Winners will receive the following:
1st Prize: $500 plus 10 copies of published chapbook,
their winning title sent to all contest entrants
and two-year subscription to Duotrope.com (Value $100).
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 thrilled to announce that our judge for our 2022 chapbook contest is
James Crews, award-winning poet & editor of How to Love the World.
James Crews is the editor of the best-selling anthology, How to Love the World, which has been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, in the Boston Globe, and the Washington Post, and is the author of four prize-winning collections of poetry: The Book of What Stays, Telling My Father, Bluebird, and Every Waking Moment. His poems have been reprinted in the New York Times Magazine, Ploughshares, The New Republic, and The Christian Century, and in former US poet laureate Ted Kooser’s weekly newspaper column, “American Life in Poetry,” and featured on Tracy K. Smith’s podcast, The Slowdown. He worked with Ted Kooser on “American Life in Poetry,” which reaches millions of readers across the world. Crews holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a PhD in writing and literature from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He teaches poetry at the University at Albany and lives with his husband in Shaftsbury, Vermont.
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 2022/23 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, 2022. (Midnight, PST)
- All entries should be made via Submittable. (No email or snail mail submissions.)
- Manuscripts should be approximately 18 to 30 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 2021, you’ll be eligible to enter again in 2023.
- 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, 2022.
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!