Thank you to everyone who submitted to this year's contest! We will send out notifications in late summer.
In the meantime, preorder the 2017 poetry contest chapbooks here.
We are seeking boundary-breaking chapbooks that evoke remarkable and human truths. We want work that disrupts traditional narratives, work that holds new and daring worlds. We value intention and risk. We seek writing that encourages empathy, writing that brings us to new understandings about ourselves and each other. We are accepting chapbooks from new, emerging, and established writers.
Prose | Zinzi Clemmons
"I'm looking for prose that breaks the mold--that looks and feels new, about new and unfamiliar subjects. I want to be surprised, intrigued, excited, even shocked."
Zinzi Clemmons was raised in Philadelphia by a South African mother and an American father. She serves as Associate Editor at The Believer and as a Contributing Editor to Literary Hub. She is a 2017 National Book Award 5 Under 35 Honoree. Clemmons teaches creative writing at Occidental College, and is a Visiting Writer at Pitzer College.
"A negro is hella beyond excited to live in the worlds of the chapbooks submitted! When I read a chapbook, any book, I am swept of my feet by poets who don’t sacrifice craft for heart and vice versa. I am as in love with poets who are able to show a wide range of styles that don’t bleed into mess (tho I do love some mess in capable hands) as I am writers who can barrel down into a singular idea or form, discovering as they dig. I love poets who are students of form like I love poets who invent form like I love poets who find their true form in free verse. I love political poems, personal poems, poems that do both, poems from outer space, poems from back home, poems from the future, poems that bring history alive. I love ugly poems, poems that ain’t scared of their own stank, poems that make their own beauty, poems that make mirrors, poems that shatter them into brilliant dust. I love poets who are at home in all their languages, who use every lexicon they have to muscle their poems into the world. I love poets who surprise themselves. I love poets who know that there is true wealth in the economy of words. I love chapbooks that know they are chapbooks, that have a central question or concern to anchor them without stunting them. I love poets who know that they must write what they must write, who take risk, who know the importance of silence, who know that editing is where the magic happens, who know their poetic lineages, who write with hunger, who write with bravery, who leave it all on the page, who leave it all. "
Poetry | Danez Smith
Danez Smith is a Black, queer, poz writer & performer from St. Paul, MN. Danez is the author of Don’t Call Us Dead (Graywolf Press, 2017), a finalist for the National Book Award, and [insert] boy (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award & the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. They are the recipient of fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, and is a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow. Danez's work has been featured widely including in Buzzfeed, The New York Times, PBS NewsHour, Best American Poetry, Poetry Magazine, and on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Danez is a member of the Dark Noise Collective and is the co-host of VS with Franny Choi, a podcast sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and Postloudness.
Each winner will receive $500, print publication, author copies, and a jar of berry jam.
Finalists may be offered publication at Honeysuckle Press' discretion.
Manuscripts should be no shorter than 20 pages and no longer than 40 pages. This does not include the table of contents, title page, or identity statement. You may submit one chapbook in poetry and in prose. There should be no more than one poem per page.
Submissions are open from December 1st 2017 to March 1st 2018.
We do not believe in reading fees so entries are free. However, if you'd like to submit more than one manuscript in each category, you may do so by sending us $20 in our Tip Jar here.
Your manuscript should be in Times New Roman or Garamond, size 12. Please single-space poetry and double-space prose. Please include a title page and a table of contents, but do not include your name/any identifying information anywhere within the manuscript or title of the submission. Please do not include an acknowledgements page.
Please include an artist statement on the second page of your manuscript, after the title page. Use this space to show how your identity helps shapes your work. It should be no longer than two paragraphs. This statement will not be included in publication -- it's for us to have an extra lens when viewing your work. Literature does not exist in a vacuum; identity is an important shaping factor in any artist's work. Please do not include your name or specifically identifying information in this statement.
Individual poems/stories may be previously published.
We will be accepting simultaneously submitted work. All semifinalists will be required to remove their work from simultaneous review upon notification.