Submission Period: August 1 — October 31, 2019
Final Judge: Cornelius Eady
CORNELIUS EADY is the author of eight books of poetry, including Hardheaded Weather: New and Selected Poems (Putnam, April 2008). His second book, Victims of the Latest Dance Craze, won the Lamont Prize from the Academy of American Poets in 1985; in 2001 Brutal Imagination was a finalist for the National Book Award. His work in theater includes the libretto for an opera, “Running Man,” which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1999. His play, “Brutal Imagination,” won Newsday’s Oppenheimer award in 2002.
In 1996 Eady co-founded, with writer Toi Derricotte, the Cave Canem summer workshop/retreat for African American poets. More than a decade later, Cave Canem is a thriving national network of black poets, as well as an institution offering regional workshops, readings, a first book prize, and the summer retreat.
Eady has been a teacher for more than twenty years, and is now a professor at Notre Dame University.
Scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page to enter and attach your file. Please read the complete guidelines before submitting your manuscript.
The Sunken Garden Chapbook Poetry Prize is a prestigious national poetry prize for adult writers. Established in 2002, the Prize has drawn submissions from around the country that have been judged by renowned poets such as Martha Collins, Patricia Smith and Tony Hoagland. The winner receives a cash prize, an introductory reading at the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival (www.sunkengardenpoetry.org), and publication of a chapbook. Hill-Stead began partnering with Tupelo Press for the publication of the chapbook in 2013.
The Prize includes a cash award of $1,000 in addition to publication by Tupelo Press, 25 copies of the winning title, a book launch, and national distribution with energetic publicity and promotion. Manuscripts are judged anonymously and all finalists will be considered for publication.
Who May Submit
The Sunken Garden Chapbook Poetry Prize is open to anyone writing in the English language, whether living in the United States or abroad. Translations are not eligible for this prize, nor are previously self-published books. Employees of Tupelo Press and authors with books previously published by Tupelo Press are not eligible. Poets submitting work for consideration may be published authors or writers without prior book publications.
Manuscript Requirements & Ethical Guidelines
Submit a previously unpublished, chapbook-length poetry manuscript with a table of contents. There is no mandatory page count. We suggest in the area of 20 to 36 pages, but all manuscripts will be read and considered with full respect, regardless of length, and no manuscript will be rejected simply because it's shorter or longer.
Please include within your manuscript document a single cover page with the title of the manuscript only, so that your manuscript remains anonymous. Submittable provides fields to fill in your name and contact information.
Individual poems in a contest manuscript may have been previously published in magazines, journals, or anthologies, or chapbooks, but the work as a whole must be unpublished. If applicable, include with your manuscript an acknowledgments page for prior publications.
Simultaneous submissions to other publishers or contests are permitted, as long as you notify Tupelo Press promptly if a manuscript is accepted elsewhere.
Before you submit a manuscript to a Tupelo Press competition, please consider exploring the work of the poets we have published. We’re drawn to technical virtuosity combined with abundant imagination; memorable, vivid imagery and strikingly musical approaches to language; willingness to take risks; and an ability to convey penetrating insights into human experience.
Tupelo Press endorses and abides by the Ethical Guidelines of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP), which can be reviewed here, along with more about Tupelo Press’s ethical considerations for literary contests.
Notifications & Results
Submittable automatically confirms receipt of your manuscript. Beyond this, kindly refrain from requesting an individual response to confirm receipt of your manuscript and/or payment. We receive thousands of manuscripts each year and cannot offer individual acknowledgments. Thank you for your understanding.
Results will be announced in winter 2020 via email and will also be posted on our website.
All entries must be certified by Submittable by midnight of October 31, 2019.
A reading fee of $25 (U.S.) must accompany each submission. Multiple submissions are accepted, so long as each submission is accompanied by a separate $25 reading fee. Why a reading fee? We are an independent, nonprofit literary press. Reading fees help defray, but do not entirely cover, the cost of reviewing manuscripts and publishing the many books we select outside of our competitions.
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We look forward to reading your work!