Sunday, October 19, 2014

Poetry Manuscripts: Resources for organizing a manuscript

There are lots of resources out there related to putting together a poetry manuscript, from articles on how to organize a manuscript, to classes and workshops that include manuscript review, to working one-on-one with a mentor. I thought it would be a good to idea to gather some of those resources together for those who are interested in such things. Below, you'll find a list of articles that discuss how to organize a poetry manuscript. Next week, I'll provide a list of resources related to manuscript consultations.

[If you're ready to send out your first poetry manuscript and are looking to send them to contests, check out my post that lists 1st-book contests.]


Jeffrey Levine of Tupelo Press has a series of articles on the subject of organizing a manuscript. Here are the links as of Oct. 18, 2014:

Turning a Manuscript into a First Book by Alberto Ríos

Thinking Like an Editor: How to Order Your Poetry Manuscript” by April Ossmanne at Poets and Writers

Putting Your Poetry in Order: The Mix-Tape Strategy” by Katrina Vandenberg at Poets and Writers

Some Notes on Building a Poetry Manuscript” Rebecca Dunham

How to Order the Poems in a Manuscript” by Leeanne Quinn

Assembling a Poetry Collection” from Gerald Huml’s blog Poetry and the Examined Life

Monday, September 1, 2014

Poetry Manuscripts: 1st-Book Poetry Contests

If you've written your first full-length (48 pages or more) poetry manuscript and are considering submitting it to contests, this page might be of use to you. Here is a partial list of first-book and first / second book contests for poetry manuscripts that are open to poets writing in English. Some caveats:
  • The URLs provided below were accurate when I entered the information, but they might not be so now.
     
  • Be sure to read the guidelines carefully for changes in
    • status. It may no longer be a first-book contest.
    • restrictions. I've tried to identify any limitations and restrictions, such as the contest is offered only in certain years or requires that the poet be from a certain area. That said, a publisher may have since changed or added restrictions.
        
  • Most, if not all, of the contests below charge a submission fee. 

1913 Press, 1st book contest, 1913 Prize for First Books
* 2013 winner: Jane Lewty, Bravura Cool
* 2012 winner: Scott McFarland, O, Human Microphone

ABZ Press, 1st book contest, First Book Award, starting in 2014, accepts submissions every other year. 
* 2014 winner: Pamela Davis, Lunette
* 2013 winner: Jean McDonough, Traceries
* 2012 winner: Melissa Tuckey, Tenuous Chapel

Academy of American Poets, 1st book contest, Walt Whitman Award; limited to citizens of the United States
* 2014 winner: Hannah Sanghee Park, The Same-Different
* 2013 winner: Chris Hosea, Put Your Hands In
* 2012 winner: Matt Rasmussen, Black Aperture

Black Lawrence Press, 1st book contest, The St. Lawrence Book Award
* 2013 winner: KMA Sullivan, Necessary Fire
* 2012 winner: unknown (unable to find who won)

BOA Editions, 1st book contest,  A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize, limited to citizens and legal residents of the United States
* 2014 winner: Devin Becker, Shame | Shame
* 2013 winner: Geffrey Davis, Revising the Storm
* 2012 winner: Ryan Teitman, Litany for the City

 Briery Creek Press1st book contest, Liam Rector First Book Prize for Poetry
* 2014 winner: B. A. Goodjohn, Bone Song
* 2013 winner: Natalie Giarratano, Leaving Clean
* 2012 winner: Greg McBride, Porthole

Carolina Wren Press, 1st or 2nd book contest, Carolina Wren Press Poetry Series, accepts submissions every other year (in 2011 for a 2012 winner, in 2013 for a 2014 winner, etc.)
* 2014 winner: Charles Wyatt, Goldberg – Variations
* 2013 winner: n/a
* 2012 winner: L. Lamar Wilson, Sacrilegion

Cave Canem, 1st book contest, Cave Canem Poetry Prize; limited to African-American poets
* 2014 winner: Rickey Laurentiis, Boy with Thorn
* 2013 winner: F. Douglas Brown, Zero to Three
* 2012 winner: Dexter Booth, Scratching the Ghost

Cider Press Review,1st or 2nd book contest,  CPR Editors Prize 
* 2014 winner: Sarah Estes, Field Work
* 2013 winner: Laura Donnelly, Watershed
* 2012 winner: Susan Laughter MeyersMy Dear, Dear Stagger Grass

Cleveland State University Poetry Center,1st book contest,  First Book Award 
* 2013 winner: Chloe Honum, The Tulip Flame
* 2012 winner: Rebecca Gayle Howell, Render / An Apocalypse

Coconut Books, 1st book contest, The Joanna Cargill Coconut Book Prize for a First Book 
* 2013 co-winner: Alexis Pope, Soft Thread
* 2013 co-winner: Tyler Gobble, More Wreck More Wreck
* 2012 winner: Ji Yoon Lee, Foreigner's Folly: A Tale of Attempted Project

Crab Orchard Review, 1st book contest, First Book Award; limited to citizens and permanent residents of the United States
2013 winner: Noel Crook, Salt Moon
2012 winner: Tarfia Faizullah, Seam

Elixir Press, 1st book contest, Antivenom Poetry Award
* 2013 winner: Kirun Kapur, Visiting Indira Gandhi’s Palmist
* 2012 winner: David Ray Vance, Stupor

Four Way Books, 1st book contest, Intro Prize in Poetry; contest appears to be offered every other year in even years (2012, 2014, etc.)
* 2014 winner: Rajiv Mohabir, The Taxidermist's Cut
* 2013 winner: n/a
* 2012 winner: David Daniels, Clean

