The inaugural Amsterdam Open Book Prize is now open for your manuscripts! The first of its kind in the Netherlands, the prize seeks to celebrate writers and artists in and beyond our far & wide community. The winning manuscript will be the first title of the new Versal Editions, Amsterdam’s community-centered publisher and curator, evolved out of nearly 20 years of the famed international literary & arts journal Versal.


We are looking for chapbook-length to full book manuscripts in any genre, between 25 and 80 pages. Hybrid, experimental, and collaborative works are encouraged. While English should be the primary language of the manuscript, translations and multilingual works will also be considered. Artistic works that rely on layout and design elements should be accompanied with adequate specifications if these are not obvious in the document itself. 

Simultaneous submissions are fine, but keep us posted. All works should be previously unpublished in their current collected form, though individual pieces within the manuscript may have been published or exhibited elsewhere; in which case, please include an acknowledgements page. You may send multiple works, but only as separate submissions and with an entry fee paid for each. We will only review submissions sent via Submittable. Works sent by email or otherwise will be immediately deleted without reply.

There are two fee options. Residents of the Netherlands may take advantage of our local discount. Revenue from the fees will be used to finance production and publication of the contest winner's book. Any remaining revenue will be used for future publications and activities of Versal Editions.

Our review process & schedule

All submissions will be reviewed and judged in a collaborative process of Versal Edition's editors and readers. Finalists chosen by the Versal Editions editorial team will be announced on February 1, 2020, and the winner and runner-up will be announced at the February 9th VERSO / in Amsterdam. Publication of the winning manuscript is expected by June 2020, launched at the VERSO / season finale on June 14th.

Finalists, runner-up and winner 

The winner of the inaugural Amsterdam Open Book Prize will receive 10 copies of the limited edition title and the option to order more at a reduced price. The runner-up will receive a copy of the book. We will announce the finalists, runner-up, and winner through several channels with the explicit aim to celebrate their excellent work. All finalists, the runner-up and the winner will also receive an open invitation to perform at VERSO / in Amsterdam.

Our commitment 

While we are no longer a member of the Community of Literary Publishers (CLMP), we do subscribe to the essence of its Code of Ethics for contests. If a conflict of interest arises in the course of the review process, we will address that conflict openly among our team and with the individual(s) involved. If not enough entries are received and no winners can be chosen, all entry fees will be refunded. Should we be delayed in our selection process, in announcing the finalists, or in the publication of the chosen manuscript, we will communicate that delay publicly and in a timely manner. We are committed to transparency and open and respectful dialogue with all of the individuals who send us their work, just as we are committed to giving the winner our full attention in the development of their manuscript into a book. We will make every effort within our power to promote the book on behalf of the author and Versal Editions. 

Versal Editions