Archives For chapbook contests



Add Slipstream literary journal to your list of places to submit! The journal published one of my poems, “Decay,” in their themed issue 34 (Rust, Dust, Lust), and I was so impressed with the contributor’s materials sent to me. In addition to the journal, I received a postcard with the journal cover art, a copy of the most recent newsletter announcing upcoming contests, and a copy of Nicole Antonio’s Another Mistake, winner of the 2014 Slipstream Poetry Chapbook Competition. The chapbook is beautifully written and printed, and comes with a bookmark featuring an endorsement by Amy Gerstler, “Another Mistake is a powerhouse chapbook….a hyper-awake, penetrating, gritty, humane, fearless literary voice.”

Next Themed Issue

Slipstream has an upcoming themed issue “Elements.”

We are currently reading for Issue #35 and are seeking poetry that explores the theme “elements.” Creative interpretations are welcome. Submit up to five (5) poems in one document file only. We also are seeking artwork for the issue. Please do not submit again until you have received a response on the status of your current submission. DEADLINE for submissions is: May 1, 2015. No previously published work please.

Slipstream describes the type of poetry that is appealing as “poetry with contemporary urban themes and a strong voice.”

Chapbook Contest

The next chapbook contest deadline is approaching! Deadline for entries: Dec. 1 every year. $1,000 prize plus 50 copies of your chapbook.

More information on Slipstream’s website


Submission Ideas for 2014

January 5, 2014 — 1 Comment


Each January, I vow to read more, write more, write better, or at least submit what I have on hand. I’ve been trying to divide my time between submitting and writing with mixed results on the multitasking. Much of my submission research is summarized below. I’m back to using an Excel spreadsheet to track submissions because it gives me flexibility, and I keep forgetting to log in to’s tracking system to log responses.

Poem, Chapbook and Manuscript Contests

For individual poem, chapbook, and manuscript contests, I’ve been using this list from, which organizes by monthly deadlines and has all three categories together in one place.

A list of chapbook publishers here and here from earlier blog posts of mine, “Submission Season” and “Chapbook Publishing.”

Tom Holmes, editor of Redactions, created a list of places to submit manuscripts here.

Literary Journals (free) (subscription)

Poets & Writers (subscription but good free databases as well). Literary journals and magazines, writing contests, grants and awards listings.

I have always used the above three sources for lit journals, but I’m finding that it is easier to discover new lit journals through the listings. Most of the new journals are online rather than print. The online journals do not have a higher acceptance rate, but they do have a faster response rate at times, and it is much easier to promote work published in an online journal through social media.

I am currently tracking eco journals, so here is a list of top ones thanks to Little Curlew Press.

  1. Ecotone
  2. Flyway
  3. Canary
  4. Hawk and Handsaw
  5. Flycatcher
  6. Newfound
  8. Orion

Others journals for poems of place or the relationship of man and environment are: The Clearing, Fourth River, Clade Song

A new journal, Fall Lines (long, but info was forwarded by a friend and may not be easy to find online just yet):

Fall Lines – a literary convergence is a new literary journal based in Columbia, SC and presented by Jasper Magazine in partnership with Richland Library, the University of South Carolina Press, Muddy Ford Press, and One Columbia.

Fall Lines accepts submissions of previously unpublished poetry, essays, short fiction, and flash fiction from January 1 through March 1, 2014. While the editors of Fall Lines hope to attract the work of writers and poets from the Carolinas and the Southeastern US, acceptance of work is not dependent upon residence.

Please limit short fiction to 2000 words or less; flash fiction to 350 – 500 words; essays to 1200 words; and poetry to three pages (Times New Roman 12 pt.) Submit your work via email to with the words “Fall Lines” in the subject heading along with the category (above) of the item being submitted. While you are invited to enter up to five items, each item should be sent individually as a single submission. Please include with each submission a cover sheet stating your name, age, email address, and USPO address. There is no fee to enter.

Publication in Fall Lines will be determined by a panel of judges and accepted authors will be notified in May 2014, with a publication date in June 2014. Accepted authors will receive two copies of the journal.

The Columbia Fall Line is a natural junction, along which the Congaree River falls and rapids form, running parallel to the east coast of the country between the resilient rocks of the Appalachians and the softer, more gentle coastal plain.

