Knowing when and where to spend the energy submitting your creative work can be difficult. Maybe you’ve already hit your rejection-capacity for the month and one more “we regret to inform you” will send you to the wilderness for a hermitage away from the publishing game. Before you pack your bags, hear us out.
1. If you win, you’ll receive publication, 50 free author copies, and a $500 honorarium. We get it, $500 isn’t the jackpot, but we’ve got an excellent team that’s thrilled to market your book. No joke—if you follow us on social media, you’re likely either impressed or annoyed by how often our books pop up on your feed.
2. You get the chance to join a community of incredible writers dating back to 2012, when the contest started. Imagine it: your book wedged on a shelf between past winners such as Danez Smith and Akosua Zimba Afiriyie-Hwedie.
3. Even if your manuscript isn’t selected, you will have prepared and—hopefully—polished a collection of poems. Which is to say, you’ll get to experience the pat on the back that comes with finishing a body of work. And even better: provide proof to the skeptical family members that yes, you are doing something.
4. This is a contest for creatives, judged by creatives. We know how much time and attention goes into the process and will handle your manuscript with care equivalent to a neurosurgeon doing neurosurgeon things.
5. Our taste is not highly particularized—all topics and styles are welcome. If we had to name it, we value poetry with energy, voice and force, work that crosses borders or effaces them completely, work that enters into larger social conversations, work that lives in the world, work with calloused hands and a half-empty stomach. Poetry is and ought to be part of our everyday lives and culture.
Thank you for sharing your poetry with us. Best of luck.
The 2021 Chapbook Contest deadline has been extended until January 17th, 2022. Don’t wait until next year.