The Perkoff Prize is a tri-genre contest that awards $1000 and publication each to writers of the best story, set of poems, and essay that engage in evocative ways with health and medicine as judged by the editors.
Begun in 2021, the initial concept for the Perkoff Prize was as a post-publication award (much like TMR’s Peden Prize) that recognized literary excellence in a piece that had a meaningful connection to health and medicine. The original benefactor of this prize, the late Dr. Gerald Thomas Perkoff, was Professor Emeritus at the University of Missouri School of Medicine in the Department of Family and Community Medicine (learn more about his life here). His love of poetry and the possibilities in treating the vast, rich arena of human experience with health and medicine drove this desire to take note of and reward literary achievement. We started planning ways to reinvent and revitalize the prize in the late spring of 2019, with no idea what the following years would bring us. Now here we are, amidst a pandemic that has relentlessly revealed to us the precarity—and resourcefulness—of human health and the endeavors of medicine to relieve pain and suffering. It is our humble hope that the Perkoff Prize is an opportunity for the artful expression of these infinitely diverse and collectively resonant human experiences.
- All submissions must engage with health and medicine in some way.
- All submissions must be previously unpublished.
- Poetry: up to 10 pages of poetry.
- Fiction and Nonfiction: up to 8500 words, double-spaced.
- Winners will be published in print issue of TMR.
- All entries will be considered for publication (whether in print, or as part of our Poem of the Week or Blast features).
- Multiple submissions and simultaneous submissions are welcome, but you must pay a separate fee for each entry and withdraw the piece immediately if accepted elsewhere.
- Current University of Missouri students and faculty are ineligible.
- Standard Entry fee: $15. Each entrant receives a one-year subscription to the Missouri Review in digital format (normal price $24).
- “All Access” Entry fee: $30. In addition to the one-year digital subscription to the Missouri Review, the “All Access” entry fee grants access to the last 10 years of digital issues and the audio recordings of each digital issue.