Black Lawrence Press

The Black River Chapbook Competition

Twice each year Black Lawrence Press will run the Black River Chapbook Competition for an unpublished chapbook of poems or short fiction between 16-36 pages in length. The contest is open to new, emerging, and established writers. The winner will receive book publication, a $500 cash award, and ten copies of the book. Prizes are awarded on publication.

Past winners:

2005: Helen Marie Casey
2006: D. E. Fredd
Spring 2007: Frank Montesonti
Fall 2007: Sandra Kolankiewicz
Spring 2008: T.J. Beitelman
Fall 2008: Tina Egnoski
Spring 2009: David Rigsbee
Fall 2009: Lisa Fay Coutley
Spring 2010: Charlotte Pence
Fall 2010: Amelia Martens
Spring 2011: Russel Swensen
Fall 2011: Nick McRae
Spring 2012: Shane McCrae
Fall 2012: Simone Muench
Spring 2013: Blake Kimzey
Fall 2013: Caleb Curtiss
Spring 2014: Sam Sax
Fall 2014: Philip Schaefer and Jeff Whitney
Spring 2015: Meghan Privitello
Fall 2015: Ruth Baumann
Spring 2016: Jacqueline Doyle
Fall 2016: Nancy Reddy
Spring 2017: Amy Sayre Baptista

Spring Entry Period: April 1 – May 31
Fall Entry Period: September 1 – October 31

Our chapbooks are perfect-bound, feature striking cover designs, each receive an ISBN, and are distributed nationally through Small Press Distribution, as well as on our website and at amazon.com. We treat our chapbooks just like our full-length titles in terms of aesthetics, production, publicity, and editorial love and care.

Beginning with the Spring 2014 contest, the Black River Chapbook Competition is judged by a revolving panel of judges, in addition to the Chapbook Editor and other members of the BLP editorial staff. The judging panel is comprised of past winners and published finalists of the BRCC, including:

Ruth Baumann (author of Retribution Binary)
Mary Biddinger (author of Saint Monica)
Lisa Fay Coutley (author of In the Carnival of Breathing)
Nicole Cuffy (author of Atlas of the Body)
Jenny Drai (author of The New Sorrow is Less Than the Old Sorrow)
Amelia Martens (author of Purgatory)
Nick McRae (author of Mountain Redemption)
Simone Muench (author of Trace)
Jessica Piazza (author of This is not a sky)
Meghan Privitello (author of Notes on the End of the World)
Matthew Raymond (author of The Muddy Season)

Nancy Reddy (author of Acadiana)
Philip Schaefer (author of Radio Silence)
Cate Stevens-Davis (author of Oh My Darling)
Russel Swensen (author of Santa Ana)
Jeff Whitney (author of Radio Silence)

Previous Years’ Judges:

Brittany Cavalaro (co-author of No Girls No Telephones)
Caleb Curtiss (author of A Taxonomy of the Space Between Us)
Rebecca Hazelton (co-author of No Girls No Telephones)
Charlotte Pence (author of The Branches, the Axe, the Missing)
Sam Sax (author of sad boy / detective)

How To Submit

Black Lawrence Press accepts submissions and payment of the entry fee ($15) exclusively through our online submission manager, Submittable. We are not able to accept submissions via email or postal mail.

All entries are read blind by our panel of judges and editors. All manuscripts should include a title page (listing only the title of the work), table of contents, and when appropriate, an acknowledgments page. Manuscripts should be paginated and formatted in an easy-to-read font such as Garamond or Times New Roman. Manuscripts should be 16-36 pages in length (double-spaced for fiction), not including front and back matter (table of contents, title page, etc.). Identifying information for the author should not be included anywhere on the manuscript itself, including in the name of your file or in the “title” field in Submittable. You are welcome to include a brief bio or something about yourself in your cover note on Submittable, which will only be made accessible to the editorial panel after the group of Semi-Finalist and Finalist manuscripts has been chosen.

Chapbooks containing individual stories or poems that have been previously published online or in print are absolutely eligible for the BRCC–please simply note previously published work on an acknowledgments page. On the other hand, if your chapbook has been previously published as a collection (including publication with a press, self-publication, online/digital publication, and publication in a small, limited-edition print run), then the manuscript is not eligible for the BRCC.

Simultaneous submissions are acceptable and encouraged, but please notify us by withdrawing your manuscript on Submittable immediately if it is accepted for publication elsewhere. Multiple submissions (the submission of more than one manuscript to the contest) are permitted. Collaborative collections are welcome. We cannot accept translations.

Need help with our submissions manager?
Visit http://help.submittable.com

We look forward to reading your work!

Call for Entries

This contest is currently closed for submissions.

Entry Period:
Spring April 1 - May 31
Fall September 1 - October 31

Spring 2017 Winner

Amy Sayre Baptista

Spring 2017 Winner Amy Sayre Baptista

For Primitivity