Learn and follow the Detailed Chapbook Contest Rules
We are delighted to have Audrey Molloy as guest judge for this round of the contest.
Audrey is an award-winning Irish-Australian poet, editor and writer. Her poetry is published widely. She received the Hennessy Award for Emerging Poetry 2019 and was selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series 2019. Her work was nominated for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem in 2018.
Don't miss Chapbook Contest 6. Get early email notification of closing dates!
Rules (Please read before submitting your entry)
- The Chapbook Contest is open to new, emerging and established poets from any country
- Poems must be in English
- Entry to the contest is free to paid Blue Nib Magazine Subscribers or Patrons.
- Non-member must purchase an entry. Any entry received without payment will be deleted.
- Submitted collections must contain 8 poems of any style, (all) on a single MS Word or Pdf document.
- Entries to the Chapbook Contest should be in Times New Roman 12 pt and single spaced.
- We understand that poetry must take its own form but we encourage poets to allow their words to wow our judge rather than unusual formatting.
- Your entry document must include only the poems you wish to submit and nothing else. (No manuscript titles, graphics, intro)
- Poems submitted must be previously unpublished in any journal, anthology or collection and must remain so until the contest closes and results are announced. (Poems published on the poet’s own blog are acceptable.)
- Poems must be submitted using the official entry form only.
- There is no lower age limit but we would point out that very young poets are likely to stand little chance of winning.
- No alterations may be made to an entry once it has been submitted.
- Closing date for entries to the Chapbook Contest: December 14th 2019.
Results will be announced online and on The Blue Nib #41, digital issue, published on 15 March 2020. Results will also appear on The Blue Nib Facebook Page.
The three winning entries will be those chosen by judge Audrey Molloy. Each will receive a complimentary copy of the chapbook.
The first prize winner will receive €500.00. The second prize winner will receive €350 and the third placed winner will receive €150.00.
Up to 10 other shortlisted entrants will be awarded as Highly Commended.
By entering Chapbook Contest 6 you grant The Blue Nib the rights to publish your work in print & on the web.
We only accept one entry per poet.
How To Win A Chapbook Contest.
There are literally hundreds of writing contests held annually. In addition to the Blue Nib Chapbook Contest (now in its 6th Round!), notable competitions include The Southword Fiction Chapbook Contest and The Doire Press International Poetry Chapbook Competition just to name two.
Some of these contests are open only to emerging writers. Others allow both novice and established writers to compete. Some competitions judge only poetry, while others have separate categories for poetry, fiction, flash and prose. Some competitions offer cash prizes, some merchandise, some industry access, and some, a combinations of all three. All offer winners some degree of much-needed exposure, and perhaps even a bit of prestige.
If you’re thinking about entering a serious contest, understand that the qualities that define an award-winning entry are not necessarily those that make for a blatantly commercial one. Today, with most publishers concentrating on children’s literature and young adult work with the potential for endless sequels, being able to write to a formula are of paramount concern. However, most contest judges have other priorities. They’re looking for originality. They’re looking for a distinctive “voice.” They’re looking for writing that transcends genre. While a certain degree of commercial viability may still be an evaluation criterion – and this varies from contest to contest – it is unlikely to carry the same weight as it does when trying to sell to a manuscript to a commercial publisher.
How then can you impress contest judges with your work and make yourself a viable competitor?
- Read the judges own work, see what they like and dislike.
- Read the work of previous winners.
- Stick to the rules, they are there for a reason.
- Submit your best work.
If you want to view the work of previous Chapbook Contest winners, you will find them here.