Chapbook Contest for 2021
Winners will receive the following:
1st Prize: $500 plus 10 copies of published chapbook,
distribution of their winning title to all contest entrants.
2nd Prize: $100 plus 5 copies of their published chapbook.
3rd Prize: $50 plus 5 copies of their published chapbook.
(The Poetry Box® may offer publication to a few finalists, dependent upon the quantity/quality of each year’s submissions.)
Open to writers residing in the United States.
This Year’s Judge
We are proud to announce that our judge for this year’s chapbook contest is the very talented, award-winning poet, Annie Lighthart.
Annie Lighthart is a poet and teacher who started writing poetry after her first visit to an Oregon old-growth forest. She has taught at Boston College and with writers of all ages, teaching poetry workshops wherever she can. Poems from her books Iron String and Lantern have been featured on The Writer’s Almanac and in various anthologies, including Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems and Healing the Divide. Annie’s poems have been turned into choral music, used in healing projects in Ireland, England, and New Zealand, and have traveled farther than she has.
You can learn more about Annie Lighthart at http://www.annielighthart.com/
We welcome work from both established and emerging writers alike. We invite all voices, and especially those that have been historically marginalized or under-heard to submit and partner with us. Every submission starts out in the same pile and is judged merely on its own merit, not the reputation of the writer. We enjoy poems of all styles: formal, free-verse, metered, non-rhyming, experimental, nostalgic, political, erotic, abstract, lyrical, etc. We don’t censor or shy away from ‘tough topics’, however we do draw the line at poetry that discriminates against our fellow humans. Please keep in mind that a chapbook should have some unifying thread and yet each poem should be strong enough to stand on its own merit.
- The Poetry Box Chapbook Prize honors a collection of original poetry in English by a single author; translations are not eligible.
- The first place winning poet will receive a $500 honorarium upon publication plus 10 copies of the book. The winning chapbook will be sent to ALL contest entrants.
- The winning chapbook will be published in Winter 2021/22 by The Poetry Box, as a perfect-bound, paperback chapbook (5.5 x 8.5 inches in size).
- In addition, the winning book and author will be featured on the The Poetry Box website.
- Entries must be submitted between February 1st – February 28th, 2021. (Midnight, PST)
- All entries should be made via Submittable. (No email or snail mail submissions.)
- Manuscripts should be approximately 18 to 32 pages of poetry, submitted in one single file. (This is only an estimate as it’s hard to determine page count depending on individual length of poems. Finished chapbooks usually end of being 30-48 pages with front/back matter, so use your judgement. We’re flexible.)
- Poets may enter more than one manuscript to the contest, but each submission must be a separate entry, each incurring its own fee.
- Accepted file formats: WORD (.doc or docx), RTF (rich text format), or PDF (if you have illustrations with your poems).
- Please use a standard readable font in 12pt.
- Each poem should start at the top of new page.
- Poems should be single-spaced with double-spacing between stanzas.
- The author’s name must not appear in the manuscript. Do NOT put your name on the entry. Manuscripts will be read anonymously.
- The title page should contain the proposed title of chapbook and a brief synopsis/description of the collection and/or theme of the body of work. Author contact information is to be collected separately via Submittable. (do not include on title page)
- Please include a Contents page listing the poems in order. (page numbers are optional)
- Do NOT include your name, author bio, or any other identifying information in the manuscript.
- Individual poems of the manuscript may have been previously published in magazines, journals, or anthologies, but the work as a whole must be unpublished. (Please provide acknowledgments page of previously published poems.)
- Simultaneous submissions are permissible, but entrants are asked to notify The Poetry Box immediately if a manuscript becomes accepted/committed elsewhere.
- If you win/place in our contest, please skip a year before entering the contest again. In other words, if you won the chapbook prize in 2019, you’ll be eligible to enter again in 2021.
- The entry fee of $25.00 is payable through Submittable (our submission manager system) and includes a free copy of the winning chapbook.
- The winner will be announced by July 30, 2021.
Need help with using the Submittable submissions manager? Visit https://submittable.help/submitters
If you have any questions, you can contact the editor, Shawn Aveningo Sanders via Shawn@thePoetryBox.com.
We look forward to reading your work!