Kelsey Street Press, 1st book contest, First Books by Women Writers; limited to female poets
* 2014 winner: Jasmine Dreame Wagner, Rings
* 2013 winner: Sabrina Dalla Valle, 7 Days and Nights in the Desert (Tracing the Origin)

Kore Press, 1st book contest,  First Book Award; limited to female poets
* 2014 winner: Monica Ong, Silent Anatomies
* 2013 winner: Jen McClanaghan, River Legs

Kundiman, 1st book contest, The Kundiman Poetry Prize, limited to Asian-American poets
* 2014 winner: Janine Jospeph, Driving Without a License
* 2013 winner: Lo Kwa Mei-En, Yearling
* 2012 winner: Cathy Linh Che, Split

New Issues, 1st book contest,  New Issues Poetry Prize
* 2014 winner: Abdul Ali, Trouble Sleeping
* 2013 winner: Kerrin McCadden, Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes
* 2012 winner: Marni Ludwig, Pinwheel

New Rivers Press, 1st or 2nd book contest,  MVP (Many Voices Project) Competition
* 2013 winner:  Julie Gard, Home Studies
* 2012 winner: Brandon Krieg, Invasives

Omnidawn, 1st or 2nd book contest, 1st/2nd Book Prize
* 2013 winner: Eric Ekstrand, Laodicea
* 2012 winner: Robin Clarke, Lines the Quarry
  
Pavement Saw Press, 1st or 2nd book contest, Transcontinental Poetry Award
* 2014 winner: n/a (contest suspended for 2014)
* 2013 winner: unknown (unable to find who won)
* 2012 winner: Ethan Saul Bull, Shut Off the Flowers

Persea Books, 1st book contest, Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize, limited to female poets who are American citizens
* 2014 winner: Susannah Nevison, Teratology
* 2013 winner: Leslie Shinn, Inside Spiders
* 2012 winner: Allison Seay, To See the Queen

Perugia Press, 1st or 2nd book contest, Perugia Press Prize, limited to female poets
* 2014 winner: Corrie Williamson, Sweet Husk
* 2013 winner: Gail Martin, Begin Empty-Handed

Poetry Foundation, 1st book contest, Emily Dickinson Poetry Prize, limited to poets who are at least 40 yrs old and American citizens; contest is not offered every year
* 2012 winner: Hailey Leithauser, Swoop


Sage Hill Press, 1st book contest, Powder Horn Prize
* 2013 winner: unknown (unable to find who won)
* 2012 winner: Marci Rae Johnson, The Eyes the Window


Silverfish Review Press, 1st book contest, Gerald Cable Book Award
* 2013 winner: Randolph Thomas, The Course of the Telling
* 2012 winner: Raphael DagoldBastard Heart

Switchback Books, 1st or 2nd book contest, Gatewood Prize; limited to female poets
* 2013 winner: Morgan Parker, Other People's Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night
* 2012 winner: Stefania Heim, A Table that Goes on for Miles

Tebot Bach, 1st book contest, Patricia Bibby First Book Award
* 2013 winner: Erin Malone, Hover
* 2012 winner: Myles Gordon, Inside the Splintered Wood

The American Poetry Review, 1st book contest, Honickman First Book Prize; limited to citizens of the United States
* 2014 winner: Katherine Bode-Lang, The Reformation
* 2013 winner: Maria Hummel, House and Fire
* 2012 winner: Tomás Q. Morín, A Larger Country

Trio House Press, 1st or 2nd book contest, Trio Award; limited to poets residing within the United States
* 2014 winner:  Bradford Tice, What the Night Numbered
* 2012 winner: Iris Jamahl Dunkle, Gold Passage

Tupelo Press, 1st or 2nd book contest, Berkshire Prize for a First or Second Book
* 2014 winner: Jenny Molberg, Marvels of the Invisible
* 2013 winner: Amy McCann, Yes Thorn

U of Pittsburgh Press, 1st book contest, Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize
* 2013 winner: Sarah Rose Nordgren, Best Bones
* 2012 winner: Kasey Jueds, Keeper

U of Massachusetts Press, 1st book contest, Juniper Prize for Poetry; consideration of 1st-books occurs only during odd-numbered years (2013, 2015, 2017, etc.) for winners named in even-numbered years (2014, 2016, 2018, etc.)
* 2014 winner: David Kutz-Marks, Violin Playing Herself in a Mirror
* 2013 winner: n/a
* 2012 winner: Brandon Dean Lamson, Starship Tahiti

U of Notre Dame Institute for Latino Studies1st book contest, Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize; limited to Latino/a  poets in the United States
* 2013 winner: n/a
* 2012 winner: Laurie Ann Guerrero, A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying

Unicorn Press1st book contest, First Book Contest
* 2013 winner: Martin Arnold, Earthquake Owner's Manual

Waywiser Press, 1st or 2nd book contest, The Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize
* 2013 winner: Geoffrey Brock, Voices Bright Flags
* 2012 winner: Shelley Puhak, Guinevere in Baltimore


Yale University Press, 1st book contest, Yale Series of Younger Poets, limited to poets under the age of 40 who are American citizens
* 2013 winner: Eryn Green, Eruv
* 2012 winner: Will Schutt, Westerly

Zone 3 Press,  1st book contest, First Book Award; contest appears to be offered every other year in even years (2012, 2014, etc.)
* 2013 winner: n/a
* 2012 winner: Karen Skolfield, Frost in the low area


If you want a list with more information than what is provided above, check out one of these fine resources:

    • the poetry lists and announcements page at Linebreak, the blog of Tom Holmes (editor of Redactions)
    •  NewPages, a wonderful literary-journal and writing portal 
    • Duotrope,  an online service that provides, among other things, a database of almost every journal and an application that allows you to track your submissions. (Duotrope charges a fee. I subscribe to Duotrope and find it a bargain for the price.)