Five Reasons You Should Submit to Our Chapbook Contest

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.

ENTER YOUR MANUSCRIPT HERE

Kerrin McCadden – “Only Child”

Reading from Keep This To Yourself

“I wake to the train whistle saying ‘what you don’t know might hurt you’—with nowhere to ship the stories I keep to myself.”

Don’t miss this incredible poem from Kerrin McCadden, reading from her new book, Keep This To Yourself.

Grab your copy of Kerrin’s powerful book, KEEP THIS TO YOURSELF – Winner of the 2018 Button Poetry Prize, now available!

While you’re here, head over to the Button store to check out our books and merch, including books by Sabrina Benaim, Neil Hilborn, Michael Lee, Blythe Baird, Raych Jackson, & our newest releases from Jared Singer & Adam Falkner!

Aaron Coleman – “It Is Not a Question of Memory”

Performing at his book release in Minneapolis.

“I run water over fear, a descant for recollection.”

Don’t miss this spectacular poem from Aaron Coleman, performing at his book release in Minneapolis. Check out Aaron’s incredible book, St. Trigger, Winner of the 2015 Button Poetry Chapbook Contest.

Want to have your video featured on Button Poetry? Video submissions run August 1st – September 15th!

While you’re here, head over to the Button store to check out all our books and merch, including books by Neil Hilborn, Danez Smith, Olivia Gatwood, Hanif Abdurraqib, Donte Collins, our newest release from Sabrina Benaim & more.

Aaron Coleman – “Manmade Shelter Beneath Rupturing Sky”

Performing at his book release in Minneapolis.

“Boys burn down and aim to take the town with them.”

Don’t miss this spectacular poem from Aaron Coleman, performing at his book release in Minneapolis. Check out Aaron’s incredible book, St. Trigger, Winner of the 2015 Button Poetry Chapbook Contest.

While you’re here, head over to the Button store to check out all our books and merch, including books by Neil Hilborn, Danez Smith, Hanif Abdurraqib, Jacqui Germain, Sam Sax, our newest release from Olivia Gatwood & more.

2016 Chapbook Contest Winners!

2016 Chapbook Contest Winners!

Congratulations to the winners of our 2016 chapbook contest, Claire Schwartz and Stevie Edwards! Claire’s manuscript Bound and Stevie’s manuscript Sadness Workshop will be forthcoming later this year on Button Poetry’s press. Congratulations as well to Ben Alfaro, who was selected as runner-up for his manuscript, Fantasma.

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Thanks to our finalist judges, Jeffrey McDaniel and Aziza Barnes, for selecting these manuscripts, as well as to everyone who submitted work to the contest!

Button Poetry 2016 Chapbook Contest Semifinalists

Button Poetry Chapbook Contest Semifinalists

Exciting news! We’ll be announcing the finalists for the chapbook contest next week. For now, we’d like to recognize our semifinalists. We were very impressed by these manuscripts, and we wish we could’ve passed them on to the final round.

Nic Alea, SUMMER IN THE HOUSE OF ICHTHYO
Jackson Burgess, HOLY SMOKES
Elizabeth Catanese, RULES FOR SWIMMING
Amara Chaudhry, A SILENT EMANCIPATION
Ethan Chua, THERE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN STORMS
Keno Evol, SO PLEASE NO POETS IN THE CHURCH
Hazem Fahmy, RED//JILD//PRAYER
Megan Foley, DEIXIS
Mo Fowler, RAISED TO BE SAVED
Geula Geurts, ALL THE GLORY OF THE KING’S DAUGHTER
Darla Himeles, FLESH ENOUGH
Khary Jackson, WANION
Perry Janes, THE ONLY HOME
LynleyShimat Lys, APPROPRIATE CITIES OF ORIGIN
Chrissy Montelli, HEART FLOAT
Jae Nichelle, LETTERS FROM MY DEMONS TO COMFORT ME
Jason Rusch, PROBLEMATIC QUEER LOVE
Sea Sharp, NEGROX
Andrea Vaughan, MAYBE & MEMORY
Junious Ward, BOY;LOUD