Henri Bensussen is enjoying the sunshine and the promise of spring in the garden. She's still sending out poetry manuscripts to contests, checking off rejections, etc. Her chapbook Earning Colors was published last year by Finishing Line Press; she always has high hopes good news will come with the warmth and new flowers.
Most artists find a personal reward in having their work seen or heard by the public: painters hang their pictures in galleries, writers publish their words and perform at Open Mic events. But it’s not that easy for writers to get their words in print. The Maven thinks of it as a poker game, a game of chance. Your writing might catch an editor’s eye at just the time he or she is searching for a particular theme, or it might come with a pile of too many others and get lost to view. She’d like to win some pub credits, but it can’t be done by sitting on the sidelines.
Places to publish can be found in magazines like Poets & Writers, Writers Digest, and journals carried in bookstores and libraries. Their classified ad sections often have calls for anthologies, or for theme issues, good starting places for writers. Submitting work, and taking on the challenge of contests, most often results in a slew of rejections. The Maven accepts each one as a chance to revise. She keeps on submitting and over the years quite a few poems and stories have been published.
Things she’s learned: Pay attention to opening & closing dates, fees, and publishers’ guidelines. Visit publisher websites & read not only info about submissions, but also click on the “About” button. Get a sense of what the publisher is like by how its site is designed, and by what kinds of books it publishes. Most contests charge a fee, from $5 up to $30, and a few are free.
Two websites to look at for places to submit your work, especially for contests, is http://www.pw.org (Poets & Writers) and http://www.newpages.com. Below is a selection from P&W.
Call for Anthologies
MAIN STREET RAG Publishing Company will consider poetry, short fiction, non-fiction, and photography for 2 upcoming themed anthologies. Theme 1: Fast food. Theme 2: Bar life. Submission period: May 1 through July 31. No reading fee. Submissions are e-mail only. Detailed guidelines: www.mainstreetrag.com or e-mail: email@example.com.
POEMS WANTED for anthology on theme of Forgotten Women, particularly poems about real women who have been overshadowed or overlooked, but other interpretations of theme welcome. Electronic submissions preferred. https://graysonbooks.submittable.com/submit, or mail up to 5 original poems to: Forgotten Women, Grayson Books, P.O. Box 270549, W. Hartford, CT 06127. Include contact info on each poem. SASE for mailed submissions. Simultaneous submissions okay. Previously published work is fine if you own the rights. Include a $6 reading fee. Deadline July 1. www.graysonbooks.com.
RATTLE SEEKS submissions by children for our annual Young Poets Anthology—poets must be age 15 or younger. Deadline: June 15. Parents or teachers (with parents’ permission and contact information) may send up to 4 poems to: Rattle, 12411 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604. Online submissions accepted. Website: www.rattle.com/children.
Call for Manuscripts: Chapbooks
2016 TWO SYLVIAS PRESS Chapbook Prize judged by January Gill O’Neil is now open. Winner receives $400, book published as both a print & eBook, 20 copies of print book, and an amethyst Depression glass trophy (circa 1930). All entries considered for publication. Deadline: June 15. Full guidelines: twosylviaspress.com/chapbook-prize.html.
BLUE LIGHT PRESS chapbook contest. Publication + 20 copies of your book. We like imagistic, inventive, emotionally honest poems that push the edge. Send 12–30 page manuscript, SASE, $10 reading fee to Blue Light Press, 1563–45th Ave., San Francisco, CA 94122 by June 15. For guidelines, firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.bluelightpress.com.
SWAN SCYTHE PRESS, founded by poet Sandra McPherson in 2000, announces its 2016 poetry chapbook contest. Entry fee: $18. Postmark deadline: June 15. Winner receives $200 and 25 perfect-bound chapbooks. The 2015 winner is David Oates for The Heron Place. For full details and guidelines, visit www.swanscythe.com and swanscythepress.submittable.com/submit.
Call for Manuscripts: Books
BARRY SPACKS Poetry Prize. Gunpowder Press is accepting book-length manuscripts of 48–100 pages for the second annual Barry Spacks Poetry Prize, which honors Barry’s legacy of readable yet challenging work. Final judge is Thomas Lux. The prize is $500 + 50 author copies. Entry fee is $20. Deadline: April 30. Details at gunpowderpress.com.
BRAIN MILL PRESS is pleased to announce the 2016 Mineral Point Series, edited by Kiki Petrosino, with a call for full-length collections. For more information about all of our calls and submissions, including those for fiction and art, go to brainmillpress.com/submit.
HUDSON WHITMAN Excelsior College Press: We’re not your father’s college press! Only great nonfiction. Acquisitions: health/nursing, military, alt education, cyber. Electronic submissions via Submittable + editorial support for first-time authors. Look us over! Website: www.hudsonwhitman.com. Twitter: @ExcelsiorPress.
LOOSE MOOSE PUBLISHING is holding their 2016 poetry contest, deadline Aug. 31; submit up to 3 poems; entry fee $15. (Also: now accepting manuscripts of poetry, short stories and novels. We are looking for nontraditional literary proposals, creative, unusual, even a bit crazy. Fee for reading and a written evaluation of poetry and short stories is $20, novel $25.) Details at www.loosemoosepublishing.com.
SHINING HALL, an imprint of Twelve Winters Press, announces the Larry D. Underwood Award for an unpublished children’s book. Submissions must include both text and illustrations by either a single author/illustrator, or an author and illustrator together. See TWP’s submissions page for complete details. Deadline May 1. Visit our website: http://twelvewinters.com/submissions.
THE UNIVERSITY PRESS of Kentucky New Poetry and Prose series sponsored by Centre College is pleased to announce the first authors for the series: Rion Amilcar Scott and Brianna Noll. Poetry, fiction, and short story submissions are accepted March 15 through May 1. Please submit manuscript to email@example.com.
UPPER HAND PRESS welcomes your book submissions through April. Fiction, essays, nonfiction, memoir, artistic children’s books, poetry. Read website thoroughly and submit if we seem just right for you. Please follow submission guidelines carefully. www.upperhandpress.com.
And One More
2016 Passager Poetry Contest
Writers over 50 may submit up to 5 previously unpublished poems, 40-line max each. Deadline: April 15. There is a $20 reading fee, which includes a 1-year subscription (2 issues). Winner receives $500 and publication. Honorable mentions will be published. See our full guidelines at www.passagerbooks.com/submit.
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