Sundress Publications Opens Submissions for 2019 Chapbook Competition
Sundress Publications announces its sixth annual chapbook contest. Authors of all genres are invited to submit qualifying manuscripts during our reading period of February 1st to April 30th, 2019.
Poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and hybrids are welcome. Manuscripts must be between twelve to twenty-six (12-26) pages in length, with a page break between individual pieces. Individual pieces may have been previously published in anthologies, print journals, online journals, etc., but cannot have appeared in any full-length collection, including self-published collections. Both single-author and collaborative dual-author manuscripts will be considered. Manuscripts must be primarily in English; translations are not eligible.
The entry fee is $10 per manuscript, though the fee will be waived for entrants who purchase or pre-order any Sundress title. We will also accept nominations for entrants, provided the nominating person either pay the reading fee or makes a qualifying purchase. Authors may submit and/or nominate as many chapbook manuscripts as they like, so long as each is accompanied by a separate reading fee or purchase/pre-order. Entrants and nominators can place book orders or pay submission fees at our store, https://squareup.com/market/sundress-publications.
The winner will receive $200, plus publication as a beautiful full-color PDF available exclusively online. Runners-up will also be considered for publication.
Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello will be judging. Cancio-Bello is the author of Hour of the Ox (University of Pittsburgh, 2016), which won the 2015 AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry, the 2016 Florida Book Award bronze medal for poetry, and was a finalist for the 2017 Milt Kessler Award. She has received poetry fellowships from Kundiman, the Knight Foundation, and the American Literary Translators Association. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Best New Poets, The Georgia Review, and more. She serves as a program coordinator for Miami Book Fair.
All manuscripts should include a cover page (with only the title of the manuscript), table of contents, dedication (if applicable), and acknowledgments for previous publications. These pages will not be included in the total page count. Identifying information should not appear in any part of the manuscript. Authors with a significant relationship to the judge (friends, relatives, colleagues, past or present students, etc.) are discouraged from entering.
To submit, attach your manuscript as a DOCX or PDF file along with your order number for either a Sundress title of the entry fee to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Simultaneous submission to other presses is acceptable, but please notify Sundress immediately if the manuscript has been accepted elsewhere. Multiple submissions are allowed, but a separate entry fee must accompany each entry. No revisions will be allowed during the contest judging period. Winners will be announced in Summer 2019.
Sundress Publications is excited to continue the tradition of celebrating non-featured AWP panels on our blog in 2018. We know that there are dozens of worthy and important panel proposals that weren’t accepted for AWP in Florida next spring, so let us be your platform instead!
Do you have an excellent AWP panel that didn’t make the final cut for 2018? Please send your proposal to us for consideration at email@example.com. Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis. Multiple submissions and simultaneous submissions are acceptable. Please include the names of all of your contributors within your submission.
We want to host your panel as an online roundtable in order to present them to an expansive audience and create an archive for your necessary voices. We’re looking for topics that are driven by passion, inclusivity, forward-thinking, collaboration, and hybridity. (In fact, you tell us what we’re looking for; bring us something completely fresh and unexpected!) We look forward to hearing from you and your colleagues.
Feel free to check out our wonderful 2017 AWP roundtables here.
Issue #21 – Give It to Me E-gain: The Chapbook Review Issue
For our summer issue we want, to read e-chapbooks published from January 2014 to May 2016. Self published is okay, but each chapbook must be available for download online through a publisher or personal website. Chapbooks that are not currently available online do not qualify. We are not interested in your unpublished manuscripts at this time.
SUBMIT ONE CHAPBOOK ONLY. All members of our staff will be reading cover letters this issue—think of it as your back cover. Get our attention with 50-150 words describing your chapbook, a biography, and a link to where your chapbook may be purchased or downloaded online.
Publishers: Please feel free to submit your authors’ e-chapbooks individually, provided you have permission from your authors.
Selected e-chapbooks will be showcased in July with a mini review by one of our staff members and a mini feature of selected work (2-3 poems; 1-10 pages of prose).
The literary community is much more than an abstract ether of rejection and acceptance letters syncing contemporary artists together on the web. It’s not just a hunky dory image of a spotlight on a youthful reader possessed by a fleeting muse in a coffee house. It’s real people and real connectivity in a real age of driven networking. Contemporary literature is a thriving community with its arms wide open.
