Schaffner Press Declines to Award Annual Prize

Schaffner Press, an independent publisher founded in 2001 and based in Tucson, Ariz., did not present its Nicholas Schaffner Award for Music in Literature in 2024, citing a lack of submissions that met the award requirements. The award for unpublished manuscripts, which comes with the offer of a book contract and a $1,000 advance, has been given every year since 2014, with the exception of 2020. It is named in honor of publisher Tim Schaffner’s late brother, poet and music critic Nicholas Schaffner. 

“This is the second time we had to make this decision due to similar concerns,” Tim Schaffner told PW. “Unfortunately, after careful consideration and two levels of judging, we arrived at the conclusion that, while there had been qualified contenders for the short list, which we narrowed down to five entrants, none of these fully met the criteria.” A total of 29 manuscripts were submitted. 

The press offered to refund $25 submission fees to authors, and Schaffner said the press “will waive the entry fee for any of this year's participants should they decide to enter next year's contest, provided it's with a new work.” 

Recent NSA winners include Dianne Dugaw, for her memoir California Medieval: Nearly a Nun in 1960s San Francisco, to be published in October, and Jasmin Attia, for her 2023 debut novel The Oud Player of CairoSchaffer said “there will be an award offered for 2025, with publication of the winning title some time in 2026. We are continuing to evaluate the submissions process and the messaging of our awards page on the Schaffner Press website, and look forward to the judging process early next year.”

Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Email Address


Log In Forgot Password

Premium online access is only available to PW subscribers. If you have an active subscription and need to set up or change your password, please click here.

New to PW? To set up immediate access, click here.

NOTE: If you had a previous PW subscription, click here to reactivate your immediate access. PW site license members have access to PW’s subscriber-only website content. If working at an office location and you are not "logged in", simply close and relaunch your preferred browser. For off-site access, click here. To find out more about PW’s site license subscription options, please email Mike Popalardo at:

To subscribe: click here.