Frequently Asked Questions about the Kiriyama Prize Rules

Q. Why can’t I download an entry form?

A. Starting with the 2007 Prize, publishers are asked to send books directly to the judges for their consideration. In order to protect the judges’ privacy, only publishers will be sent their addresses.  Any publisher wanting to enter a book for the Prize will therefore need to request the address list and entry form from Prize administrators.  Please send your request WITH THE SUBJECT HEADER “KIRIYAMA PRIZE ENTRY FORMS” to or call (415) 777-1628.

Q. There was a mix-up in our office and we forgot to enter our books this year. Can we submit our books after the deadline?
A. We regret that no late entries can be accepted. It wouldn’t be fair to other publishers who entered on time, nor would it be fair to our judges, who have quite a lot of reading to do in a short time.

Q. Doesn’t your book prize charge an exorbitant entry fee?
A. At present we charge NO entry fee, but this policy may not last forever.

Q. Can I enter a collection of short stories by 9 different authors?
A. In the past, we would accept collections of work by several authors for the Prize, but we now limit the Prize to works by one author or two authors working in collaboration. There are lots of great anthologies out there, and yours may be one of them, but our judges have always found them very hard to weigh on the same scale as works by a single author. So at least for now, they’re not eligible. Books of short stories or essays by a single author or by two authors in collaboration are still eligible.

Q. Is Burma part of the Pacific Rim? What about Costa Rica? Fiji? Yap? Wagga Wagga?
A. The Kiriyama Prize uses a broad definition of “Pacific Rim,” which includes any country that touches the Pacific Ocean and South Asia. Click here to see a list of countries and a map.

Q. I wrote a book and published it myself. Can I enter it?
A. Self-published books are not eligible, but we do realize that defining “self-published” is tricky. For example, one author who had published his own book once said to us, “Academics often pay a publisher a fee to publish their books. How is that different than my situation?” While it’s true that a professor will sometimes have to pay a publisher to print his or her book, these books still go through a screening process and an editorial process. The academic presses that print such scholarly books will not publish just anything, even for a fee. Conversely, the many companies that will publish anyone’s book for a fee do not screen books for quality, nor do books published this way go through an editorial process. This is not to say that your particular book is no good—it may be great—but our judges simply do not have time to read every self-published manuscript that might come our way were this rule not in place. Please note: If you self-publish your book and it is later picked up by a conventional publisher, then your book may be eligible for the Prize. This has happened on at least a few occasions already.

Q. We don’t have bound galleys of the book we want to enter, but the book won’t be published until after your deadline. Can we send you 400 sheets of paper tied together with a string?
A. Please don’t. If your book is worth entering, it is worth presenting in a form that won’t drive the judges crazy before they get to chapter two. Page proofs may be spiral bound if you don’t have formal galleys. Anything submitted to us in unbound form will be disqualified.

Q. Five out of ten of the short stories in a book we want to enter were published in various magazines before. Is the book still eligible?
A. That’s a complicated question. In previous years, we required most of the stories or essays in a collection to be new, previously unpublished material. However, it was always very difficult for us to determine whether publishers actually complied with this rule. Also, if material had appeared in some obscure academic journal previously, but not in any mainstream publication, probably very few people would have read it. It seemed a shame to disqualify a good book in this case. So, we’ve decided to leave it to our judges from now on to determine whether a book is “fresh” or whether it has a “recycled” feeling about it. The judges will be encouraged to choose books of the first variety, but books that contain previously published material will not be dismissed out of hand.

Q. We sent you bound galleys for our book by the deadline. Do we also need to send you finished copies of the book when it is published?
A. If the shortlist has not yet been chosen, and you think that the finished copy does greater justice to the material submitted, than you are welcome to send finished copies, but it is not a requirement of the Prize. The judges can make their decision based on the galleys. However, IF a book is chosen as a finalist you will be requested to submit finished copies.