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Front Range Book Prize

About the Front Range Book Prize

The Front Range Book Prize is our annual book award to recognize an unpublished manuscript of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, play script, or hybrid work that is written by a Colorado resident, Colorado native, or person who has resided in Colorado at any point for a minimum of 3 years. While the manuscript does not have to be about Colorado, we will give preference to work with Colorado themes. The winner is announced each summer from our Front Range manuscript finalists, selected by our readers and editors, to receive publication, publicity, a monetary award, a Colorado book-reading tour, and other incentives from our press. If there are close contenders, we may publish silver and bronze finalists, as well.

Award Process and Guidelines

Council of Literary Magazines and Presses Contest Code of Ethics

We subscribe to the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) Contest Code of Ethics: CLMP’s community of independent literary publishers believes that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to 1.) conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors; 2.) to provide clear and specific contest guidelines—defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and 3.) to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public. This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage.

Alternating Current’s Selection & Judging Process

1.) We take submissions through Submittable and use its tools and our own to accept incognito submissions. The editor-in-chief has access to the information, but she does not read or accept submissions. While the editor-in-chief determines what is published on our press, she does not make judging decisions for awards.

2.) We ask submitters not to include their names, contact information, or any identifying marks within the documents, titles, and file names of submissions.

3.) Staff members of Alternating Current may have pieces published on The Coil or submit pieces for incognito submission consideration, but staff members are not eligible to win award prizes while serving on our staff.

4.) For all awards, the editor-in-chief compiles a spreadsheet of all the eligible pieces, makes sure everything is stripped of any contact information, and sends that spreadsheet to the readers and editors. The editors rank the selections to choose the top finalists. The incognito judging decisions are final.

5.) While the manuscripts are read incognito, the editors are asked to recuse themselves from judging if there are any submissions that they may recognize as posing a personal conflict of interest. Once selected, we will reveal the winner’s name privately to the readers before announcement to clarify that there is no conflict of interest. Should there be, the next finalist in line without conflict shall become the winner, or judges shall recuse themselves from the ranking tallies. Conflicts of interest are defined as: close friends, relatives, students, and former students of the judges. We do not consider workshops to be disqualifying factors, unless the judge personally feels there is a conflict there. We leave the discretion of conflict identification up to the judges.

6.) The winner is notified prior to announcement. The results are publicly posted online at The Coil and on the press website.

What is the Front Range, and why is the award only for Colorado writers?

The Front Range is the section of the Rocky Mountains that faces the areas along Boulder and Denver, stretching from around the northern Colorado border down to around CaƱon City, and penned in roughly by Golden and Idaho Springs to the east and west. It’s called the Front Range because, once upon a time, when wagon trains were traveling into these mountains from the Great Plains, this area was what faced the travelers as the front entrance of the mountain pass. The Front Range includes the Indian Peaks and Longs Peak, the two highest points in the area, along with the famed Pikes Peak, which inspired the song “America, the Beautiful” and was named for Zebulon Pike, the infamous explorer and brigadier general who died in the controversial British Canadian magazine explosion at the Battle of York during the War of 1812.

For us, the Front Range also encompasses the Flatirons, a set of jagged peaks shaped like irons that jut above Boulder, facing our office window across an open mesa. We are stationed in Boulder, and our book prize rewards writers who are working, thriving, and making a difference right here in the environs that surround us. It’s our way of giving back to, enriching, adding vibrancy to, respecting, and keeping alive the immediate literary community that we call home.

Help us fund the Front Range Book Prize

It is our aim for the Front Range Book Prize to become the largest and most prestigious book award for Colorado writers. We are seeking Colorado businesses, corporations, and individuals who are interested in helping us make this happen. Please contact alt (dot) current (at) gmail (dot) com, if you are interested in being an award sponsor or participating in this award process in any way.

Current 2022 Prize

The inaugural year of the prize will be 2022. The winner receives at least $500 (upon publication); publication of the manuscript at Alternating Current Press in paperback and ebook formats; 20 complimentary print copies; complimentary digital copies; competitive backend royalties at 50%; an award medallion for use on book covers and websites; a certificate; a Colorado book-reading tour; and our standard publicity package, including a press kit, a book club reading guide, a press release, multiple mailing-list email blasts, social media, review and contest copies, and more. Silver and bronze finalists may be selected, as well.

We are currently seeking sponsors to help increase the prize pot, and we will be working with local Colorado businesses and institutions to provide sponsor prizes. If you are interested in sponsoring, please email alt (dot) current (at) gmail (dot) com.