The greater good the literary citizenry serves cannot be denied. Its members watch out for each other, keeping each other inspired and creative. They are a tight knit bunch as concerned with their own development as they are with the welcoming of every new voice joining the artistic conversation, which bubbles under keyboards from China to Chiquimundi and back.
But how do literary folks everywhere move past the warm and fuzzy conceptualization of community and become powerful movers and shakers within the group? It starts by owning up to his or her own potential to serve as an exemplary literary citizen. Being “exemplary” doesn’t mean owning a polished Submittable account with heaps of published work or being a traveled laureate. Literary citizenship starts with the smallest attempts to broaden one’s own experience, until all the ripples eddy into a big splash on the scene that will surely be as rewarding for the author as it is for his or her community.
The staff at Sundress meditated on the lofty subject of literary citizenship for awhile across various snowy summits in the Smokey Mountains and came to some pretty nifty conclusions. (Actually, we just solicited advice from loyal Facebook users. Thanks, friends!) Here are some of the best ways to be the best kind of literary citizen you can be.
1.Revive with Reviews
“Review some work you might not pick up otherwise unless you were going to review it. Try to learn from it and see its merits,” says Sandra Marchetti. Writing reviews is a great way to flip the breaker in your critical mind to spark some new ideas. Through evaluating the work of others, you can come to realize your own strengths and weaknesses, or even discover some new ones. Really excavating a work also gives you some key talking points within your literary community, points that could further the efforts of your peers.
But don’t just stop at reviewing creative writing! Go further, reviewing literary journals, non-fiction, and websites. T.A. Noonan encourages writers to cite the things journals and presses are doing differently or strongly. The Review Review is a great example of a voice putting literary journals under the microscope.
2. Harness Your Passions
It’s okay to be a stuttering, flabbergasted literary fan; but when the spasms stop, it’s time to promote your newly discovered sensation and create some internet buzz. “Be available to blurb/help promote on Facebook when new work from writers you love/admire drops,” says Sara Henning. Social media is a powerful tool most artists rely upon today, a tool only as effective as its constituents.
Speaking of social media, Lisa Marie Basile encourages us to “Read work by people you don’t know and share it across social media.” The next best thing to loyal excitement is distributing that same loyalty and pizzazz to other authors. Be brave. Branch out.
3. Self-help with Self-promotion
You’ll never be scolded for shouting off rooftops about your publishing victories, except by the neighbors. Sebastian H. Paramo writes, “Don’t be ashamed to self-promote where you have published or your friends’ work. It shows support for the press and encourages others to do the same.” Paramo makes an excellent point that success is all the sweeter celebrated and shared.
But moderation is key, for too much presence or a sudden jump in publication may lead to a misunderstanding of one’s place in the greater artistic landscape. Malcolm Gladwell of The New Yorker refers to such successful leaps as tipping points, or moments where one’s craft culminates in a sudden series of publications. Dana Guthrie Martin warns against such points, saying they can argue with one’s creative flow. “Never think you’ve arrived in terms of your own writing. You haven’t. You are always on the journey, just like everyone else,” Martin says.
4. Recognize Relevance
To further one’s public relations endeavors and really promote peers, it’s vital to work smarter, not harder in terms of utilizing connections. Rather than posting paper fliers for a reading or paying for feed space on Facebook, why not send an email to someone with some pull in the literary world? While Stephen King might not pick up the line, there are plenty of major and minor players with a variety of strengths. Gladwell campaigns for writers to recognize someone’s status as either a social butterfly, a specialist of a certain corner of knowledge, or a persuasive activist.
“Be able to identify these personality types in others, and you will not only be making friends and contacts in the literary world who will be people that you can relate to on a creative level, but who will also be advocates for your work in a post MFA world,” Gladwell says.
“Sponsor other writers by reading and sharing their work. Make a point of doing it *especially* when you get no political benefit from it,” Sara Biggs Chaney says. Chaney marks an important distinction between an alliance like the one Gladwell might foster and the idea of camaraderie for the sake of itself. Authorial friendships can launch entire movements once people began to discover their common goals.
