to verify the manuscript has been received.  

For online submissions: Use Submittable. All contact information will be entered separately in the applicant’s Submittable account. The manuscript itself should not contain any information that would reveal the identity of its author. Acknowledgements may be included by using the “Acknowledgements” field of the submission manager. 

Online applicants may verify the receipt of their manuscript by logging into Submittable. Passager assumes no responsibility for manuscripts not received due to user error.

Applicants may submit manuscripts elsewhere simultaneously but must notify Passager immediately if a manuscript is accepted for publication by another publisher.

Passager cannot consider manuscript revisions during the course of the contest. The winning poet will have an opportunity to revise before publication.

All applicants will be notified of the award results by email by April 1, 2022.

Passager will publish the winning manuscript in a paperback edition within one year of the judge’s decision.

All correspondence concerning the contest should be addressed to Passager, 7401 Park Heights Ave. Baltimore, MD 21208. Or email: editors@passagerbooks.com

For our online feature “Pandemic Diaries,” we invite observations, impressions, feelings, conversations, encounters with people and places, drawings, and artwork related to or responding to the ongoing Pandemic. Whatever your situation, if you are at home or working, volunteering, taking care of children and parents, please share with us an entry from your journal. No poems or essays, please. Writers must be age 50 or older to submit.

Total Word Limit: 250 words
Total Artwork Limit: 2 images

Please include: the date of the entry, your state/country.

We will periodically post some entries in whole or part on our website. If yours is selected, we will contact you.

Submit your entry on Submittable or send to editors@passagerbooks.com

Dennis H. Lee portrait

Dennis H. Lee

winner of the 2020 Henry Morgenthau First Book Poetry Prize

Dennis received a $3,000 prize and publication of his first book of poems. Read more about Dennis and his winning manuscript that judge David Keplinger calls “a serious achievement of growing up and growing older.”