Friday, May 11, 2018

Gaudy Boy Poetry Book Prize

Gaudy Boy, a new independent press, is holding its inaugural Poetry Book Prize. The prize will be awarded annually for an unpublished manuscript of original poetry written in English by an author of Asian heritage residing anywhere in the world. No proof of Asian heritage will be required—they operate on the honor system. Below are details for the contest, as well a bit more about the press and the publisher.
PRIZE: Book publication and $1,000

DEADLINE: May 31, 2018

FEE: $10

ELIGIBILITY: Open to emerging and established poets of Asian heritage residing anywhere. No proof of Asian heritage is required. Manuscripts should be written in English and be between 50–100 pages.

HOW TO SUBMIT: Email Jee Leong Koh at Include a cover letter in the body of your email, as well as the poet's name, mail address, and email address. Attach manuscript in PDF or Microsoft Word format.

JUDGE: Wong May


  • Number the manuscript pages.
  • Include a title page, table of contents, and an acknowledgments page for any previously published poems.
  • The poet's name, mailing address, and email address should not appear anywhere in the manuscript. 
  • Submit the $10 entry fee via PayPal to Jee Leong Koh ( Manuscripts will not be considered until the entry fee is received.
  • Multiple manuscripts may be submitted and require a separate entry fee for each manuscript. 
  • Simultaneous submissions are allowed. Notify Gaudy Boy immediately if the manuscript is accepted by another publisher.

For more information about the book prize, visit the Gaudy Boy Poetry Prize section on the Opportunities page of their website.


Gaudy Boy is a new independent literary press based in New York City that publishes writers of Asian heritage residing anywhere in the world. Their name is taken from the poem “Gaudy Turnout” by Singaporean author Arthur Yap, about his time abroad in 1970's Leeds, UK. The name is also from Latin gaudium meaning joy.

One mission of the press is to bring literary works by authors of Asian heritage to the attention of the American audience. Last month, the press published its inaugural title Malay Sketches by Alfian Sa'at. Malay Sketches is a short-story collection that opens a prismatic window into the doubly-minoritized Malay-Muslim community in Singapore. Longlisted for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, the book has been called "pitch-perfect" by Harold Augenbraum and "terse and profound" by Gina Apostol.

Gaudy Boy is part of the nonprofit literary organization Singapore Unbound. Launched in 2016, Singapore Unbound organizes the biennial Singapore Literature Festival in NYC, the monthly Second Saturday Reading Series, and offers other literary opportunities, including fellowships for writers and book reviews on their blog.

Jee Leong Koh is the founder and organizer of Singapore Unbound, as well as the publisher at Gaudy Boy. Koh is a Singapore poet and essayist living in New York City. He is the author of Steep Tea (Carcanet), named a Best Book of 2015 by UK's Financial Times and a Finalist by Lambda Literary in 2016. He has published three other books of poems and a book of zuihitsu. His work has been translated into Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian, and Latvian. Educated at Oxford University and Sarah Lawrence College, Jee teaches English at a private school in Manhattan. You can read more about him in an interview he did with Jennifer Wong at The Adoit Journal.

One of the reasons Koh started Singapore Unbound was to build a cultural and literary exchange between Singapore and the US while championing freedom of expression and fair opportunities for all artists. A natural extension of that mission is the establishment of a US-based, independent press that publishes Asian voices from anywhere in the world. The team at Gaudy Boy consider diversity and representation to be crucial in the world's literature and are delighted to be able to contribute to the conversation.

Gaudy Boy plans to eventually publish poetry books other than the contest winner. In addition, they run a poetry contest for individual poems to be published on their blog. The contest awards $100, $50, and $20 for first, second, and third place. There is no entry fee. The individual-poem contest is called the Singapore Poetry Contest and, interestingly, is open to everyone who is NOT a Singaporean citizen or permanent resident in Singapore. For the Singapore Poetry Contest, Gaudy Boy is looking for poems that include the word “Singapore” (or its variants) in some creative manner. They prefer that the poems NOT be about Singapore, but instead, use the word “Singapore” in a way significant to the poems’ own subject and method. The deadline for that contest June 15, 2018. For more submission guidelines and more information on the Singapore Poetry Contest, visit the Singapore Poetry Contest section on the Opportunities page of their website.


Gaudy Boy

Singapore Unbound

Jee Leong Koh

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