Ends on

The Center for Book Arts invites submissions to its annual Poetry Chapbook Program by December 15, 2020. 

The winning manuscript will be determined in May, 2021. The winner will be awarded with the publication of a limited edition letterpress printed chapbook, to be printed and bound by artists at the Center for Book Arts. The edition is limited to 100 signed and numbered copies, 10 of which are reserved for the author and the remainder of which will be offered for sale through the Center's bookshop. The selected poet will also receive a cash award of $500 in addition to a $500 honorarium for the Chapbook Contest Reading event in the Fall. The winner will also be given an exclusive opportunity for a week long stay at the Millay Colony for the Arts in Austerlitz, New York as their Wintertide Rustic Retreat. 

Two runners-up will be selected as honorees, and will have one poem from their manuscript rendered as a limited edition letterpress printed broadside, which will each be designed and printed by commissioned artists at the Center. Honorees will receive a $250 honorarium for the reading in the Fall. 


Please submit a collection or sequence of original poems or a single long poem not to exceed 450 lines or 21 pages. The author’s name should not appear anywhere in the manuscript or anywhere in the file. All submissions are kept anonymous to the panel of judges. Manuscripts should be typed, with pages numbered and formatted with easy-to-read font. Translations are permitted.*

Please provide a title page, table of contents, and a separate acknowledgements page containing prior magazine or anthology publication of individual poems at the end of the manuscript. Poems that have been published elsewhere are eligible for submission. Please note that the 450 lines or 21-page limit does not include title page or acknowledgements pages. File name should be the title of submitted manuscript. Only .PDF, .DOCX. and .DOC files accepted. 

NOTE: Chapbook Fee Waiver is in effect until December 10 at 5pm ET.


When you submit to our annual Chapbook Contest and/or publish with the Center for Book Arts, here is what you’re agreeing to:

1. First serial rights. We accept simultaneous submissions, but if your work is accepted elsewhere, we ask you to let us know as soon as possible so we can withdraw your application. 

2. If your body of work is accepted and published, rights revert back to you.

3. You grant us non-exclusive re-print rights. We may utilize parts of your work for promotional materials, for example, to market our next contest. If we intend on utilizing your work for something we intend to sell, you will be contacted about compensation before we move forward.

4. After your work is published with the Center for Book Arts, you are free to republish it, or to give others permission to republish it. We ask that if you do so, you credit it as follows: [publication name] by [author] was first published with the Center for Book Arts in [year]. If you have any questions, do let us know!


*Translations of the author's own work is permitted. Translations of other writers' work will not be accepted unless the piece is specifically and consensually co-authored by both writer and translator.

Writers will be notified the status of their manuscript via email. Due to the high volume of applications, we are not able to provide feedback at this time.

The Guest Judge for the 2021 Chapbook Contest will be Simone White

Simone White was born Middletown, Connecticut, and raised in Philadelphia. She earned her BA from Wesleyan University, JD from Harvard Law School, and MFA from the New School. White is the author of the full-length collection House Envy of All the World (2010) and the chapbooks Dolly (2008) and Unrest (2013). Her work has been praised for its innovative complexity, allusive song, and “lyric deconstruction of desire, entitlement, blackness, the domestic, language and diction,” in the words of Anna Moschovakis. White has received fellowships from Cave Canem and was selected as a New American Poet for the Poetry Society of America. She is completing a PhD in English at the CUNY Graduate Center and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Questions can be directed to jenna@centerforbookarts.org

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.