Expat or International Journals (from

The Pavilion – seeks poems by US expats

Apalachee Review – seeks poems with an international theme

Border Crossing – seeks poems from either US or Canadian poets

Where to Send Already Published Poems

A reader asked me recently where to send already published poems to extend readership. (Published usually means anywhere, whether it’s in print, online, or on a blog or poetry website.) I have a few suggestions:

Anthologies (look for themed anthology listings on,, or Poets & Writers ( Anthologies will usually take unpublished poems as well.

Poetry Daily – previously published poems in books, chapbooks, or in a literary journal (must send the entire journal as a copy)

Versewrights – unpublished or previously published poems

Verse Daily – previously published in books, chapbooks, or in a literary journal (must send the journal copy)

Personal Blog – You can put your own previously published poems on your blog as long as you credit the original journal (and provide a link where appropriate).

Lit Journals (some will take previously published poems, but be careful to read guidelines.)

Chapbook Publishing

August 18, 2013 — 4 Comments


I’ve been working on a chapbook manuscript this month, since fall submission deadlines are approaching. I’ve found some online resources that are helpful and others that are confusing or out-of-date. Entry fees seem to run between $15 and $20, and length between 16 and 38 pages. It’s common for chapbooks to be published through contests, though there are publishers that will consider manuscripts outside of contests, such as Finishing Line Press. Check back each year because chapbook publishing seems to vary based on demand, the finances and staffing of the presses, etc. The publisher of my first chapbook, Main Street Rag, for example, is not currently holding chapbook contests.

There are three approaches to publishing a chapbook: contests, approaching a publisher on your own, or self-publishing. I don’t have experience with self-publishing, so these resources cover the first two options.

The most up-to-date sources for current contests are Poets & Writers Magazine and listings. Newpages has a scrollable listing, and for the Poets & Writers online site, I went to the grants and contests section and then entered “Chapbook” in the search box.

There are two main lists that show up in Google results for chapbook contests and publishers: Poetry Society of America chapbook contests and These two lists formed the basis for my research. These lists are not arranged by submission deadlines, and they have many links to sites that are not current. I added new information relevant to each list as I found it. It is worth checking back frequently to see if updates are available.

Poetry Society of America list of chapbook contests

  • Main Street Rag, suspended chapbook contest
  • Susan Blalock Chapbook Contest/Permafrost renamed Midnight Sun Contest
  • Slapering Hol Contest only accepts manuscripts if you have never published a book or a chapbook
  • Wick Poetry Center Contest is open to residents or writers associated with Ohio list of chapbook publishers*

  • Moon Pie Press is currently not considering submissions
  • Main Street Rag, suspended chapbook contest
  • Floating Bridge contest is open to residents or writers associated with Washington state
  • Slapering Hol Contest only accepts manuscripts if you have never published a book or a chapbook
  • Wild Honey Press is located in Ireland and isn’t currently considering manuscripts

*Several names on the list are not contests but publishers that you would have to approach yourself.

Finishing Line Press will let you submit manuscripts any time during the year, though they are not listed in either of these two resources.

New contests that have started:

  • Arcadia (August deadline just passed)
  • Tupelo Press Sunken Garden Chapbook Contest

Don’t forget the Poet’s Market book (from Writer’s Digest) as a resource. It also helps to attend bookfairs, such as at the AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) conference to see the types of chapbooks being made by publishers.

Things to keep in mind about chapbooks:

  • It isn’t necessary to have all of the poems published before submitting a manuscript, though it really helps to have at least a few listed on the acknowledgments page. My first chapbook had roughly 30% published poems.
  • Poems can be ordered in a variety of ways. Often in a short chapbook there is a unifying theme.
  • Length can vary. Put your strongest work in and don’t feel obligated to go to the maximum page length.
  • Read and follow the guidelines for each press. Some chapbooks are printed in a specific size and font that limit how long a line can be, and how many lines can fit on a page. Some manuscripts are read blind with no identifying information, and others are not.
  • Most contests allow electronic submissions, and almost all will have a reading fee. The reading fee supports the press, and often there is a perk in exchange for the fee such as a subscription to the literary journal or a copy of the winning chapbook.

An earlier blog post on putting together a manuscript references Jeffrey Levine’s (editor of Tupelo Press) page of tips, including ordering poems, proofreading, and submitting. Mr. Levine’s tips are available here. My blog post is below as well.

The chapbook publishing market is experiencing a resurgence, and some of the contests (The Diagram/New Michigan Press) had 500 entries last year. In many of the contests, you may be competing with poets who have already published a chapbook or book.

Poets & Writers has an article on how to make and bind your own chapbook here.