Once per year Black Napkin Press will run the Chapbook Competition for an unpublished chapbook of poems 20-35 pages in length from June 1st to August 31st. The winning manuscript will be chosen by contest judge Siaara Freeman from a small selection of finalists. The winning manuscript will be published as a perfect bound chapbook, and the author will receive a $200 prize, and twenty copies of the book. Additionally, all finalists will be considered for publication through Black Napkin Press.
Entry Fee: $5.00
We are looking for powerful, cohesive, and provocative manuscripts. While we have a range of different editorial tastes, we are interested in poetry which is exacting in its use of language, bold in the way it speaks, and gentle in the way each poem holds the reader’s breath. We have always said, We like poetry that carries an ache (even a joyful one), poetry that punches you in the heart and leaves you with the taste of blood on your teeth.
Black Napkin Press is committed to diverse publishing, and as such, we are particularly interested in the work of people of color, queer or trans people, disabled people, women/femmes/nonbinary people, neurodivergent people, immigrants, undocumented people, trauma survivors, indigenous people, and other people of marginalized identities.
All submissions will be read blind by our panel of editors as well as our final guest judge Siaara Freeman. All manuscripts should include a title page (including only the title of the manuscript), a table of contents, and an acknowledgments page. Do not include your name anywhere in the manuscript, this will result in your submission being immediately rejected.
Please include a brief third-person bio in your cover note on Submittable. This will be made accessible to the editorial panel after the winning manuscript has been selected.
Simultaneous submissions are encouraged, but please notify us by withdrawing your manuscript on Submittable immediately if it is accepted elsewhere. Multiple submissions are also permitted, however each submission will require an additional fee. Collaborative collections are welcome. We are not accepting works in translation at this time.
Manuscripts must be paginated and formatted in an easy-to-read font such as Garamond or Times New Roman. Manuscripts should be 20-35 pages in length, not including front matter. Individual poems may be previously published, but not the collection as a whole.