6. Stop Trolling in Its Tracks
How many times has a perfectly constructive feed on the internet been derailed by a line of thought as trite as it is obnoxious? Debates that are anything but productive can pop up, and people can be downright shocking. Trolling happens, but Chaney brings up another form of feed policing that any committed literary citizen should take seriously. Aside from perusing for those in direst troll peril, try to up the anti of a literary discussion with your own two cents.
“… when you can, try to raise the level of discourse that passes between writers online. When you think that your perspective could help someone else or provide insight in any way, try to provide it. Don’t be cute or hateful just because you can,” Sara Biggs Chaney says.
7. Fight for Rights
“Stand with those who have been hurt or wronged by other writers. Say no to bullying, abuse, assault, and other transgressions that occur in the writing community,” poet Dana Guthrie Martin says. This social responsibility should not be taken lightly. Passivity towards injustices, whether spoken or typed, will only lead to a breakdown in our community. If any person should be unduly ostracized or their voice stymied by oppressive harassment, his or her fellow artists have every right to step in to defend one of their own.
8. Wear Appropriate Hats – Submit with Tact
Leslie Salas makes an excellent point on the issue of submissions and bruised egos: “Another addition: Don’t be an asshat to editors. (The amount of unprofessional grumpy whining we get when writers try to skip the slushpile or when they get rejections is ridiculous.)” Sad but true, editors are often overwhelmed, and all it takes is one email to make one’s day go from bad to worse. Try not to be that headache if you can help it.
Erin Elizabeth Smith goes on to advise all those submitting to journals to “Practice internet decorum.” Remember, anything you spew into the airwaves or onto a blog could spread like a bad germ. Accepting rejection, arguing a literary point, or posting a seemingly innocuous social media comment must be handled with integrity and grace. Not a proverbial curtsy in the style of a Jane Austen heroine per se, but grace nevertheless.
9. Suit Up and Show Up
While the internet and its multitudes are a great way to grow closer to one’s craft and reach an audience, a vast and very tangible marketplace of indie book stores, zines, and release parties are alive and well in the digital era. Literary citizenship should be a hands-on experience in the backyard, one that fosters the same frantic DIY attitude the draft process instills. Dana Guthrie Martin says friends and fans should show their support for presses and their catalog of authors by arriving in person to their respective events.
Don’t let the unknown keep you at home. A roster of readers or a press you are unfamiliar with at a local event may be the perfect way to unveil a fresh scene or make new, productive connections. “Go up to people you don’t know whose work you like and say it was good,” Lisa Marie Basile advises. That’s always a good way to break the ice.
Don’t know where to find such events? The websites of local bookstores, small presses, and MFA programs often cite imminent events. Annual art festivals occasionally sprout up that feature literary readings, such as the Pygmalion Festival in Champaign, IL.
10. Escape Comfort Zones Before You Zone Out
Last but not least, carrying out the role of a good literary citizen means being equally good to yourself: change things up despite your authorial goals. Varying one’s literary intake makes for surprises in the craft process, and personal discoveries lead to public discoveries upon their acceptance by a journal or press. Dana Guthrie Martin expands upon this, saying that writers can box themselves up if they are not careful.
“Read writing that challenges you so you don’t fall into the habit of liking one kind of work. At least learn to appreciate aspects of work that doesn’t exactly speak to you,” Martin advises.
In the interest of breaching each of our literary routines, below is a list of sites for anyone interested in fulfilling and broadening their role as a literary citizen. May this list and the ten points above serve ye well.
Jacob L. Cross lives in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. He studied creative writing and publishing at the University of Illinois Springfield, where he served as editor of The Popcorn Farm Literary Journal. His work has been featured in Still: The Journal, The Alchemist Review, and elsewhere. More recently, his poems are due for release in Clash by Night, a poetry anthology inspired by the punk staple, London Calling. He enjoys hiking with his wife, traversing Zelda dungeons, spoiling his dogs, and half-priced sushi.
In September 2014, NPR writer and critic Juan Vidal wrote an essay whose titular question, “Where Have All the Poets Gone?” provided a platform for various musings regarding the political state of contemporary American poetics. According to Vidal, “For centuries, poets were the mouthpieces railing loudly against injustice. They gave voice to the hardships and evils facing people everywhere… What has happened?” He further suggested that poets writing today have failed to create work that carries the same “weight” as the poems written by their literary forefathers.
