The contest is on hiatus, but we plan to reopen it in late 2020. Please sign up for the email newsletter to be informed when the submission window is open, and to learn of future contests and events at the Book Arts Center.
Past winners include:
2019 – James D’Agostino – Play Attention
2018 – Bret Sheppard – Negative Compass
2017 – Annie Lighthart’s – Lantern
2016 – J.R. Tappenden – Independent City
2015 – Michael Jennings –River Time
2014 – Janis Esch – What Longing Is
The author of the chosen manuscript will receive 15 copies of the letterpress printed, hand-sewn chapbook. The author will also be invited to read from her or his new chapbook at Wells College in the fall of 2018. The poet will receive a $1,000 honorarium + room and board for the reading.
We print editions of 150 signed and numbered copies. We craft every aspect of our chapbooks individually and obsessively: Prior chapbooks have included type and ornament cast in metal at the Bixler Letterfoundry in Skaneatles as well as wood engravings specifically commissioned for those projects. Our books also feature hand-set title pages and hand-sewn bindings. The winning chapbook will continue this tradition of craftsmanship.
- 18-30 manuscript pages (with no more than one poem per page)
- Individual poems may have been published in periodicals, but the collection as a whole must be unpublished. An acknowledgments page is optional (though it will be included in the final chapbook).
- Co-authored manuscripts and translated manuscripts are welcome.
- Close personal friends of the judge, as well as current or former students of the judge, are ineligible.
- Multiple submissions are welcome, but each submission must be accompanied by a separate entry fee.
- Please limit your identifying information to your cover letter; the manuscript itself must be anonymous, as the judging will be blind.
How to submit:
Preferred: Online via Submittable: https://wellscollegepress.submittable.com/submit
Or mail hard copies to:
Wells Book Arts Center
170 Main Street
Aurora, New York 13026.
Make checks for $20 payable to Wells College Press, with “WCPress entry fee” on the memo line.
Include an email address OR a SASE for notification of the results.
Optional: Include a self-addressed, stamped postcard for acknowledgment of receipt.
The final judge of the WCP Poetry Chapbook Contest is Dan Rosenberg.
Dan Rosenberg is the author of The Crushing Organ (Dream Horse Press, 2012) and cadabra (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2015). He has also written two chapbooks, A Thread of Hands (Tilt Press, 2010) and Thigh’s Hollow (Omnidawn, 2015), and he co-translated Miklavž Komelj’s Hippodrome (Zephyr Press, 2016). His work has won the American Poetry Journal Book Prize and the Omnidawn Poetry Chapbook Contest. Rosenberg earned an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a Ph.D. from The University of Georgia. He teaches literature and creative writing at Wells College and co-edits Transom.
E-mail with questions: firstname.lastname@example.org