Should American poets still be trying to write “Howl”? Are Neruda, Kerouac, Baraka, and the rest of the Beat Generation the only viable prototypes for political literary expression in American culture? How does the influx of identities, voices, and life experiences that are now expressed in mainstream American letters potentially create and communicate new political vision(s) — vision that may sound or appear different from Ginsberg’s poetic/political tour de force, but is no less necessary, compelling, challenging, or iconoclastic? What do we even mean when we talk about the weight of a political work? How is that weight both carried and expressed by poetry today?
To address these questions, Sundress Publications is now accepting poetry submissions for a new anthology on the politics of identity, to showcase the substantial amount of political writing that is being done today. This print anthology, edited by Fox Frazier-Foley, Mary Stone, and Erin Elizabeth Smith, will include multimedia features: we are open to submissions in audio/visual media (e.g., video files of ASL poetry, audio files of spoken word poetry, etc).
This anthology is looking for submissions that contemplate ideas about race, gender, sexuality, religion, disability, socioeconomic status, educational background, different life experiences, etc. and how our identities shape and complicate how we see ourselves in the world.
To submit, please send 3-5 poems and a bio (no longer than 75 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Previously published work will be considered. If you send previously published work, please note where it first appeared.
Submissions for this project are rolling.
Deadline: December 31, 2014, at 12:00 midnight PST.
As you can imagine, being an editor I am also a complete sadist. Nothing gets me going more than rejecting an innocent (“innocent”) young writer’s chapbook manuscript. In truth, it annoys me that social niceties dictate that I must say things like “I wish you the best of luck in placing your manuscript elsewhere” because when I’m lying in bed at night it’s the thought of poet tears upon multiple rejections that soothes me to sleep.
And poets, I know you’re all just masochists. I mean, come on, you talk about submitting all damn day, and no matter how mean editors are to you, no matter how low your acceptance rate, you claw your way towards acceptance. And you pay editors money to keep on telling you no.
So let’s cut the crap. Why dance around what we all know? You poets want to be abused, and lord knows I want to smack you around, so allow me to introduce the very first Editor Domme for hire!
If you hire Editor Domme, there are certain things you must know:
There is a fee that is in no way nominal. (Hey, if presses can charge $35.00 so can Editor Domme!)
I will not be publishing ANY of your manuscripts. That’s not what this is about, poet-worms.
So you pay your fee, send me your manuscript (over Submittable so you can also feel the sting of what you KNOW is a completely form rejection I took zero time crafting because I care) I will pretend to read said manuscript (I mean, what editor actually reads manuscripts these days anyway, amirite?), and then I will respond (probably after about 6 months have passed to give you the illusion that I might have read your poetry and I might approve of it) with an email detailing exactly why you are the worst poet who ever tried to be a poet.
Of course, there are rules to these things.
You will refer to me as Mistress Editor at all times. Editors – and in particular Editor Dommes – must be shown deference. You of course understand that as poets you are beneath us at all times. This really should go without saying.
I will refer to you only as “poet” unless I am calling you “non-poet” or “poet-worm” but those second two cost extra.
No simultaneous submissions. I am a jealous Editor Domme. Also, I own your terrible, stupid poetry.
For an additional fee, I will post on social media about how awful your work is and I will tell all of my followers how you cried when I burned the pages of your manuscript one at a time in front of you.
The safe word is “MFA” but only little bitch poets use it.
12 point font, Times New Roman, standard margins. You sub-human.
So submit to Editor Domme! You know this is what you’ve been into all along anyway.
Margaret Bashaar’s poetry has been previously collected into two chapbooks, Letters from Room 27 of the Grand Midway Hotel (Blood Pudding Press) and Barefoot and Listening (Tilt Press), as well as in many literary journals and anthologies including Rhino, Caketrain, New South, Copper Nickel, and Time You Let Me In. She lives in Pittsburgh where she edits the chapbook press Hyacinth Girl Press and is a staff writer for Luna Luna Magazine. Her debut collection, Stationed at the Gateway, will be published by Sundress in 2015.